Neurobiology of Swarm-Forming Locusts
Supervisor: Einat Couzin-Fuchs, University of Konstanz
The Couzin-Fuchs group is seeking a motivated doctoral candidate to join our research on unraveling the neural basis of social plasticity in swarm-forming locusts.
Locusts are notorious plague insects that in plague years threaten the food security of millions. The unpredictability of locust outbreaks is largely rooted in their adaptive nature: Locusts have evolved to thrive in both isolated and gregarious conditions and can rapidly change their behavior accordingly. The rapid transitions between solitarious and gregarious phenotypes offers an exciting model for studying social plasticity and the emergence of collective behavior. We recently found that this transition is accompanied by significant changes in olfactory processing, aiding the detection of sparse food sources in crowded environments (Petelski, Günzel et al. preprint). The Couzin-Fuchs group are now delving into the cellular mechanisms mediating these changes and their behavioral implications.
We are seeking for a candidate with strong interest in neurobiology to join this project. Prior experience with functional imaging, patch clamp, and virtual reality technology is a plus but not required. In this role, you will employ cutting-edge techniques, including 2-photon functional imaging, electrophysiology, VR and quantitative behavior, to advance our understanding of locust neurobiology.
Join our interdisciplinary team at the neurobiology department and the Excellence Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour (CASCB). As part of our team, you will have the opportunity to implement new technologies developed in our lab and CASCB and be part of a highly international, interdisciplinary and collaborative team. The University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Society are equal opportunity employers that are committed to provide employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender identity, national origin, or disability.
Interested candidates should apply via the IMPRS online platform and directly to einat.couzin@uni-konstanz. de applications should include CV, a letter of motivation and names of 2 referees. https://www.couzin-fuchs-lab.com
Starting date: Winter/spring 2024
The Universität Konstanz and the Max Planck Society are equal opportunity employers that are committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. They seek to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourage women to apply (Equal opportunity). Persons with disabilities are explicitly encouraged to apply.
They will be given preference if appropriately qualified (contact +49 7531 88 4016).