2 PhD positions in Drosophila Behavioral Circuit Neuroscience

Two PhD positions are open in the Philipsborn lab at the University of Fribourg, Switzerland.

We are interested in the behavioral neurobiology of reproduction, with a focus on chemical and acoustic communication during sexual interactions. We are employing behavioral assays, audio recordings, genetic manipulation and optogenetics, bioimaging and neuronal reconstructions to understand how circuit motifs shape behavior.

For more information about the lab:

https://www.unifr.ch/med/de/research/groups/philipsborn/

https://philipsborn-lab.org/

 

Beginning: February 2023, or by arrangement

Duration: 4 years

Location: University of Fribourg, https://www.unifr.ch/med/fr/section/jobs/

Working time: 100%

Working area and tasks

You will enroll at Fribourg Graduate School of Life Sciences (FGLS) for doctoral education. The University also offers access to optional doctoral programmes in Life Science/Neuroscience for additional training and networking opportunities.

Your work will be part of a project funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation.

In your research project, you will address one of the following topics:

1) Genetic and neuronal mechanisms of female responses to male inseminate

When female Drosophila copulate, they emit an acoustic signal that reflects male inseminate composition (female copulation song). You will investigate the molecules, receptors and sensory neurons that allow females to evaluate inseminate and react to it. Furthermore, you will analyse the neuronal circuits in peripheral and central nervous system that are involved in female song generation and the communication between reproductive organs and brain. For your project, you will be trained in and use Drosophila genetics, RNAi, CRISPR/Cas 9 gene knockouts, optogenetics, behavioral assays, functional imaging, confocal microscopy, anatomical reconstructions and connectomics.

2) Mechanisms of male plastic mating strategies and inseminate allocation

Male animals from many species, including Drosophila, modulate their mating stragtegies depending on internal state and female quality. This includes adaptive transfer of inseminate. During your project, you will analyse how seminal fluid protein composition changes depending on internal and external signals. You will also invesitgate the neuronal circuits that control inseminate transfer and their modulation by sensory information from the female. You will be trained in and work with Drosophila genetics, RNAi, CRISPR/Cas 9 gene knockouts, optogenetics, behavioral assays, functional imaging, confocal microscopy, anatomical reconstructions and connectomics.

Your profile

The ideal candidate has a Master Degree in Natural Sciences, interest in animal behavior and neuroscience, proficiency in English and the ability to work independently, creatively and efficiently. Good computer literacy, programming experience and knowledge of methods in neuroscience, microscopy, genetics and molecular biology is of advantage.

How to apply/Contact

Please direct further questions and/or send your application (including a cover letter, CV, key records, references or reference contacts) in a single PDF file to Prof. Anne von Philipsborn (anne.vonphilipsborn@unifr.ch).

Deadline

November 20th, 2022. Interviews will be scheduled end November.