Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) | Self-Recognition and Cannibalism in nematodes

Scientist Bonn
Neurosciences Structural and Cell Biology

Job Code:

Job Offer from January 13, 2021

caesar is a neuroethology institute located in Bonn that studies how the collective activity of the vast numbers of interconnected neurons in the brain gives rise to the plethora of animal behaviors. Our research spans a large range of scales from the nano-scale imaging of brain circuitry, to large-scale functional imaging of brain circuitry during behavior, to the quantification of natural animal behaviors.

 The newly installed Max Planck Research Group Self-Recognition and Cannibalism, headed by Dr. James W. Lightfoot, is currently looking for a Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) (full time at 38,5 hours / week) to join in March 2021 or as negotiated. The position will initially be for 3 years with the possibility for extension.

Job description

  • We are using the roundworms P. pacificus and C. elegans to understand how the nervous systems coordinates ecologically relevant behaviors by focusing on self-recognition and cannibalism.
  • You will help develop and utilize software to enable the tracking and analysis of predatory, self-recognition and cannibalistic behaviors.
  • You will combine calcium imaging and optogenetics to explore the divergent behaviors between P. pacificus and C. elegans.
  • You will conduct mutant screens to elucidate the molecular mechanisms involved in the regulation and evolution of predation and self-recognition in P. pacificus.

Your profile

  • Ph.D. in Genetics, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, or a related subject.
  • Interest in behavior and genetics.
  • Prior experience with C. elegans, genetics, molecular biology, and light microscopy is preferred.
  • Very good English language skills.
  • Highly motivated, responsible, with excellent precision and attention to detail.
  • Ability to operate with significant independence in strategizing the goals of projects as well as designing, conducting and interpreting experiments.

What we offer:

  • You will work in a dynamic environment, embedded in the scientific community of the Max Planck Society and the universities of Bonn and Cologne.
  • Cutting-edge equipped, newly installed laboratories.
  • A salary commensurate with the work.
  • Outstanding employee benefits, a family-friendly culture, and flexible working hours.
  • Opportunities for further training/continuing education.

About the institute:

caesar is part of a cluster for neuroscience in the Bonn-Cologne region, comprising the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases and two Max Planck Institutes. The Institute hosts the International Max Planck Research School for Brain & Behavior and is involved in the Bonn International Graduate School of Neuroscience.

caesar is committed to diversity and inclusion and is aiming to increase the percentage of women in areas where they are under-represented. We therefore explicitly encourage women to apply. Candidates with disabilities and comparable qualifications receive preferential status. In addition, the Research Center strives for gender equality and diversity. We welcome applications from any background.

How to apply:

Please submit your application online including your CV, a letter of motivation, and names of 3 referees.

This call will be open until the position is filled.

If you have any further questions, please contact:

Dr. James W. Lightfoot, e-mail:

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