Postdoctoral position on brood care in ants

Scientist Jena
Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Behavioral Sciences Microbiology & Ecology Neurosciences Physiology
Job Offer from November 26, 2021

Applications are invited for a 3-year postdoctoral position at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany to work in the Social Behavior group headed by Dr.Yuko Ulrich.

Your profile

We are looking for a dynamic, creative, and collaborative postdoctoral scientist to join an interdisciplinary team working at the intersection of behavioral ecology and evolutionary biology. Candidates with a PhD in chemical ecology, behavioral biology, or related fields are welcome to apply.

Our research focus

The group’s current work is centered on the drivers and consequences of social behavior. We seek to understand how individual traits and the social context shape behavior using experimental, computational, and molecular approaches in a uniquely accessible social insect, the clonal raider ant. This parthenogenetic species produces genetically identical offspring in discrete cohorts, making it possible to precisely control and replicate the size and composition of colonies in experiments. For more information about our work, please visit

Project description

The project aims to study the fundamentals of a key behavior of social insects, brood care. Clonal raider ant larvae have clear effects on worker behavior and physiology, and the project aims to identify the cues (chemical, behavioral) driving those effects. We are therefore looking for a team member with a strong background in chemical ecology or behavioral biology. Experience working with social insects, designing behavioral assays and analyzing behavior computationally, and/or bioassay-guided fractionation and compound identification are a definite plus.


Candidates must have excellent verbal and written communication skills, a publication record, and a track record of addressing scientific questions in an innovative and rigorous manner. Whatever your background, a keen interest in the research topic and a positive mindset are a must.

What we offer

The Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology provides a thriving, international, and multidisciplinary research environment. The project will benefit from state-of-the-art facilities and equipment, access to expert service groups for mass spectrometry (with MALDI-MS imaging, untargeted metabolomics, and sensitive targeted metabolite quantification platforms) and NMR, as well as world-class researchers in insect chemical ecology, neuroethology, and evolutionary biology. The working language of the institute is English. For more information, please visit

We offer a competitive salary, generous holiday entitlement and pension scheme, as well as career development training. The Max Planck Society is committed to equal opportunities and diversity
( We welcome qualified applicants from all backgrounds.

How to apply

To apply, please send your CV, a cover letter (≤ 2 pages) stating why you are applying for this position and what your proposed research goals are, along with the names and contacts of 2-3 references as a single PDF to
. Review of applications will start on January 3, 2022 and will continue until the position is filled. Preferred starting date is March 2022 but flexible.

Informal inquiries about the position can be addressed to Dr. Yuko Ulrich ().

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