URGENTE: Doctorado (3 años), Instituto de etología animal Max Planck, Radolfzell (Alemania) ~ Bioblogia.net

24 de junio de 2020

URGENTE: Doctorado (3 años), Instituto de etología animal Max Planck, Radolfzell (Alemania)

URGENTE: Doctorado (3 años), Instituto de etología animal Max Planck, Radolfzell (Alemania)

(Fecha límite para presentar la solicitud: 30 de Junio, comienzo inmediato)

Como afectan los cambios reversibles y estacionales del tamaño del cerebro a la cognición y comportamiento en la musaraña común.


For our Human Frontiers-funded project on seasonal reversible brain size changes in the common shrew we are looking for a PhD student at short notice. Are you interested in the evolution of seasonal phenotypes and/or cognition and/or behaviour? Do you have experience with MRI imaging or want to learn/behavioural assays/small mammal research? Would you like to work in a collaborative project doing field and lab work? See the job description here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1HLKBh82yfRZpZK5bu_XLOBWPW7nOvXb_/view?usp=sharing
Application deadline: June 30. Starting time: asap.


The Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior at its sites in Konstanz and Radolfzell offers an international,
interdisciplinary and collaborative environment that opens up unique research opportunities. The goal of our
basic research is to develop a quantitative and predictive understanding of the decisions and movements of
animals in their natural environment.
The Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior would like to fill the following position as soon as possible:

PhD student (m/f/d)
(100 %)
The position is limited to 3 years. The position will be located at its site in Radolfzell, Germany.
In our long-term project on the evolution of reversible individual size changes in small high-metabolic
mammals, we are filling a position for a 3-year PhD starting as soon as possible. The common shrew is unique
in that juveniles reach a first maximum size, then shrink towards winter, including a size reduction of up to 25
% of the brain, followed by a regrowth in the following spring along with sexual maturation. This is thought to
be an energy saving strategy, resulting in lower food requirements in the winter (as these tiny shrews do not
hibernate and constantly need to eat high quality food), which we have confirmed with a first metabolic study
at ambient conditions. We have followed the size change for the first time in the individual, have described
how brain regions change as well as shown that the brain size reduction results in decreased spatial navigation
skills. We are starting to keep shrews in large outdoor enclosures and you would use a combined approach of
repeated state-of-the-art MRI imaging and behavioural assays of the same individuals as they go through the
cycle. The MRIs will be with Dominik von Elverfeldt in nearby Freiburg, where you will spend part of your time
This is a HSFP-funded collaborative project with Liliana Davalos from Stony Brook University (looking at the
molecular basis of this phenomenon) and John Nieland from Aalborg University (looking at the lipid
metabolism) and their students.

What we are looking for:
If you are fascinated by evolution and questions such as how seasonal change affects animals, how the brain is
shaped by evolutionary pressure, or how brain size is linked to behavior and cognitive abilities, this may be the
right position for you. This project has already started and as the cycle of size change starts in June, we are
interested to fill the position as soon as possible. You will be encouraged to provide input with regards to
where you want to take the project within the given framework. Fieldwork, although not very strenuous, is
necessary, including setting and checking traps year-round at all hours. Some behavioural observations may
also run for several hours and may have to be carried out during evenings and weekends. Ideally, you are a
biologist with also a background in or inclination for physics or bioimaging as the MRI (which we will be the first
to do with shrews) will be a large and important part of the project. Good English skills are also a requirement.
You must have a drivers' license and A FELASA certificate for handling of laboratory animals or equivalent
would be great. Experience with handling small animals is expected. Even though for your project no animals
need to be sacrificed, we expect you to help when shrews are sampled for the associated genomics project, i.e.
you need to be willing to be present (but not euthanize yourself) and help with the sampling.

What you will find:
The Dechmann Lab works on several projects with small high-metabolic mammals, all focusing on how animals
have evolved to deal with changing resource landscapes. Our group has been working on these shrews for
years, working out many (but never all) of the potential kinks of working with the sensitive shrews. As an
institute, we offer a responsible and varied work place in a growing interdisciplinary and international research
environment. The payment is made in accordance with your the collective agreement for the public service
(TVöD-Bund). Our graduate school IMPRS for Organismal Biology provides added background where you can
profit from a large spectrum of courses and support.

Questions about this position will be answered by Dina Dechmann (ddechmann@ab.mpg.de).
The Max Planck Society endeavors to employ more severely disabled people. Applications of severely disabled
persons are expressly welcome. The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome
applications from all backgrounds.

Your application
Interested? We are greatly looking forward to receiving your CV, a motivation letter and a research statement
by June 30, 2020 under this link: https://s-lotus.gwdg.de/mpg/maor/perso/ornr_w008.nsf/application

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