Job announcement
MPI for Evolutionary Biology, Plön

Postdoctoral position - circalunar clocks

Application deadline: 21.3.2017
[printable version .pdf]

The Max Planck Research Group “Biological Clocks” aims to uncover the yet unknown molecular basis of circalunar clocks, using the intertidal midge Clunio marinus (Diptera) as a model. Clunio times its life cycle to the rhythm of the tides by circalunar and circadian clocks. As the tides differ along the coastline, the clocks of Clunio populations are genetically adapted to the local pattern of the tides. We study these adaptations using a combination of evolutionary genomics and molecular biology, behavioral experiments and ecological fieldwork. We have shown that this approach enables the identification of new clock molecules (Nature 540,69–73).

Clunio’s circalunar clock can be set by moonlight, as well as mechanical cues and temperature cues associated with the tides. The postdoc will work with Clunio strains that are insensitive to mechanical and moonlight cues and use them to identify the receptors responsible for setting the circalunar clock.

The ideal candidate holds a PhD in Biology with a strong background in neurobiology, behavioral physiology or molecular biology. Experience in receptor physiology, immunohistochemistry, genome editing or cell culture are great assets. The postdoc will participate in the genomic work related to the project. As a central member of the group, the postdoc has good communication and organizational skills and will take part in supervising students. The position will be offered for 2 years with the possibility of extension. Starting date is May 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology offers a stimulating and ambitious international working environment. Excellent infrastructure is available at all levels. The MPI collaborates with the nearby Christian Albrechts University of Kiel and the GEOMAR (Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research). The town of Plön is surrounded by lakes and the Baltic Sea is nearby, offering plenty of opportunity for leisure and outdoor activities. The nearby ports of Kiel and Travemünde provide access to Scandinavia, the closest airport is Hamburg.

The Max Planck Society is committed to also employing handicapped individuals and encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

Applications should include a cover letter describing your motivation to work on this project and your relevant experience, a detailed CV and copies of relevant certificates, and the contact details of three academic referees. Please send the above as a single PDF file to

Review of applications will start on 21st March 2017 and will continue until the position is filled. Feel free to contact me for further information.

Dr. Tobias Kaiser
Max Planck Research Group
Biological Clocks
MPI for Evolutionary Biology
August-Thienemann-Str 2
24306 Plön, Germany

© 27.02.2017 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG