PhD Position in the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology

The project group Central Circuits & Processing (Jürgen Rybak) in the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology offers a three-year PhD position to conduct research on brain architecture and synaptic microcircuits in the olfactory pathway of arthropods. The position should be filled by 15th of June 2020.

The position is part of the DFG funded project "Evolutionary specialization of neuronal core circuits in arthropod olfactory systems: structure and function of convergence/divergence in crustaceans versus insects" (SPP 2205). This project will analyze the evolution of neuronal core circuits in the central olfactory pathway of arthropods in  cooperation with Steffen Harzsch, Greifswald, and Martin Nawrot, Cologne.

The candidate will use techniques such as immunohistochemistry, neuronal staining, classical histology and imaging techniques (confocal laser-scan microscopy / electron microscopy as well as connectome approaches. Within the multi-disciplinary project, these data will ultimately be integrated into a mathematical model of information processing in the olfactory system.

Candidate requirements:

  • a strong interest in neurobiology
  • good knowledge of neuroanatomical techniques (confocal microscopy, electron microscopy)
  • good command of both written and spoken English for preparing scientific publications and presenting research results at international congresses
  • a strong motivation to play an active role in an interdisciplinary research environment

What we offer:

Payment will be based on the tariff contracts for the public service (65% E13). We provide an excellent research environment with enthusiastic scientists from different nationalities in the Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology (Prof. Hansson) at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany. The PhD student can be associated with the International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS).

Your application:

Please submit your application with the usual documents including CV, motivation letter, 2 letters of recommendation and certificates (in a single PDF) by 30.04.2020 to

Jürgen Rybak PhD
Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology
Department of Evolutionary Neuroethology
Hans-Knoell-Strasse 8
D-07745 Jena
Tel. +49 3641 57 1416
e-mail: jrybak [at]