Vacancy

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The Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (MfN) is an excellent and integrated research museum of the Leibniz Association with an international reputation and globally connected research infrastructure. MfN is active in three closely interlinked fields: collection-based research, collection development, and research-based public and educational outreach. Over the next ten years, the Museum für Naturkunde Berlin will build up a science campus for nature and society in the centre of Berlin as science hub, together with the Humboldt Universität zu Berlin. New laboratories and workplaces for cutting-edge research will be established. One of the world's most comprehensive natural history collections with over 30 million objects will be housed in state of the art buildings as well as fully digitized. The implementation of the so-called Zukunftsplan (future plan), funded with a total of 660 million euros from the Federal Government and the State of Berlin, strongly relies on interdisciplinary national and international partners. Become part of our team as

Position: Researcher (f/m/d)
work schedule: Full time
Duration: External funding, at the earliest possible date, for a period of 24 months
Salary level: E 13 TV-L
Code: 52/ 2022

Project Description:

Funded by the Emmy Noether Programme of the DFG, the MultiplEye Lab is investigating the function and evolution of many-eyed visual systems in animals. The project uses selected model organisms, including spiders, molluscs and echinoderms, to explore the fundamental principles that govern how and why these unusual visual systems arise. Using a combination of comparative morphology, neuroethology, developmental and molecular biology, we want to understand how animals collect and combine multiple streams of information simultaneously, how this relates to their ecology, and what shapes the evolution of their visual systems. This position will use synchrotron scans and empirical data to explore how spiders and molluscs sample the visual environment, and how changes to morphology are likely to affect visual function.

Responsibilities:

  • Scientific research into the function and evolution of vision in selected organisms
  • 3D reconstruction of the visual system (including in spiders and chitons), or parts thereof, using specialist software (Amira, VG Studio)
  • Using these models to predict how visual stimuli are received and processed, using custom analytical tools (Python)
  • Developing hypotheses to determine the integration of stimuli, and subsequently designing and performing behavioural experiments to test these
  • Reconstruct the evolution of vision in spiders using phylogenetic comparative methods, geometric morphometrics, functional data and, if necessary, exemplary fossils
  • Fieldwork to collect animals for behavioural experiments, developmental studies and microCT
  • Publication of results in scientific journals
  • Presentation of results at scientific conferences

Requirements:

  • Completed Master’s degree in Biology, Physics or Computer Science, preferably with a PhD
  • Good knowledge of, or interest in, animal visual systems
  • Good knowledge of histology or ophthalmoscopy
  • Good knowledge of phylogenetic methods and analysis e.g. in R
  • Experience of conducting behavioural experiments
  • Knowledge of a programming language such as Python, or the ability to learn
  • Knowledge or interest in computational and/or geometric and/or optical analysis
  • Evidence of ability to publish in scientific journals
  • Independence and organization
  • Excellent presentation and communication skills
  • Excellent English language skills, spoken and written

    Special Notes:

    In support of equal rights applications from qualified women are particularly welcome. Handicapped individuals will be given preference in cases of identical qualifications.

    We look forward to receiving your application with the usual documents (cover letter, curriculum vitae, certificates) by 22.05.2022, preferably via our online application portal.

    For information on the application procedure, please contact recruiting@mfn.berlin.

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