Katedra zoologie

Přírodovědecká fakulta Jihočeské univerzity

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Paris, France: Two postdoc positions, insect pheromones PDF Tisk Email
Each position is a full time, 2-year contract. Expected starting date:
from March 2015
ANR-funded project PHEROMOD: Pheromones as general modulators of insect
In addition to their well-documented function as communication signals,
some pheromones have been recently shown to play a role as 'modulators' of
cognitive phenomena, facilitating or inhibiting associative learning and
memory both in vertebrates and invertebrates. The project aims at
investigating the modulator effect of pheromones on experience-dependent
behaviour of three insect species, the honeybee Apis mellifera, the ant
Lasius niger and the moth Agrotis ipsilon, in order to determine the
mechanisms that are either conserved across species or species-specific
and associable with particular life-styles.
We will study the mechanisms and adaptive value of pheromone modulation of
learning by using a behavioural approach and by focusing on octopaminergic
and dopaminergic circuits, which in many insects signal appetitive and
aversive situations, respectively (pharmacological approach). As odour
coding changes after appetitive learning in olfactory centres of the
insect brain, we will analyse if pheromone exposure modifies per se the
odour code in the first olfactory relay (antennal lobe) of the three
species. A combination of pheromone/neutral odour exposure and in vivo
calcium imaging recordings of antennal lobe activity will be used to this
This research project will achieve a comprehensive knowledge on how
pheromones influence learning performances in three paradigmatic insect
The successful applicants will have a PhD in behavioural biology,
evolutionary biology or chemical ecology with a solid track record.
Experience with insects, learning paradigms and/or neurophysiology (in
vivo calcium imaging) is welcome. Candidates should be fluent in English.
Position 1): focus on ants and honey bees. The post-doc will be based at
the Laboratory of Experimental and Comparative Ethology, University of
Paris 13 (http://leec.univ-paris13.fr/new), working with Prof. Patrizia
d'Ettorre but will spend extended periods of time at the CNRS Research
Center on Animal Cognition, University of Toulouse
(http://cognition.ups-tlse.fr/uneEn.html), working with Prof. Martin
Position 2): focus on the black cutworm moth. The post-doc will be based
at the Department of Sensory Ecology (INRA Versailles) of the Institut
d'Ecologie et des Sciences de l'Environnement de Paris
(http://www-physiologie-insecte.versailles.inra.fr), working with Dr. Nina
Candidates should send, in one single PDF file:
a) letter of interest, b) Curriculum Vitae with publication list; c)
contact information (e-mail, phone) for two referees who can provide
letters of recommendation.
DEADLINE for receiving applications: 15 January 2015
Contact for position 1): Patrizia d'Ettorre, 
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Contact for position 2): Nina Deisig, 
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