Lund University, Faculty of Science, Department of Biology

Lund University was founded in 1666 and is repeatedly ranked among the world’s top 100 universities. The University has 40 000 students and 7 600 staff based in Lund, Helsingborg and Malmö. We are united in our efforts to understand, explain and improve our world and the human condition.

The Faculty of Science conducts research and education within Biology, Astronomy, Physics, Geosciences, Chemistry, Mathematics and Environmental Sciences. The Faculty is organized into nine departments, gathered in the northern campus area. The Faculty has approximately 1500 students, 330 PhD students and 700 employees.

Project description

The advertised position is part of a PhD project embedded in a ‘Cotutelle’ agreement (dual PhD program) between Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia, and the Faculty of Science, Lund University (LU), during which the successful applicant will be admitted to both PhD programs. The position will be funded by LU for the first two years (according to LU rules) and by Macquarie University for the last two years (funded by a stipend according to Macquarie rules). Upon successful completion of the PhD, the candidate will obtain both degrees. The advertised position covers the first two years of the program but comprises a commitment to the entire four years of the PhD. Thus the candidate will have to ensure that he/she fulfills all eligibility criteria to commence a PhD at Macquarie University, Sydney. 

Scientifically, the project aims at identifying the neural correlates of different navigation strategies in insects. For this purpose we will investigate a brain region called the central complex, which has been shown to be involved in processing sensory information required for navigation, and in control of locomotion. Recent modeling work has suggested that this brain region contains the neural substrate for path integration, a widespread navigation strategy. Based on this work, numerous predictions have been made that lead us to hypothesize that insect species with different navigation strategies differ in the details of the functional and structural organization of the central complex circuitry. The aim of the project is to localize and characterize these differences. This will be done in two stages: First we will obtain the comprehensive cellular composition of the central complex across four to six species of ants and bees which differ in their navigation strategy (path integration, route navigation, pheromone following; flying/walking) by using block-face EM studies at multiple resolutions. Once cellular or circuit differences are identified that correlate with behavioral strategy, the involved neurons will be examined functionally in the second stage of the project: Via intracellular electrophysiology using stimuli mimicking sensory input during foraging (virtual foraging) we will record from homologous neurons across species with distinct navigation strategies and identify neurons with functional properties reflecting the behavioral specialization.

Required qualifications

The applicant's undergraduate education must include a broad and solid background in neuroethology and neuroscience methods. Excellent English language abilities both orally and in writing are essential. Due to the nature of the dual PhD program which the advertised position is part of, the candidate must be eligible for a PhD at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia ( ).

A successful candidate will also possess at least several of the following skills: Proven organizational skills to coordinate a complex project; training in neuroanatomical methods in arthropods (immunocytochemistry, electron microscopy, classic histology methods); basic electrophysiological skills in insects; and proven ability to work independently.

Students with basic eligibility for third-cycle studies are those who- have completed a second-cycle degree- have completed courses of at least 240 credits, of which at least 60 credits are from second-cycle courses, or- have acquired largely equivalent knowledge in some other way, in Sweden or abroad.

The employment of doctoral students is regulated in the Swedish Code of Statues 1998: 80. Only those who are or have been admitted to PhD-studies may be appointed to doctoral studentships. When an appointment to a doctoral studentship is made, the ability of the student to benefit from PhD-studies shall primarily be taken into account. In addition to devoting themselves to their studies, those appointed to doctoral studentships may be required to work with educational tasks, research and administration, in accordance with specific regulations in the ordinance.

Type of employment
Limit of tenure, two years according to HF 5 kap 7§.

Type of employment Temporary position longer than 6 months
First day of employment 2018-06-01
Salary Monthly salary
Number of positions 1
Working hours 100 %
City Lund
County Skåne län
Country Sweden
Reference number PA2018/970
  • Stanley Heinze, forskare, +46 46 222 14 17,
Union representative
  • OFR/ST:Fackförbundet ST:s kansli, 046-222 93 62
  • SACO:Saco-s-rådet vid Lunds universitet, 046-222 93 64
  • SEKO: Seko Civil, 046-222 93 66
Published 09.Apr.2018
Last application date 30.Apr.2018 11:59 PM CET

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