PhD position (m/f/d) in developmental biology of parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Parasitoida) revealed by dose-efficient X-ray imaging (E13 TV-L, 50%)

The State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart (SMNS) with its two locations Museum am Löwentor and Schloss Rosenstein is one of the largest natural history museums in Germany emphasizing collection-based research in systematics, taxonomy, biodiversity and evolution.  

General information about the project:

This PhD position is part of the collaborative research project HIGH-LIFE funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Within this project and beyond, the State Museum of Natural History Stuttgart (SMNS) closely collaborates with the Laboratory for Application of Synchrotron Radiation (LAS) at the KIT and the Centre for Organismal Studies (COS) of Heidelberg University in the field of biological X-ray imaging of insects and model organisms. The focus of the joint work within HIGH-LIFE lies on hierarchical (i.e. considering different length scales) and dose efficient X-ray imaging of biological samples at synchrotron sources with high sample throughput. We therefore seek a highly motivated student with a strong interest in imaging technology and collaborative research to fill this three-year PhD position.

Detailed job description:

By employing imaging technology developed within HIGH-LIFE, we aim to unravel the concealed biology of developing parasitoid wasps by high-resolution and full animal micro-CT. The resulting data will allow detailed answers about feeding strategies of parasitoids, larval biology and behaviour, and host-parasitoid interactions. Basic information on different parasitoid strategies can be achieved by comparing endo- and ectoparasitoid species (larvae developing inside or outside the host) and by comparing solitary (a single larvae feeding on a host) and gregarious species (multiple larvae feeding on a host). The occurrence of intraspecific competition (e.g., larvae of the same species competing for the food resource might attack or even kill each other) can also be investigated. The results will be interpreted and correlated with genetic and ecological data. This will help to understand morphological adaptions and phylogenetic patterns related to different parasitoid strategies and to evaluate the potential of the study species for biological pest control.

Both the project work and the PhD thesis will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Lars Krogmann  https://www.naturkundemuseum-bw.de/forschung/entomology/krogmann. Employment will be at the Entomology Department of SMNS. Parts of the work will also be carried out at KIT and at PETRA III / DESY in Hamburg.

The successful candidate is expected to have

  • an M.Sc./Diploma degree or equivalent in biology or a related discipline by the time of the commencement of the project
  • strong English language skills in both spoken and written form
  • experiences in insect morphology
  • ability to work within a collaborative environment
  • organizational skills and flexibility
  • willingness to travel
  • skills in computer-based 3D reconstructions of µCT data is a strong asset

Please note: The applicant must enroll in a doctoral program at the University of Hohenheim to obtain the appropriate degree.

In turn we offer:

  • the opportunity to pursue your academic career in an internationally renowned research museum
  • state-of-the-art X-ray imaging techniques with highly relevant applications in biological research
  • exciting research in an international and multidisciplinary environment including biologists, physicists and computer scientists
  • the possibility to attend national and international conferences and to publish your results in scientific journals
  • intensive academic and personal mentoring
  • an attractive workplace in the center of Stuttgart
  • flexible and family-friendly working hours
  • benefits from occupational health management

The salary is based on the German civil service salary scale E13 (TV-L, 50%). The position is limited to three years. Please send your application including a cover letter, CV and certificates exclusively online (in one file, max 5 MB) to phd-high-life [at] smns-bw [dot] de by September 30, 2019.

Please note that your incoming data will not be automatically encrypted. By submitting your application documents, you agree to them being passed on to members of the selection committee in compliance with the provisions of the European General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO).

The job interviews are scheduled for October 14, 2019. For further information, please contact Prof. Dr. Lars Krogmann: 0049-(0)711/8936-219, lars [dot] krogmann [at] smns-bw [dot] de

The SMNS is an equal opportunity employer that values diversity, tolerance and excellence. Preference will be given to applicants with severe disabilities if equally qualified.

Stuttgart, September 5, 2019

Prof. Dr. Johanna Eder

Director