The Social Fluids Lab takes an integrative approach to studying how behavior evolves. We study socially exchanged fluids and how they can be used for consensus building and be co-opted by evolution to influence physiology and behavior.
We use social insects as a model system because many engage in a mouth-to-mouth fluid exchange called trophallaxis, wherein they transmit endogenously produced molecules that can influence receivers. In many species that engage in this behavior, every individual in the colony is connected through this network of fluid exchange. The exchanged fluid is rich with proteins, hormones, RNA and small molecules (LeBoeuf et al. 2016 eLife). Some of these components, when fed to larvae by trophallaxis, can influence developmental fate and timing! This provides a means for how some social insect communities can collectively decide on the colony’s developmental progression – by sending cues and signals over the social circulatory system. Our lab uses machine learning approaches in both evolutionary proteomics and long-term automated tracking of behavior and fluorescence in ant colonies to answer our questions about the evolution of behavior. We are a relatively young research group building this field of socially exchanged materials.
We are looking for a primarily molecular postdoc to join our group. The ideal candidate is collaborative, committed and passionate about their research.
Lab values Creativity, interdisciplinarity, collaboration, open source, open access, inclusiveness, team mentality.
Project and you: How does the social circulatory system circumvent the longevity-fecundity trade-off? You are comfortable with molecular and biochemical approaches (e.g. in situ hybridization, protein purification, developing assays, microscopy). You are interested in behavior, superorganismal physiology and how the individual can influence the collective. Your specific project will depend on your interests but will certainly focus on socially exchanged fluids and collective developmental control in social insects.
Positions Start dates are flexible, aiming at first half of 2021. Position is currently funded for 2 years but could be extended depending on circumstances, for example, a candidate coming with their own funding.
Submission Applications (in English) should include a statement on your background and motivation to join our research group*, CV (including an annotated list of publications (preprints included) wherein you describe your contribution to the works), and the names and contact details of two references.
DEADLINE: February 1st, 2021. Applications will be reviewed until positions are filled.
*This part is absolutely key to your application: What sparked your interest in our group? What scientific questions are you motivated by that align with ours? What research skills would you bring?
Dr. Adria C. LeBoeuf (http://leboeuflab.com)
Department of Biology, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
Tagged as: Life Sciences
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