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Research Associate - Comparative Neurobiology (Fixed Term)


We invite applications for postdoctoral Research Associate position in the Department of Zoology in Central Cambridge on Downing Street with Dr Stephen Montgomery's research group. It is funded for up to 12 months, by the Isaac Newton Trust/Wellcome Trust ISSF/University of Cambridge Joint Research Grants Scheme and should start on 1 June 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter.

The PDRA will study the cellular basis of mushroom body expansion in Heliconius butterflies. We have recently confirmed previous reports that Heliconius have massively expanded mushroom bodies (see Montgomery et al. 2016 J. Comp. Neurol. 524 (9):1747-1769), providing a novel case study for investigating the causes and consequences of volumetric expansion of 'higher order' brain regions. We are interested in understanding the cellular basis of mushroom body expansion by investigating how the number of neurons and synaptic complexes vary with size, and by testing the hypothesis that mushroom body expansion co-occurs with changes in input to the mushroom bodies from other brain regions.

Duties will include designing and carrying out experiments to investigate the cellular changes that accompany increases in mushroom body size using multiple species of Heliconiini butterflies, and analysing and writing up the results.

The successful applicant should have a Ph.D., completed or completion imminent, in comparative neurobiology, evolutionary biology, cell/developmental biology or a related field, and a strong interest in brain and behavioural evolution. Candidates should have a good collaborative spirit, and can expect a high degree of support and assistance from the PI. Enthusiasm, determination and the capacity to work independently are also essential.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for up to 12 months.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF11538 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

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