PhD position on ageing trajectories in clonal Daphnia and Amazon molly (m/f/x)

As part of a collaborative project on Resilient Ageing, we are inviting applications for a doctoral student position starting early autumn 2023 with a duration of 36 months. The doctoral project centres on using clonal model organisms to study ageing under benign and stressed (warming) conditions. You will use the water flea Daphnia (crustacean zooplankton) and the Amazon molly (Poecilia formosa, a clonal fish) as model systems and carry out experiments to quantify ageing trajectories under common-garden conditions. You will test the impact of genotype and warming on ageing. More specifically, in Daphnia you will contrast genotypes from urban and rural populations for their “pace-of-life” and associated ageing phenotypes under ambient and warming conditions. In the Amazon molly, you will compare genetic lineages with different behavioural types (i.e., bold vs. shy) for their ageing trajectories under ambient and warming conditions. While your research will in the first place be focused on phenotypic characterization, you will also collaborate in a molecular characterization of genomic pathways underlying resilient and early ageing, linking molecular pathways to phenotypes. In the Daphnia system, you will also be offered the possibility to manipulate microbiome composition through microbiome transplant experiments to study the impact of microbiome features on ageing. The project focuses on experimental work and collaborative efforts with teams at other Leibniz institutes in the context of a Leibniz Association Research Alliance on “Resilient Ageing”. The position is located at IGB in Berlin, at the department “Evolutionary and Integrative Ecology”.

Your tasks

  • Designing and performing experiments on ageing with both the water flea Daphnia and the Amazon molly
  • Carrying out common-garden experiments monitoring life trajectories of specific populations in the absence and presence of warming
  • Isolation and preparing samples for transcriptomics and proteomics
  • Statistical analyses of life-history traits and ageing trajectories
  • Publication of results in scientific journals and presentation at conferences
  • Developing and finalizing a doctoral dissertation

Your profile

  • MSc or equivalent in Biology or related field
  • Strong engagement for experimental work; demonstrated experience with experimental work is a bonus
  • Strong statistics skills, preferentially in R
  • Strong conceptual skills and high interest in eco-evolutionary interactions, life history and behavioral analyses
  • Collaborative team worker
  • Good communication skills in English, including scientific writing

Our offer

We offer an exciting position in an international and dynamic team of researchers, and an attractive scientific working environment including excellent equipment and technical support. We foster flat hierarchies and active participation and offer a variety of training opportunities. We actively support the reconciliation of work and family life. Qualified women are particularly encouraged to apply.

The IGB is committed to diversity. We welcome every application, regardless of gender and gender identity, origin, nationality, religion, belief, health and physical disabilities, age or sexual orientation. Disabled applicants with equal qualification and aptitude will be given preferential consideration.

This is a position with 3 years duration and a tentative start date of 15.10.2023 (or shortly thereafter). Salary is paid according to the German salary scheme for the public sector for doctoral research (65% TVöD). The working language at IGB is English.

Are you interested?

We look forward to receiving your application (letter of motivation indicating research interests and experience, CV, certificates, contact information of two potential referees; as a single PDF document) by 14.08.2023Please state the job reference number 42/2023 and apply exclusively via our recruitment platform at Enquiries can be directed to Prof. Luc De Meester at, Prof. Justyna Wolinska at or Dr. David Bierbach at

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