Postdoctoral position in honeybee neuroscience

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Characterization of a new transgenic animal model for in vivo whole-brain imaging at single-neuron resolution.

Research goals and tasks:

The project is a collaboration between the University of Trento, the University of Düsseldorf, and the CNRS, Paris, to optimize and characterize the first transgenic honeybee model expressing a pan-neuronal calcium sensor (GCaMP6). This will allow minimally invasive functional imaging of 3D activity patterns and their dynamics at high spatial and temporal resolution using in vivo two-photon microscopy. It will grant simultaneous access to the entire brain to study neuronal correlates of a rich behavioural repertoire that includes odour discrimination and learning, navigation, and social communication.

The research fellow’s tasks will be, in collaboration with our partners, to optimize the maintenance of the recently generated first transgenic bee colonies and to contribute to the extension of the genetic toolkit. At the same time, she/he will conduct the first experiments of two-photon functional imaging in these transgenic bees to record and analyse activity patterns in different brain regions in response to different external stimuli (olfactory, visual, combinatorial). Furthermore, she/he will perform the first continuous long-term imaging experiments to study learning and memory formation.

Duration of the fellowship: 24 months

Expected starting date: Jan 2021

Required qualifications:

  • a PhD in biology, neuroscience, engineering, or related disciplines
  • appropriate scientific curriculum, documenting the scientific and professional experience required to carry out the described research
  • advanced experience in microscopy and postprocessing and analysis of imaging data
  • experience in beekeeping is an advantage, the preparedness to learn it is required
  • excellent English language skills