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Ana­ly­sis of plas­ma mem­bra­ne-de­pen­dent mul­tis­ca­le oscil­la­ti­ons of hawk­moth ol­fac­to­ry re­cep­tor neu­rons

   Graduate School Multiscale Clocks

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  Prof Monika Stengl  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The RTG Multiscale Clocks aims at investigating the principles of timekeeping in living organisms, enabling to orchestrate periodic processes with very different frequencies ranging from infradian over circadian to ultradian rhythms. The unique approach is to combine the expertise of biologists, physicists, chemists, mathematicians, and engineers to advance the understanding of biological clocks.

In this project (N°. 7) the PhD candidate will deal with different methods of electrophysiology, such as patch clamp and extracellular tip recordings in vivo, as well as with Ca2+ imaging and transcriptomic analyses. With this we examine how/why olfactory receptor neurons (ORNs) of the hawkmoth Manduca sexta express membrane potential oscillations on the slow circadian and fast ultradian time scales. We will test the hypothesis that pheromone/odor responses of insect ORNs differ during the sleep-wake cycle, orchestrated by an endogenous circadian clock. In addition, we want to test whether fast membrane potential oscillations allow for tuning into different frequencies of pheromone/odor stimuli modulated both, via internal physiological states, and via the kinetics and strength of the odor stimuli. We will examine the possible functional dependence of these multiscale oscillations and whether/how these multiscale oscillations affect odor/pheromone transduction cascades on the cellular and molecular level, affecting the hawkmoth´s behavior.


- Scientific work on the research project. 

- Active participation in the workshops and events of the RTG and collaboration with the PIs and other PhD candidates. 

- Completion of a study program according to the curriculum of the graduate school.

Required Profile:

- Excellent Master degree or other respectively related academic degrees (such as Diploma or Magister) in one of the above-mentioned disciplines. 

- Commitment to interdisciplinary research and education. 

- Strong skills in English.

- Advantageous are experiences thematically related to the scope of the RTG.

The University of Kassel is a midsize university with about 25.000 students, located in the city of Kassel, known for the DOCUMENTA, the most important international exhibition of contemporary art. The university is dedicated to interdisciplinary research, and it offers educational programs in the life sciences, humanities, fine arts, social sciences, education, and engineering. The university also offers different employment benefits, such as free public transport and no tuition. Furthermore, housing in Kassel is affordable.

Please send your application with the usual informative documents, stating the reference number in the subject line, via the online form.

Include the Extra Application Form.

Funding Notes

The University of Kassel establishes the interdisciplinary Research Training Group (RTG) “Biological Clocks on Multiple Time Scales”, which is funded by the German Research foundation from April 2022 on. The positions according to the pay scale EG 13 TV-H modified according to the requirements of the different disciplines are limited to 36 months.
- Date of Hire: 01 Apr 2022


Stengl, M., & Schröder, K. (2021). Multiscale timing of pheromone transduction in hawkmoth olfactory receptor neurons. In G. J. Blomquist & R. Vogt (Eds.), Insect pheromone biochemistry and molecular biology (pp. 435–468). Academic Press. https://doi.org/10.1016/B978-0-12-819628-1.00014-6
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