4 year doctoral position on host-microbiota-pathogen interactions : Germany

A 4-year doctoral position (TVL-13, 65%) is available at the Institute of Biology (Prof. Dino McMahon) of the Freie Universität Berlin. The position is part of a collaborative research unit funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) to investigate the tripartite relationships between insect hosts, the microbiota and bacterial infection.

This project will employ the cockroach model, Blattella germanica, to examine the role of host-microbiota interactions as drivers of virulence adaptation in an infectious opportunistic bacterium. Project objectives are to 1) understand how the diversity and duration of the association between the host and the microbiota shapes quantitative resistance to infection; 2) examine how microbiota-induced immune resistance is tied to host fitness and trade-offs between life-history traits; and 3) test the impact of host-microbial interactions on pathogen virulence evolution.

Qualifications for an application are a Bachelor and Master’s degree (or soon to be competed) in natural sciences. Practical experience and an interest in microbiology, insects and host-parasite interactions are highly desirable, as well a very good command of English and an interest in independent scientific work.

For informal enquiries about the position, please get in touch with Dino McMahon (

Deadline for applications: 18th May 2020

Application documents (CV, 1-page research statement), including contact details of 2 or 3 referees, should preferably be sent by PDF to the above contact, or by post to:

Prof. Dr. Dino McMahon
Unter den Eichen 87
12205 Berlin
Telefon: +49 30 8104-3837
Fax: +49 30 8104-1417

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