Connecting European Neuroscience

Ph.D. Student in Zurich/Switzerland

06 March 2018

Ph.D. Student in Zurich/Switzerland

Job ID


Tracing ecology and phylogeny in the structure of the hippocampus

Project description
Selective pressures adapt the brain to changing information processing requirements. At the same time, the organization of the brain also reflects its phylogenetic history. The project aims at distinguishing between changes in the quantitative morphology of the mammalian hippocampus that relate to phylogenetic history and those that relate to selective pressures originating from the ecological niche of a species. For this, data from species critical to the analysis will be assessed and analyzed together with already existing datasets using phylogenetic/ecological statistical tools. The project also aims at extending the types of anatomical information that can be obtained from species that are rarely seen in a laboratory context. To this end state-of-the-art imaging techniques will be applied, validated against standard techniques and evaluated in a phylogenetic and ecological context. For background information, see 10.1101/cshperspect.a021295, 10.3389/fnana.2016.00022 or 10.1002/hipo.22548. This PhD position is under the guidance of Prof. Wolfer, ETH D-HEST, direct supervision by Dr. Irmgard Amrein and Dr. Lutz Slomianka. The PhD project is embedded into the Life Science Zurich Graduate School, track Neuroscience (

• Master’s degree in life science or equivalent
• Genuine interest in the interplay of the brain, phylogeny and ecology
• Fluency in English (oral and written)
• Preferably, experience in histological and immunohistochemical techniques
• Experience in statistical analysis using R or computational neuroscience

Starting date: 1th of May 2018 or later

Contact Address
Highly motivated students are invited to send their application to Dr. Amrein ( including a letter of motivation, CV and addresses of two referees.

Job Information

Closing date:
Employment start date:
Contract length:
4 years
ETH Zurich

Contact Information

Irmgard Amrein
University Zurich
Institute of Anatomy
Winterthurerstrasse 190
CH-8057 Zurich
+41 44 635 53 42

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