Job ID: 119360

PhD: Zebrafish Social Circuits / Neurogenetics

Position: Ph.D. Student

Deadline: 1 July 2024

City: Lausanne

Country: Switzerland

Institution: University of Lausanne



Are you interested in the neuronal control of animal behavior? What are the circuits, cell types, or even molecules determining how animals interact with the environment and each other? You should apply!

In the Larsch group, we study circuit mechanisms and genetic factors controlling how zebrafish detect and integrate sensory cues to guide social behavior. We have previously identified visual circuits that are tuned to conspecific motion and required for social attraction. Our current work traces this signal deeper into the brain and investigates zebrafish with extreme social behavior that emerged from mutant screening and experimental evolution.

Start date: immediately, or to be agreed.

Your responsibilities

In one potential project, you can work towards defining circuit mechanisms and/or genetic factors controlling shoaling in wild type zebrafish, and in lines with divergent social behavior. The lab offers access to cutting edge techniques and expertise for neuronal activity mapping (2-photon microscopy, whole-brain in-situ hybridization in cleared tissue, chemogenetics and optogenetics), behavioral analysis in virtual reality systems, and quantitative genetics (WGS, QTL mapping).

The lab studies social circuits from complementary angles, including behavior, physiology and genetics. Together, we will formulate a unique research program matching your interests with the lab’s focus.

Your qualifications

  • Completed Ms./ equivalent or about to graduate.
  • Curiosity for fundamental research and a desire to tackle challenging, interdisciplinary questions.
  • Expertise in neurophysiology, transcriptomics, genetic mapping, and/or quantitative analysis of behavior are a plus.
  • Programming, and quantitative skills to analyze large datasets (behavior, neural activity, genomic) are a plus.
  • Excellent command of oral and written English.

What the position offers you

We offer a supportive, inclusive, and collaborative environment dedicated to scientific rigor and personal development. The Center for Integrative Genomics is a highly interdisciplinary institute and in direct vicinity to our colleagues, including from the department of Ecology and Evolution, Computational Biology, Fundamental Neuroscience, and the EPFL. The lab is located on the beautiful Dorigny campus of the University of Lausanne, within walking distance to Lake Geneva, lively cafeterias, and sports facilities. Our working language is English and UNIL offers French language courses on all levels free of charge to enable immersion into the multicultural life of Lausanne for newcomers.

Your Application

The complete application should contain:

  • Motivation letter explaining how your interests and skills would lead to an interesting research question in the lab. (This is the most important part).
  • Detailed CV, including contact information for at least two referees who can attest to your work.
  • Informal inquiries are strongly encouraged: