PhD and postdoc positions: Social Immunity in Ants, IST Austria, Austria

deadline for application for the IST Austria Graduate School PhD positions is January 8th, 2018

I am hiring PhD students and postdocs for a recently funded ERC Consolidator Grant project EPIDEMICSonCHIP. Aim of this project is to understand how social insects, particularly ants, collectively defend their colonies from disease and prevent epidemics in their societies; we will seek new approaches to determine how individual behaviours interact and lead to the emergent property of colony-level defences.

To this end, we will build an automatised ant nest, the AntChip, to track and manipulate ant interactions in the presence of pathogens, elucidating how both the pathogens and information about the health state of colony members is transmitted through the colony.

 If you are interested to join our Social Immunity team at IST Austria, it would be beneficial to have previous experience and a strong interest in either:

- behavioural observations and social interaction network analyses

- analysis of chemical interactions in ants (GC-MS)

- molecular tools (e.g. quantitative PCR)

- interest in engineering and experience in image analysis software (for
example Python, Matlab etc)

Note that the engineering of the AntChip will be performed in collaboration with Ofer Feinerman with extended stay in his group at the Weizmann Institute of Science.

Please send an email of interest (as a single pdf file including a letter of motivation, a short summary of research interests, a CV, certificates, and contacts of two potential referees) via e-mail to  

For PhD positions, it is additionally required to apply to the IST Graduate School, with application deadline: January 8th, 2018