[Comp-neuro] Job offer

Silvia Gruhn sgruhn at uni-koeln.de
Thu Nov 27 16:44:27 CET 2014

Dear Madam/Sir,

could you please post the following Job offer for us?

"The Heisenberg Research Group of Computational Biology at the  
University of Cologne in Cologne, Germany announces a Research  
Position (100%, EG TV-L 13) in computational neuroscience for the  
duration of up to three years. The position is available in the  
externally funded project "Central pattern generators and reflexive  
feedback in insect locomotion: a cross-species study".

Animal locomotion begins in the central nervous system and results in  
quantifiable mechanical activity; it therefore provides an excellent  
entry point into the neural computations that create intentional  
behaviors that respond to environmental conditions. Locomotion  
originates in central pattern generators: neural networks in the  
spinal cord of vertebrates and thoracic ganglia of insects which  
produce rhythmic movements. Some preparations (e.g. lamprey, crayfish)  
can generate stable, near-periodic rhythms in isolation, others  
require sensory feedback either to produce functional gaits or for the  
stabilization of the rhythms.

Cockroaches and stick insects exemplify these two extremes. They share  
the same basic neural and biomechanical architecture, but the former  
run rapidly over rough ground, while the latter are adapted for slow  
walking on twigs and leaves with varying orientations with regard to  
gravity. Using existing information and collecting new data, this  
project will compare these species and address questions as described  
in the work plan. The development of integrated mathematical and  
computational models is central to answering such questions. New data  
will improve existing models, and new models will be created to span  
the morphological and behavioral ranges from stick insects to  
cockroaches, allowing us to illuminate their adaptive strategies to  
different environments. The objective of our research project is to  
deepen our understanding of the generation and control of locomotion.

This collaborative project is performed jointly by the groups of Drs.  
Silvia Gruhn (Dept. of Animal Physiology, University of Cologne,  
Cologne, Germany) and Phil Holmes (Dept. of Mathematics, Princeton  
University, Princeton, NJ, USA).

Applicants must have a Master's degree or a Diploma in Applied  
Mathematics, Physics, or a related discipline and have excellent C++  
programming skills. Previous experience in computational neuronal  
modeling is an advantage.

The possibility to be enrolled into a PhD program will be provided if desired.

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr. Silvia Gruhn  
(sgruhn at uni-koeln.de) by email. To apply, please send an email along  
with (1) curriculum vitae; (2) a cover letter describing previous  
research experience and interests; (3) the names and contact  
information of two referees."

Thank you very much!
With kind regards,
Silvia Gruhn

PD Dr. Silvia Gruhn
DFG-Heisenberg Programm - Leiterin der Arbeitsgruppe 'Computational Biology'
Zoologisches Institut, Abt. Tierphysiologie
Universität zu Köln
Biowissenschaftliches Zentrum, Zi. 1.104
Zülpicher-Straße 47b
50674 Köln
Tel. 0221-4703829
Fax. 0221-4704889

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