General particulars for POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH ASSOCIATES ("Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter")

4 Postdoctoral / PhD Positions in Protein Evolution @

Subjects range from:

Data Analysis, Theory and Biophysics to Population Genomics in social Insect.

Interdisciplinary Background is required comprising, for example:
Applied Maths, Biophysics, Biochemistry, Evolutionary Molecular Ecology

The, located at the University of Münster in the Northwest of Germany, is looking for postdocs who are highly motivated to study Protein Evolution with the goal to unravel the basic principles of how complex forms of life came about and keep evolving since the dawn of days. Our lab has been very successful over the last years in unraveling many of the secrets proteins hold, including mechanisms of their modular evolution, the question how much de novo proteins resemble random proteins and the question how structure prediction of de novo proteins relates to evolutionary old proteins. Furthermore, we study the biophysical basis of how viable proteins (clusters/families) are scattered in sequence space and how de novo proteins assume biologically important roles during human evolution.

Furthermore, using social insects as a model system, we also study the interplay of adaptive and purifying selection with the rewiring of cellular network in the evolution of biological complexity in ants, termites, beetles, mole rats. We have now several openings which can be filled in late 2023 or early 2024:

  • 1 Postdoc to study how de novo proteins assume a biological role by evolving protein-interaction motifs and how, in turn the cell adapts interaction motifs handle these "New kids on the block". This project is HFSP funded and a collaboration with Anne- Ruxandra Carvunis (Pittsburgh) and Christine Brun (Marseilles) and requires enthusiasm to visit the partner labs, excellent communications skills and prior knowledge/experience of/with: script programming (e.g. python), data analyses and/or lab skills in molecular biology. Tenure will likely be 2+2 years, depending on experience of applicants.
    Related publication:

  • 1 Postdoc to study how de novo proteins and random proteins are structured and how they are, in relation to conserved and well structured proteins, distributed in sequence space. This project is going to be a collaboration with Agnes Toth-Petrocy (Dresden) and Klara Hlouchova (Prague) and is entirely computational. Tenure will likely be 3 years initially.
    Related publication:

  • 1 Postdoc to study the role and mechanisms of protein evolution in the course of evolution of social complexity (DFG funded). The candidate will investigate the genomic basis of convergent slave-maker evolution in ants, a system which has already dazzled Darwin and where one species exploits the social system of their host species. Both diverged from a recent common ancestor. The three independent origins of slave-making in the nine investigated closely related species (of which we avail high-quality genomes) allows investigating specific predictions with regards to these fascinating evolutionary phenotypic changes and associating these to genomic changes. The PostDoc position will be based in Münster (Bornberg group) or Frankfurt (Feldmeyer group) and closely linked to another project (Foitzik group in Mainz and Heinze group in Regensburg) which aims at functionally testing some of the candidate genes which have already been identified or will be identified in this project. Tenure will be for 3 years.
    Related publication:

  • 1 Postdoc/PhD student on how protein complexes such as complex ion-channels with a multi-domain architecture evolve in the context of male fertility in humans and how the formation of these complexes has happened and may have related to reproduction barriers in the course of speciation.
    Related publication:

    Interested candidates please visit our homepage and submit , a short (2page) as instructed there to:

    Essential qualifications are:

    • PhD in natural sciences and research experience in a biological area OR
    • PhD in computer science, mathematics, statistics, physics or bioinformatics with experience and/or desire to excel in a biological area
    • Basic skills in statistics and/or programming
    • Very good organisation skills and motivation and proven ability to carry out research independently in an international and interdisciplinary team.
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, oral and written fluency in English

    Candidates are encouraged to develop their own research agenda by supervising students and applying for their own funds but this is not a must.