Post-doctoral position in comparative neurobiology and behaviour in drosophilids , CIG, UNIL (CH)

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UNIL is a leading international teaching and research institution, with over 5,000 employees and 15,500 students split between its Dorigny campus, CHUV and Epalinges. As an employer, UNIL encourages excellence, individual recognition and responsibility.


Prof. Richard Benton ( at the Center for Integrative Genomics at UNIL is seeking a post-doctoral researcher with a strong background and interes in neurobiology, animal behaviour and evolution.

Job information

Expected start date in position : 01.05.2021 / to be agreed
Contract length : 1 year, renewable, max. 4 years
Activity rate : 100%
Workplace :University of Lausanne, Dorigny

Your responsibilities

How animals’ extraordinarily diverse behaviours have evolved is unknown. Relating interspecific behavioural differences to anatomical or physiological distinctions in neural circuits, and causal genetic variation, offers a powerful approach to inform how nervous systems develop, function and change.

We have established a new model neurogenetic system, Drosophila sechellia, an island endemic that is closely related to the powerful laboratory model D. melanogaster. While D. sechellia retains global genomic and superficial morphological similarity to its cosmopolitan, generalist cousin, this species has adapted to a unique ecological niche, using Morinda fruit as a sole host for feeding and breeding. This species therefore offers an exceptional experimental system for comparative neuroscience.

The successful candidate will develop her/his project exploring the molecular, neuroanatomical and physiological basis of divergent behaviours in these (and potentially other) drosophilid species, depending upon their particular interests and expertise.

Relevant references:
Auer et al., Nature (2020) 579: 402-408
Prieto-Godino et al., Neuron (2017) 93: 661-676
Prieto-Godino et al., Nature (2016) 539: 93-97

Although most of your time will be dedicated to your research project, you will also be involved in teaching activities (e.g., practical class preparation, literature reading classes, Master project supervision).

Your qualifications

  • A PhD degree in neurobiology, behaviour genetics, evolutionary biology or similar
  • Strong interests in insect biology, genetics, evolution and neurobiology
  • Excellent scientific writing, communication and interpersonal skills

What the position offers you

You will be supervised by Prof. Richard Benton, in a diverse, dynamic and international research laboratory. The working language is English.

The Center for Integrative Genomics encompasses 15 research labs investigating diverse fields related to functional genomics and offers state-of-the-art experimental facilities. Beyond the training in the host laboratory, numerous possibilities exist at UNIL for further professional education (e.g., in bioinformatics, imaging, soft-skills) and career development.

Contact for further information

Informal requests for information can be made by email to:

Your application

To apply you must upload as a single pdf document:

  • a CV, including the names of 2-3 referees
  • a motivation letter in English describing (i) your past research experience and (ii) your scientific interests and how they are a good match for the host laboratory

Deadline : 31.03.2021

Only applications through the University of Lausanne job portal will be taken into account (this website).