The Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity at the University of Münster, Germany, is seeking to fill the post of a

PhD Position
(salary level TV-L E13, 65%)
to study evolutionary capacitance in the red flour beetle

This fixed-term post will start on 1 February 2018 (or soon thereafter) and is available for 36 months. Currently, the regular working time for full employment is 39 hours and 50 minutes per week. The position is part of the recently funded Collaborative Research Centre (SFB/TRR 212) entitled: A Novel Synthesis of Individualisation across Behaviour, Ecology and Evolution: Niche Choice, Niche Conformance, Niche Construction (NC3), as granted by the German Research Foundation (DFG).

This project involves studying the role of evolutionary capacitance in the red flour beetle Tribolium castaneum. Within this project, the successful candidate will experimentally study how cryptic genetic variation is stored and released in the red flour beetle, and how this process of evolutionary capacitance may speed up evolutionary adaptation. In particular, the project will focus how the process of evolutionary capacitance is affected by heat shock protein 90 (Hsp90) and the immunological experience of group members. Long-term evolutionary consequences will be studied with experimental evolution, and the genomic consequences will be analysed.

Applicants should be highly motivated students of any nationality, and they should have the equivalent of a master’s degree in in evolution, behaviour, ecology or related fields. A background in any of the following areas will be useful: previous experience with practical insect work, good molecular skills, and (of particular relevance) previous experience with immunology or bioinformatics and a good understanding of statistics. Applicants should have excellent communication skills and be able to work both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team. The working language of the Institute and the lab is English, and good proficiency in spoken and written English is a requirement.

The University of Münster is a large vibrant university hosting a number of excellent scientific institutions ( The Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity provides a stimulating research environment with a number of scientific groups researching diverse topics centred on different aspects of evolution. Additionally, students can benefit from the structured PhD program offered by the Münster Graduate School of Evolution ( As a part of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB/TRR 212, the project will involve intensive collaboration with consortium partners at the Universities of Münster and Bielefeld. The town of Münster itself has many students and presents a dynamic environment with many cultural and social events throughout the year (

The University  of Münster is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to increasing the proportion of women academics. Consequently, we actively encourage applications by women. Female candidates with equivalent qualifications and academic achievements will be preferentially considered within the framework of the legal possibilities. We also welcome applications from candidates with severe disabilities. Disabled candidates with equivalent qualifications will be preferentially considered.

Applications should be written in English. Please send your application in one single PDF file by 14 January 2018 to Prof Dr Joachim Kurtz ( Applications should include 1) a cover letter with a statement of research interests and motivation (max. 1 page), 2) CV including details about research experience (please include the abstract of your master’s thesis) and 3) contact details of at least two referees.