Postdoc: Slime mold social evolution

Research / Academic

Key responsibilities

The Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) is one of the institutes of the Faculty of Science. IBL is an internationally oriented institute for research and education in biology. The Postdoc position is a collaborative project funded by the Human Frontiers Science Program (HFSP) together with Profs Karen Alim (UT Munich) and Marcus Roper (UCLA) to study nuclear cooperation and conflict in the syncytial slime mold Physarum polycephalum.

The scientific aim of the interdisciplinary project is to determine how cooperative and competitive dynamics between nuclei within the syncytia of Physarum polycephalum interact to produce emergent organism-scale behaviors.

The candidate will generate chimeric syncytia, quantify the fitness and spatial distribution of distinct nuclear populations within plasmodia growing on different selective gradients, and examine feedbacks between nuclear dynamics and plasmodial behavior. Experimental work in Leiden will be closely integrated with our project partners who will image (Karen Alim) and model (Marcus Roper) nuclear activity and translocation across plasmodial tubes.


Selection Criteria

·         A PhD in evolutionary biology or microbiology;

·         Experience with microbial evolution, statistics, fluorescence microscopy, and bioinformatics is an advantage.

·         Ability to work independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team;

·         Excellent written and oral proficiency in English

Salary Benefits:

Terms and conditions

We offer a full-time, 3 year post beginning Nov 1st, 2021. Salary range from € 2.836 to € 4.474 gross per month (pay scale 10 in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses(8.3 %), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. For more information, see the website. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.