7 PhD positions open within the framework of our Research Unit

We invite applications for 7 PhD positions within the framework of the new Research Unit
‘Sociality and the reversal of thefecundity/longevity trade-off’ (FOR 2281)funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG)
Why do organisms age? The genetic underpinnings of ageing seem to be highly conserved from nematode worms to humans. Across animals, ageing is characterized by a trade-off between fecundity and longevity, with an increase in fecundity commonly associated with accelerated senescence and a drop in lifespan. A major exception to this pattern is found within the social insects. Some social insect queens are record holders with respect to longevity whereas their sterile workers are short-lived. The aim of the Research Unit (www.so-long.org) is to explore, in a highly integrative and interdisciplinary fashion, the ultimate and proximate reasons for the apparent reversal in the fecundity/longevity trade-off associated with sociality by using all major clades of social insects, with Drosophila melanogaster as model non-social organism. Projects will apply a broad range of approaches from experimental manipulation, field-based studies and molecular genetic studies (e.g. qt RT PCR, NGS) to theoretical evolutionary modelling and bioinformatic analyses. Beyond the project work, PhD candidates will attend and learn in workshops, can organize summer schools, have the opportunity to participate in lab rotations and to attend international conferences.

PhD positions will be available on the following topics:

All applicants should have a strong background in evolutionary biology and, depending on the project, also skills in bioinformatics (e.g. scripting) or field work. For further details of specific projects, email the relevant contact person listed above. Within your application, please state your preferred project, in ranked order from 1 (most preferred) to 3. The research consortium will jointly select candidates for the positions. Skype/phone interviews are scheduled for the last week of July and 1st week of August.
Start of Position is anticipated to be 1. Oct 2018 with a kick-off meeting from the 3.- 5. Sept 2018.

Interested candidates should send their applications (incl. CV, a letter of motivation, and contact details of two academic references) as single file pdf by 8. July 2018 to:

For further information please contact:
Prof. Dr. Judith Korb
Zoology : Evolutionary Biology & Ecology
University of Freiburg
Hauptstrasse 1
D-79104 Freiburg

Deadline for applications: July 8, 2018!

Symposium "Social evolution and life history consequences"
IUSSI - Meeting of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects 2018, Guaruja, Brazil
organizers: A. Bernadou, B. Kramer, K. Meusemann

Symposium "Major transitions in evolution"
ESEB- European Society of Evolutionary Biology 2017, Groningen
organizers: B. Kramer, K. Meusemann, A. Bernadou

Symposium "Ageing and fecundity in social insects"
EU IUSSI- European Meeting of the International Union for the Study of Social Insects 2016, Helsinki, Finland
organizers: A. Schrempf, A. Bernadou, J. Korb


Summer School: Life History Modeling Workshop
Summer-school & DZG Graduate-Meeting: Life History Evolution
March 19th-21th 2018, Freiburg, Germany

Summer School: Epigenetics
June 12th – 14th 2017, Münster Germany

Orthology Workshop
Orthology Workshop, April 26th – 28th 2017, Münster, Germany

UNIX, RNAseq, transcriptomes and DEG Workshop
October 09th – 15th 2016, Freiburg, Germany

Introduction into LINUX & Phyton Workshop
January 31st – February 05th 2016, Münster, Germany

Life History Modeling Workshop
January 26th – 29th 2016, Groningen, NL


So-Long FOR2281 Retreat Meeting

with Students, Postdocs, PIs, and Coordinators
25-27 August 2017, The Student Hotel Groningen,
Groningen, Netherlands
subsequently to the ESEB 2017

So-Long FOR2281 Meeting

with Postdocs, PIs, and Coordinators
20 July 2017, Institute for Biology I (Zoology),
University of Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

So-Long FOR2281 Retreat Meeting

with Students, Postdocs, PIs, and Coordinators
28-20 April 2017, DRK Landsschule, Bad Pyrmont, Germany

So-Long FOR2281: Satellite Meeting

with Students, Postdocs, PIs, and Coordinators
12 August 2016, University of Helsinki,
Helsinki, Finland
subsequently to the Euro IUSSI 2016

So-Long FOR2281: Kick-Off Meeting

with Students, Postdocs, PIs, and Coordinators
04-06 October, Haus Zauberberg, Pfronten (Allgäu), Germany

Thanks to Florentine Schaub, So-Long Coordinator, for perfectly organizing all meetings!