Are you a postdoc passionate about applying an interdisciplinary approach to gain mechanistic understanding of diverse biological processes from development and regeneration to motility and behavior? Do you have a strong theoretical background in biophysics or computational biology but also the mindset and skills to work closely with experimental data and perform experiments yourself? Then this could be the right opportunity for you!
The WUR Animal Sciences Group (ASG) focuses on finding answers to major societal challenges, including those related to animal welfare, human and animal health, food security, climate change and biodiversity. ASG has launched the ambitious innovation program Next Level Animal Sciences aimed at developing innovative next-generation methodologies to address the next decade challenges in our domain. As part of this initiative, we are looking for an outstanding postdoc to join our interdisciplinary team focusing on the development of novel methods in advanced data analysis and mechanistic modelling.
You will work on two projects:
- Motor-control and locomotory patterns in C. elegans worms: How animals move and navigate their environment depends on the complex interactions between the nervous system processing information and the motor control system leading to body deformations. The C. elegans worm with its simple, well-defined body layout and the small number of neurons is an ideal model organism to study locomotion and motor-control.
- You will be involved in quantifying and modelling motion patterns, neuron activity and navigation strategies. This project is embedded within the theme of locomotion mechanics of the Experimental Zoology Group (EZO), headed by Prof. Johan L. van Leeuwen.
- Regeneration and pattern formation in Planarians: While humans only have very limited regenerative abilities, planarian worms are able to re-grow all body parts (including the nervous system) from even a tiny amputation fragment.
- You will be involved in setting up an integrative modelling framework, which will address fundamental questions of body plan patterning, size control and cell movement during regeneration. This project will be performed under joint supervision with Prof. Kirsten H.W.J. ten Tusscher (Utrecht University).