Transgenerational Inheritance in the Nematode Model Pristionchus pacificus

Advisor: Ralf Sommer

PhD Program: Tübingen International PhD Program in the Biological Sciences
Location: Max Planck Institute for Biology, Department of Integrative Evolutionary Biology

Research project:

The Department of Integrative Evolutionary Biology has an active research program studying the predatory model nematode Pristionchus pacificus with state-of-the-art facilities in molecular biology, biochemistry, nematode genetics, CRISPR-engineering, genomics, and bioinformatics. Our highly interdisciplinary research team works at the interphase between development, evolution and ecology. We investigate among others, the development and evolution of mouth-form plasticity with two alternative, predatory or bacterial feeding morphs. We have recently discovered long-lasting transgenerational inheritance and epigenetics of diet-induced plasticity. A genetic screen for transgenerational inheritance-defective mutants identified a set of epigenetic factors and allows unprecedented studies of the associated molecular and biochemical mechanisms.
We are now looking for a PhD student (m/f/d) to join the department and study transgenerational inheritance in P. pacificus.
Selected reading:

Our requirements:

  • hold, or expect to hold, a Masters (or Diplom) degree in a relevant subject. All prior degree work must be finished before the PhD start date.
  • have experience in molecular biology, biochemistry and computational analyses.
  • be able to show that your interests, skills and knowledge match well with your proposed area of doctoral research. 
  • be able to demonstrate a high level of written and spoken English.
  • have strong motivation to work in international teams

We offer:

  • excellent facilities
  • A fully funded research position (payment level according to E13 65% TVöD Bund). The salary includes all mandatory social insurance contributions for healthcare, unemployment, and retirement benefits
  •  tailored support from your advisor and a thesis advisory committee
  • core and optional development opportunities to improve your scientific and transferable skills
  • multicultural environment with English as the working language

Successful candidates will join the Tübingen International PhD Program in the Biological Sciences (TIPP)


To apply, please register and complete our online application form.

For further information about the research project, please contact Ralf J. Sommer

Application deadline: 31 May 2022


The Max Planck Society is committed to employing more disabled individuals and especially encourages them to apply. Overall, the Max Planck Society strives to increase diversity in all scientific fields. We particularly welcome applications from persons with backgrounds that have so far been underrepresented in science and research with regard to gender, age, professional and cultural background, family situation, sexual orientation, and nationality.

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