PhD Project on Interaction of Rhodopsin and Cryptochrome as the Basis for Opto-Magnetic sensing in Birds
Magnetosensing is mandatory for seasonal long distant flights of birds and butterflies from north to south
and back and to find the home places of previous years. During the past 40 years strong evidence has
been collected that for magnetic orientation blue light sensitive Cryptochromes within the retina of the
eyes are responsible.
However, since birds are able to navigate at very low light intensities during the night an interaction of the
abundant rhodopsins with the only scarcely expressed Cryptochromes has been suggested.
In the open project unusual rhodopsins of birds and butterflies and their interaction with Cryptochromes
will be studied and characterized in detail in order to understand animal magnetic sensing. Behavioral
studies will be carried out in collaboration with behavioral zoologists.
Magnetosensing, Photobiology, unusual rhodopsins, flavin-based photoreceptors, UV-Vis and infrared
spectroscopy, EPR, ultra-fast spectroscopy.
The applicant needs a MSc. degree (or equivalent) in biochemistry, biophysics, biology or related fields.
Basic skills in molecular biology are mandatory. The applicant should be prepared to work in a highly
interdisciplinary team with strong international collaborations.
Humboldt Universität zu Berlin, Institute of Biology, Experimental Biophysics, Invalidenstraße 42, D-10115
Between August and December 2023
Four years of funding (3+1, three years with the possibility to extend for one year)