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Doctoral Position in Neuroethology

  1. Describe 1-2 specific biological questions or hypotheses you would like to test within the described project. You should assume that you will have access to existing data (see below for a description of the available data) as well as the opportunity to collect new data. Explain what data you would collect (and/or use) and the analytical approach(es) you would employ to address your questions. (1 page, excluding any references)


Data description

Over the past year, we have recorded free-flight data of elephant hawkmoths in a 10 x 10 x 5m arena, in which we can reconstruct the position and body orientation of the insects at high spatial and temporal resolution (1 mm and 150 fps). We tested the moths in light conditions ranging from starlight to twilight, which were generated with an array of LED panels covering the entire ceiling of the arena, to simulate the sky. We also included localized artificial light sources with these background light conditions.

We have also measured the spatiotemporal tuning of motion neurons of various hawkmoth species, which are key to flight control in insects. These neurons were measured in a range of light conditions as well, all after adapting the animals carefully to the respected intensity (Stöckl et al. (2016) Curr Biol. 26, 821-826 & Stöckl et al. (2017) Proc R Soc B.284, 20170880).

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