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Postdoctoral Research Assistant - QMUL18314

Department: School of Biological & Chemical Sciences
Salary: £33,615 - 37,411 (Grade 4)
Reference: QMUL18314
Location: Mile End
Date posted: 29-Mar-2019
Closing date: 29-Apr-2019

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Overview:

The Department of Biological and Experimental Psychology at Queen Mary University of London is seeking to recruit a (Postdoctoral) Research Assistant to support a Leverhulme Trust (https://www.leverhulme.ac.uk/) funded project to investigate the genetics of numeracy and the evolutionary basis of number.

We are inviting applications for an opportunity to work on a project at the interface between cognitive neuroscience and human genetics using zebrafish as a model organism.

It has long been recognized that non-human animals can discriminate collections of objects on the basis their numerousness. This ability is thought to be based on the existence of an evolutionarily conserved system for approximating numerical magnitude.  However, there is currently no evidence that the same neural mechanisms underlie representation of numerousness among vertebrates nor that the same genes are involved. Here we use behavioural and genetic analysis of wildtype and mutant zebrafish, coupled with analysis of human genome data, to test the hypotheses that the ability to represent numerousness is genetically controlled and has an evolutionarily conserved neural basis.

As shoaling animals, zebrafish use numerosity to guide behaviour and decisions. Using larval shoaling assays and automated operant conditioning in adult zebrafish we assess zebrafish ability to perform numerical tasks and identify genetic variants influencing performance.  Our general hypothesis predicts that genes found to influence human performance of exact numerical tasks will influence zebrafish performance of approximate tasks and vice versa.

We are looking for highly motivated and experienced post-doctoral candidates with previous experience in methodologies in molecular genetics and behavioural tasks and a strong interest in neurodevelopmental traits.  Analytical and computational skills are desirable. 

The project is a collaboration between human geneticists (Silvia Paracchini, Brian Butterworth) and fish behavioural scientists (Caroline Brennan, Giorgio Vallortigara).  The successful applicant will work closely with, and under the supervision, of Dr Caroline Brennan (PI).  He/she will be working in close association with other scientists involved in the project both in the UK and Italy

Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.

The position is full time and fixed term for 1 year period. The start date is 1st June or as soon as possible thereafter. The salary is £33,615 - 37,411 per annum and is dependent on qualifications, skills and experience. Benefits include 30 days annual leave and pension scheme. 

For further information about the School/Department, please see http://www.sbcs.qmul.ac.uk

For informal enquiries, please contact: Caroline Brennan, via c.h.brennan@qmul.ac.uk

Application enquiries should be directed to recruitment@qmul.ac.uk

To apply, please click on the link below.

The closing date for applications is 29 April 2019. Interviews will be held as soon as possible thereafter.

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