Research - Laboratory/Non-Laboratory, Staff/Administrative
Summary of Position: The Wardill Lab is looking for a Research Associate to investigate the neuromuscular control of octopus arms for an 18-month position. If the grant is productive in research outputs, a 2-year renewal would be sought from the funders.
The goal for this post is to understand octopus sensory inputs & neuromuscular control systems that coordinate arm movements. The candidate will have the opportunity to pioneer techniques to implant neurologging devices within octopuses to see how control systems operate during behavior. Neuroanatomical experiments are also planned. For this, you will have access to cutting edge multi-electrode recording and stimulation equipment, 2-photon microscopy and a variety of octopus species housed either at University of Minnesota or at the Marine Biological Lab. The project is a team effort with the laboratories of Melina Hale (U. Chicago) and Roger Hanlon (Marine Biological Lab). We will also have support from the cephalopod rearing initiative at the MBL, where many species of octopus are currently being reared over multiple generations. Thus, you will work as part of a team, and with collaborators. The three teams will coordinate efforts to conduct neuroanatomy, physiology and behavior experiments.
The ideal candidate can perform multi-electrode electrophysiology experiments and has experience in undertaking behavioral experiments and/or neuroanatomy investigations. Such a candidate will have interests and possibly experience with systems that log electrophysiology data to SD-card, such as the Neurologger 3 technology. This project is being built on our experience with cephalopod anesthesia, skin / papillae electrophysiology, and neuroanatomy. We are currently using high speed videography, DeepLabCut automated feature detection and 3D tracking to analyze behavioral routines.
Essential and Other Functions: 60% Perform electrophysiology, behavior and neuroantomy studies regarding the control of arm movements in octopus
Tasks may include: • Undertake electrophysiology recordings from octopus ganglia and nerve cords while stimulating with sensory or electrical stimuli. • Write Matlab scripts for data acquisition, equipment control and data analysis. • Undertake behavioral testing to determine which cues alter the behavior of octopus arm movements. • Use immuno labelling and 2-photon imaging to investigate neural tract connectivity, muscle arrangement and presence of smooth catch muscles. • Perform pharmacological and electrical stimulation testing to determine if octopus arms contain catch muscles.
25% Write and Publish articles Contribute to the writing, submission and revision of papers while collaborating with others as appropriate for these tasks.
15% Demonstrate, advise, and communicate research Demonstrate and advise academic staff, postdoctoral workers and research students on the use and application of specialist research equipment, instruments and techniques. Build internal and external contacts and participate in networks for the exchange of information and to form relationships for future collaboration.
Essential Qualifications: Applicants must have a PhD, and one experience in projects that involve electrophysiology or behavior experiments.
Preferred Qualifications: Ideally, a background in neuroethology, neuroscience or biological engineering, an experience with multi-electrode recording experiments in behaving or anaesthetized animals and analyze such data to explain patterns of motor control. Familiar with animal dissection, histology and animal behavior and animal tracking methods. Teaching experience in neurobiology, behavior, anatomy, supervising undergraduate and PhD students.
Internal Number: 331687
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