Open positions


Several positions are available in the Silies lab. We are interested to understand how neural computations are implemented within the circuits of the Drosophila visual system. Ongoing work in the lab investigates how visual behaviors are stable in dynamically changing, natural environments.


A PhD position (min. three years) is available within the newly established research unit RobustCircuits” ( Within RobustCircuit we will explore the core hypothesis that imprecisions of distinct processes at lower scales (from molecules to cells) enable robustness of circuit assembly and function at higher scales (from cells to behavior). Specifically, we want to investigate how imprecision in synaptic partner choice influences physiological neuronal properties, and how this ultimately shapes behavioral responses to visual stimuli.
The prospective PhD student will combine molecular tools, neurogenetics, connectome analysis, and in vivo calcium imaging to identify the neuronal substrates underlying this robustness.


PhD position (min. three years) is available to investigate the developmental and evolution of motion processing. Work from our lab has recently shown that Drosophila melanogaster employs a population code for global motion detection (Henning et al. 2022). Six subtypes of local direction-selective cells encode different types of motion patterns generated by self-motion. The PhD student will apply in vivo imaging techniques, behavioral measurements, single-cell RNAseq analysis, and genetic manipulations to understand the development of these subtypes and investigate how they relate to the animal’s behavioral repertoire.


A postdoc position (min. three years) is funded by the collaborative research “Neural Homeostasis” ( Using in vivo physiology, genetics, transcriptomics, and behavioral analysis, we want to investigate the algorithms and circuit mechanisms by which fly visual behaviors and neuronal responses are robust to quick changes in luminance, and other scene statistics. We further want to explore the role of active behavior within this context. The successful candidate is further encouraged to develop his own research profile within his/her postdoctoral career.


Our lab is housed in the brand new JGU Biocentre, with a vibrant neuroscience community ( We offer state of the art research facilities in a collegial and international environment. Applicants should have a strong interest in physiology, behavior, quantitiative data analysis, or molecular biology, and hold a degree in neuroscience, biology, physics, or related disciplines. Please provide information why you are interested in joining our group, a CV and contact details for two referees to