The evolutionary arm’s race of Psylliodes leaf beetles and their host plants

Supervisors: Dr. Franziska Beran, Research Group Sequestration and Detoxification in Insects, MPI-CE; Prof. David G. Heckel, and Dr. Heiko Vogel, Department of Entomology, MPI-CE

The goal of the project is to trace host plant shifts in the leaf beetle genus Psylliodes using phylogenetic methods and RNA sequencing. Most Psylliodes species are specialized to feed on plants of the crucifer family which are chemically defended with the so-called “mustard-oil bomb”. Other beetle species in this genus feed for example on nightshade plants containing toxic alkaloids as defense. We want to understand the evolutionary relationships of these insects and further study the molecular adaptations of selected Psylliodes species to host plant chemicals.

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student who should have experience in one or more of the following fields: phylogenetics, molecular biology, and insect ecology.

!!Application deadline is September 11, 2015!!

Contact detail

How to apply:
Please apply online at
Send application to
The International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS)
Max-Planck-Institute for Chemical Ecology
Beutenberg Campus Hans-Knoell-Str. 8
D - 07745 Jena
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Job profile

Working hours
Contract duration
Type of job
PhD Project
Work experience
job experience is not required
Germany (Thüringen)
Working place
07745 Jena
Area of expertise
Biology & Life Sciences, Chemistry

About International Max Planck Research School

In a joint initiative, the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology, the Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research are offering an international PhD program. This International Max Planck Research School (IMPRS) gives PhD students the possibility to prepare...

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