Research Assistant in Biophysics and Biomechanics of Acoustic Communication in Insects

University of Lincoln

United Kingdom

May 24, 2022


Research Assistant in Biophysics and Biomechanics of Acoustic Communication

in Insects

Department of Life Sciences

Location: Lincoln Salary: From £28,756 per annum Please note this post is fixed term until 31st July 2023 and full time at 1.0 FTE Closing Date: Tuesday 24 May 2022 Interview Date: Friday 10 June 2022 Reference: COS828A

We are seeking a Research Assistant to join the interdisciplinary Sensory Biology Lab, in the School of Life & Environmental Sciences. The position forms part of a larger international project entitled ‘MULTIDISCIPLINARY APPROACH TO BIOACOUSTICS: Integrating phylogenomics, biophysics, and functional genomics to unravel the evolution of hearing and singing' supported by an NSF-NERC grant awarded to the Professor of Sensory Biology, Fernando Montealegre-Z. This project aims to study the evolution of acoustic communication using the Ensifera (katydids, crickets and relatives), which is the most speciose and ancient lineage of the extant singing insects.

As a creative and motivated researcher with experience in µ-CT scanning, 3D reconstruction, 3D printing, electrophysiology, ultrasound recording and equipment use, and Laser Doppler Vibrometry (LDV), you will be expected to drive the experimental studies required to develop predictive evolutionary models of the katydid acoustic communication process at all levels of sound production and hearing.

This project has two main themes: 1) the development of a technique that allows us to map, non-invasively, the effect of mechanical waves on sensory cell activation using calcium imaging and LDV in intact hearing organs. 2) the characterization of the natural response of the ear sensory cells to multiple sound inputs and their role in directional hearing, using calcium imaging and LDV in intact hearing organs. This project will involve one PhD student and requires training and close collaboration with colleagues in Cambridge.

The postholder will help write and publish high quality peer-reviewed scientific papers. In addition to contributing to the development of research proposals and applications for external funding, they will contribute to the dissemination of the results to the scientific community through presentation at international conferences and workshops, and to the general public through public lectures and interviews with the media where appropriate.

The postholder will also carry full responsibility for the practical implementation of basic electrophysiology and mechanical measurements, and for driving iterative exchanges with results from other lab members and will also be involved in the practical supervision of undergraduate and postgraduate students, as well as in the planning and execution of fieldwork. They will be responsible for the close monitoring of technical staff on the maintenance of the insect colonies.

The Sensory Biology Lab (https:// offers a dynamic research environment and facilities where the successful applicant will be a member of a multi-disciplinary group working closely together on a defined problem applying techniques from fields as diverse as hearing and acoustics, electrophysiology, bioengineering, applied mathematics and biophysics.

Informal enquiries to Professor Fernando Montealegre-Z (

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Further details:
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