Host  institution: Institut de la Mer de Villefranche (IMEV), FR

PhD Awarding institution: Sorbonne University (SU), FR 

Primary Supervisor:  Dr. Evelyn Houliston.

Co- Supervisor: Dr. Richard Copley.

Project duration: 36 months.

Project Description: Sensory cells around the aboral pole of the hydrozoan Clytia planula larva mediate responses to environmental cues, but their precise nature and function are unknown. DC4 will relate differences in gene transcription between Clytia planula sensory cell types to morphology, function and developmental history. S/he will characterise the structure and organisation of specific types of Clytia planula neural and neurosensory cell, defining their distinct morphological features by light microscopy techniques in combination with vEM (collaboration with other network fellows/EMBL). S/he will extend scRNA-seq datasets to find drivers and effectors of (i) mature cell type identity, (ii) morphology, and (iii) fate specification, determining the function of specific transcription factors identified by these comparisons, and of the corresponding cell types, using gene knockdown approaches. S/he will collaborate with the other network partners to compare cell type genotype/phenotype across species.

Required applicant profile:   Strong motivation for questioning biological mechanisms and concepts. Training in cell, molecular and developmental biology preferred. Bioinformatics skills would be an advantage

Application deadline:  Provisional deadline is 30th April 2024, but we will be reviewing and processing applications as they are received.

How to apply: Please send the following documents as a single PDF to and

  • A Cover letter. 
  • Your Curriculum Vitae.