Interested in joining the group?

Open Positions

Open positions in the group

Masters projects

The group offers a number of projects appropriate for a Masters thesis. If interested in finding out what theoretical biology is about… Get in touch

PhD projects

Use it or lose it: what determines the regulation mode of a given gene?

Massey University - Auckland Campus School of Natural and Computational Sciences

About the Project All organisms must tightly control gene expression. In bacteria, gene regulation is mediated by either an activator or a repressor which binds DNA to turn a gene on or off, respectively. The two modes are mechanistically distinct but lead to the same functional outcome. This apparent equivalence raises a fundamental question: what determines the mode of control used for a given gene? The answer to this question is crucial to understanding the consequences of gene regulation in natural systems and for effective engineering of gene circuits in synthetic biology.

In this project, we will experimentally test the Demand Theory in a model bacterium Pseudomonas fluorescens SBW25. We will focus on regulators of xylose and histidine utilization whose function has been well characterized in our previous studies. The research will involve genetic engineering of P. fluorescens strains, followed by experimental evolution in laboratory media, genome re-sequencing of the evolved strains, and functional characterization of the relevant mutations (e.g., EMSA).

About the Position

We invite applications for a funded PhD scholarship to conduct the abovementioned research at the Auckland campus of Massey University. The PhD scholarship includes tuition fees and an annual stipend of NZ$ 35,000 (tax-free) for three years. Applicants must meet the entry requirements for admission to the PhD program at Massey University.

The ideal candidate should have a basic understanding of bacterial gene regulation and/or experimental evolution, and demonstrate an ability to undertake the practical and the theoretical aspects of the project. The supervisory team will include A/Prof. Xue-Xian Zhang and Prof. Tim Cooper at Massey University (Auckland, New Zealand), and Prof. Chaitanya Gokhale.

How to Apply

Please submit your application (or inquiry) via email to the main supervisor of this project: A/Prof. Xue-Xian Zhang ( When applying, please ensure to include the required documents as follows:

  • A detailed curriculum vitae.
  • Degree certificates and academic transcripts for BSc and MSc (or equivalents).
  • A statement of your research interests, including previous experience and career goals.
  • Contact details of two academic referees.


Postdoc position in Theoretical Biology

We offer a Research Scientist (Postdoc) position at the Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology, University of Würzburg, Germany for a maximum duration of four years. We are seeking an independent and communicative postdoctoral researcher to join our team in theoretical biology. The ideal candidate will be interested in interdisciplinary collaborative research, have a strong record of originality, and be able to generate their own project ideas. The position will be available for four years and include some teaching duties. In addition, we will support candidates who wish to write grants and applications for starting their own research group. This is a unique opportunity for a highly motivated researcher to develop their own research program and gain valuable experience in teaching and mentoring.

The research agenda of our group focuses on the origins and dynamics of eco- evolutionary processes and patterns across scales of organisation, from sub-cellular to societal. We are interested in understanding the fundamental properties of living systems and develop translational applications such as in agriculture, conservation, and medicine when possible. To get an idea of the interests of our group please visit our publications. The successful candidate therefore gets a wide berth in exploring systems from microbial to social and will have the freedom to develop an ambitious project to develop their independent research profile.


  • PhD in theoretical biology, mathematics, physics, computer science, or related field
  • Strong background/interest in the theory of dynamical systems – stochastic and deterministic, not only modelling
  • Excellent communication skills and willingness to work collaboratively across disciplines
  • Demonstrated ability to generate original research ideas


  • Develop and conduct research projects in theoretical biology
  • Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals
  • Teach and mentor undergraduate and graduate students
  • Participate in departmental and university activities

We offer the membership in a strong supportive research team, modern facilities and an international research environment.

Salary and benefits are according to public service positions in Germany (TVL, full position. The position is suitable for part-time employment). Female scientists are particularly encouraged to apply. Disabled applicants will be preferentially considered in case of equivalent qualification.


Please send your application as a single pdf file per-email to

Application pdf should include:

  • a cover letter stating the motivation for doing a postdoc, for choosing this group
  • a summary of research interests and project plans for the postdoc period of 4 years (no more than 3 pages)
  • CV
  • relevant certificates, preprints and
  • names and contact details of at least two potential referees.


Please send in your applications no later than the 30th of June 2023.

For further information, please contact.

Prof. Dr. Chaitanya S. Gokhale, CCTB, University of Würzburg, Germany, by e-Mail (see above) or check this website


University of Konstanz evolutionary theory, mathematical modeling, theoretical biology. We are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic Postdoc to work on the evolution of endosymbiosis. Join us on a project to study the evolutionary process and ecological conditions favoring the evolution of endosymbiosis. We are looking for a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher who will work with us to gain new insights into the biologically relevant conditions, evolutionary pathways and mechanisms that lead to the evolution of obligate endosymbiotic interactions. The project aims to develop theoretical insights based on observations from experimental work in Lutz Becks’ group and to contribute to the design of future experiments.

This project is a collaboration between Lutz Becks (University of Konstanz;, Peter Czuppon (University of Münster, and Chaitanya Gokhale (University of Würzburg, and aims to develop theory based on experimental work. Highly motivated candidates with a PhD in evolutionary theory, mathematical modeling or theoretical biology are encouraged to apply. Previous work in the context of evolutionary transitions, the evolution of symbioses or species interactions is an advantage. Candidates should demonstrate an enthusiasm for basic research and an interest in mechanistic and phenomenological modeling. The successful candidate should be able to communicate effectively with people from a wide range of disciplines.

Funding is available for 18 months with the possibility for extension.

Location: The main place of work will be at the University of Konstanz, but the postdoc is expected to travel to W?rzburg/M?nster for research visits. The collaborative research environment in the group is highly integrative, very international and conducted in English. Konstanz is a very beautiful and pleasant place to live as it borders the third largest lake in Central Europe and lies at the foothills of the Alps. The University of Konstanz is an equal opportunities employer.

Interested candidates should send a CV, a short cover letter highlighting interests and potential research questions, and contact details of two professional referees to Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

Prof. Dr. Lutz Becks University of Konstanz Aquatic Ecology and Evolution Limnological Institute Mainaustra?e 252 78464 Konstanz / Egg Germany Phone: 07531 88 2828 E-Mail:

Lutz Becks

MSCA Postdoctoral Fellowships 2023

Reference HORIZON-MSCA-2023-PF-01-01 Deadline 13 Sep 2023

If interested in developing and leading a project for this fellowship and writing a joint grant for the same, get in touch with Chaitanya before 30th June 2023.