International Society of Biomechanics
Gold sponsor

Biomechanics of vocal behavior in rodents

06 Jul 2017
06 Jul 2017
University Of Southern Denmark

A postdoctoral position is available to study motor control and biomechanics of sound production in rodents in the lab of Dr. Elemans (Dept. of Biology, University of Southern Denmark). Research visits are planned to the lab of Dr. Agarwal (Dept. of Engineering, Cambridge University, UK). The position is funded by the Danish Research Council and available as of October 2017, or until filled, for a two-year period.



Rodent ultrasonic vocalizations (USVs) are a vital and increasingly used translational tool for linking gene mutations to behavior in mouse and rat models of communication disorders, such as autism. However, we do not know how physiological and physical mechanisms combine to generate USVs, and thus cannot meaningfully relate acoustic features to experimental treatments or mouse strains.


We recently established a novel mechanism of sound production in mice that resembles whistle formation in supersonic jets.  This project seeks to causally link neural control (brain) to the biomechanics of USV production (behavior) using a cutting-edge multidisciplinary approach.  The project will include experimental work on the larynx, flow visualization in physical models (Cambridge) and mathematical modeling. A broad palette of methods and techniques from biomechanics, engineering and neuroscience will be used.


Preferred qualifications

We are looking for

- applicants with PhD and strong publication record in biomechanics,  engineering, physics, neuroscience, or a related field.

- excellent written and oral English language communication skills

- experience with flow visualization (PIV), computational modeling, or micro-surgical experimental procedures.

- Other experiences, such as signal analysis, and/or programming (C++, Matlab, or equivalent) present a distinct advantage.


Our research

The Elemans lab uses a combination of experimental and computational approaches to study motor control and physical mechanisms of sound production in the vocal vertebrates. We use and develop methods from biomechanics, electrophysiology, acoustics, and behavior at different levels of organization (cellular, whole organ, in vivo).

Within the Department of Biology, the Elemans lab is embedded in the Sound and Behavior group, which studies many different aspects of acoustic communication in a large range of animals from insects to whales. This group works in close collaboration with the Centre for Biorobotics, SDU.



Please contact Dr. Coen Elemans ( for more information.


The Elemans lab:

University of Southern Denmark: