PhD position or Postdoc Theoretical Evolutionary Ecology (1,0 fte)
University of Groningen
Vacancy number 212054H
In many organisms individuals differ systematically in their dispersal behaviour. Moreover, individual variation in dispersal is correlated with other traits, including metabolism, activity, aggressiveness, boldness, sociability, behavioural flexibility and learning ability. Although such correlation structures (“dispersal syndromes”) have been described for many species, neither their evolutionary emergence nor their ecological, evolutionary and genetic consequences are well understood. By means of a theoretical approach (using analytical models and individual-based computer simulations) the project will address questions such as: Why are the dispersal syndromes in different species remarkably similar in some respects and remarkably different in others? What are the consequences of variation in dispersal for social evolution (e.g., cooperative breeding) and the mating system? What are the implications of non-equilibrium dynamics for the genetic structure of a population and for the estimation of pedigrees, relatedness and fitness? The project is designed as a 4-year PhD project; however, we also welcome applications from exceptional postdoctoral researchers for a 3-year position. The close collaboration between theoretical and behavioural researchers, along with access to the long-term Seychelles warbler dataset, provides a unique opportunity to forge a link between conceptual models and real-world data.
- MSc in Theoretical Biology, Behavioural Ecology, Evolutionary Biology or related discipline (for a PhD candidate) or a PhD in any of these disciplines (for a postdoc)
- research experience in areas related to model development and analysis, individual-based simulations or dynamical systems (desired for a PhD candidate; essential for a postdoc)
- working knowledge of programmes like C++, Maple/Mathematica/Matlab or R; excellent programming skills (desired for a PhD candidate; essential for a postdoc)
- excellent academic record (as shown by a list of examination marks); proven ability to plan and prioritize work and to work to and meet deadlines; strong commitment to excellence in research and teaching
- ability to develop creative approaches to problem solving; creativity, curiosity, and ambition; proactive attitude; ability to implement new methods and ideas
- excellent organisational and interpersonal skills; ability to work in a team consisting of scientists, students and technical assistants with different backgrounds
- excellent communication skills: effective paper writing skills (demonstrated by publications) and ample experience with delivering presentations
- good command of the English language (oral and written).
Conditions of employment
The University of Groningen offers the PhD a salary of € 2,042 (scale 50, number 0) gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 2,612 (scale 50, number 3) gross per month in the final year, based on a full-time position. The position requires residence in Groningen and must result in a PhD thesis within the 4-year contract period. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science. The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of 1.5 years with the perspective of prolongation for another 2.5 years. After the first year, there will be an evaluation on the perspectives of the successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years. If these perspectives are poor, the contract may not be renewed.
The University of Groningen offers the postdoc a gross salary depending on qualifications and experience, ranging between € 2,744, gross (scale 10, number 3) per month and a maximum of € 3,755 (scale 10, number 12) gross per month for a full-time postdoctoral job. This position is defined according to the UFO function profile ‘researcher’. After the first year there is an assessment interview; continuation of the project for the next two years is dependent on successful performance during the first year.
The preferred starting date is a.s.a.p. The position will be filled as soon as suitable candidates have been found.
You can apply for this job by sending your application including a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, a list of examination marks, a publication list, and the names and addresses of three academic referees who are willing to provide letters of reference (upon request) before 1 July 2012.
This research project “Causes and consequences of variation in dispersal behaviour” is a collaborative effort of the research groups Theoretical Biology and Behavioural Ecology and Self-organization (BESO), which both are part of the Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). The research is funded by a TopGrant (ALW-TOP/11.017) allocated to Prof. Jan Komdeur from the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO).