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International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology, Germany: PhD Position on Collective Animal Behaviour

(posted 2017-11-28)

The International Max Planck Research School for Organismal Biology is a joint cooperation between the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the Department of Biology at the University of Konstanz. The Department of Collective Behaviour headed by Prof. Iain Couzin at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology and the University of Konstanz invites applications for a

PhD position (f/m) on 'Collective Animal Behaviour'

The study of collective behavior naturally spans scales, from how neural circuits control individual behavior in a social context, to the analogous issue of determining the structure and function of the communication network among organisms that gives rise to emergent group, and population-level, behavior.
Your profile: We seek PhD candidates to join our highly international, collaborative and interdisciplinary research group to investigating the behaviour and evolution of collective animal behavior in the lab and/or field. We are interested in both invertebrates (e.g. locusts) and vertebrates (e.g. fish, birds) and we particularly encourage those applicants who wish to utilize the many modern technologies we have been developing to advance animal behaviour research (e.g. in automated tracking, virtual reality, drone-based imaging, machine learning, computational modeling) to understand how animals sense their world and make decisions in the face of uncertainty and risk. We seek both those who want to use, as well as to develop, new technologies and so we welcome applications from a broad range of disciplines, including biology, biophysics, complex systems, physics, neurobiology, psychology, engineering etc.
Our offer: The PhD project is fully funded for at least 3 years. The salary will be paid according to the collective agreement for civil service employees (TVöD). The program offers a dedicated teaching program, high quality research experience, and outstanding research facilities in an inspiring research and living environment. The working language is English. Each PhD student receives individual supervision and mentoring and is guided in her/his research work by a PhD advisory committee.

Application: Please apply exclusively on our online application portal on no later than Jan 15, 2018. Given the broad nature of this search it will be extremely helpful if applicants can let us know "what excites you about collective animal behaviour, and what may you want to work on?”. Interviews with the applicants are scheduled for Mid‐March. Candidates accepted into the program may start latest October 2018.

The University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Society are equal opportunity employers that try to increase the number of women in research and teaching. As family-friendly institutions, they are committed to further the compatibility of work and family life and prefer disabled applicants when qualification is equal.

Interested? For further information about the position, please contact Iain Couzin, More information at and