[MARMAM] USC. PhD project available on social evolution in dolphins

Celine Frere cfrere at usc.edu.au
Thu May 30 14:52:59 PDT 2019

A PhD project is available in Celine Frere's Lab on the evolution of social behaviour in dolphins. In particular, the project will focus on the role that long-term avoidances play in shaping dyadic social cohesion and population level social structure. This PhD project will take advantage of the 36+ years of behavioural, ecological and genetic dataset on the Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, dolphins (https://monkeymiadolphins.org<https://monkeymiadolphins.org/>).
Most research on the evolution of social behaviour has to date focused on affiliative behaviour. This was obviously influenced by our desire to understand the evolution of cooperative behaviour; a threat to Darwin's theory of natural selection. However, affiliation represents only one side of the coin: individuals also can and do choose to actively and consistently avoid conspecifics over long periods of time, even when they share space or habitat. Though avoidance is generally accepted as an alternative to preference in animal societies, few studies have attempted to characterise the ecological or genetic conditions that drive its evolution.
This PhD project will be based at the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia. You will be supervised by Dr Celine Frere (www.celinefrerelab.com<http://www.celinefrerelab.com>) and co-supervised by Professor Janet Mann (Georgetown University). This project will require PhD students to develop strong quantitative skills (R coding and modelling) as well as spending 2 months per year in the field in Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, Western Australia.
Applicants will need to have an extremely competitive academic record and obtain an Australian Postgraduate Award or International Research and Fee Remission Scholarships. The RTP Scholarship Round will open on Monday 3 June. More information about the application process and internal deadlines for prospective students can be found on the Applying for a Research Training Program web page (for details and scholarship application forms https://www.usc.edu.au/research-and-innovation/researchstudents/hdr-scholarships/applying-for-a-research-training-program-scholarship). The main application deadlines for these scholarships are 13th of October 2019 (Domestic and International), but application to the HDR/PHD programs must be processed prior to the 13th of October 2019.
Please contact Celine Frere (cfrere@ usc.edu.au) before the 15th of June 2019.

Celine Frere PhD
Senior Research Fellow
Office:    KDM2
Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering
University of the Sunshine Coast
90 Sippy Downs Drive
Sippy Downs
Queensland 4556
mobile: 0423312893
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