[MARMAM] Two doctoral position opportunities in the Sea Lion Project, Galápagos

Jonas Schwarz jonas.fl.schwarz at gmail.com
Mon Jun 28 02:03:48 PDT 2021

We are seeking to recruit two PhD students to study animal personalities, foraging strategies, and their ensuing life history consequences in Galápagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) in the research group of Oliver Krüger at the Department of Animal Behaviour at Bielefeld University, Germany  (uni-bielefeld.de/fakultaeten/biologie/forschung/ arbeitsgruppen/behaviour).  

Field work will take place on Caamaño, a small, beautiful island near Puerto Ayora in the centre of the Galápagos archipelago. We have studied Galápagos sea lions there since 2003 with most animals being individually marked. Field seasons on Caamaño last from September-December and February-March each year. Work on Caamaño includes daily census rounds, a variety of behavioural response tests, behavioural observations, and captures of animals for tagging, growth assessment, biologging deployment, and sample collection (for genetic, stable isotope, and hormone analysis). Caamaño is isolated from civilisation and has no facilities, so an ability to work under truly primitive conditions is essential.     

The preferred starting date is 15th of September 2021, as the PhD students need to be trained during the next field season on Galápagos starting around the 1st of October 2021. All expenditure with regard to the field season will be covered, but the salary can only commence in January 2022. Both positions are part of a continuation proposal of a Collaborative Research Centre (CRC), with the final decision being made by the German Research Foundation in late 2021. Therefore, the final confirmation of the PhD can only be given at the end of the field season. Both positions will then be available for four years, starting on January 1st 2022 and are funded with a gross salary of ca. € 2700 per month.    

We seek bright and highly motivated students who have a proven record of field experience studying wild animals. A very good master’s degree or an equivalent in a relevant field (e.g., animal behaviour, behavioural ecology, population ecology, evolutionary ecology) is expected. The ideal candidates will be able to work both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team, will have experience in statistics and, in addition to excellent spoken and written English, will either be able to speak Spanish or are willing to learn it.    

The PhD students will be based at the Department of Animal Behaviour at Bielefeld University (https://uni-bielefeld.de/uni/profil) and supervised by Oliver Krüger, Fritz Trillmich, and Joe Hoffman. The department is the oldest of its kind in Germany and currently hosts seven principal investigators, ten postdocs, and 20 PhD students from over ten different countries working on related topics in behaviour, ecology, and evolution. It offers a stimulating international environment and an excellent research infrastructure. The working language of the Department is English. Bielefeld is a city of 333,000 inhabitants, having an odd blend of big city flair infused with pockets of quiet, simple rural life and easy access to the Teutoburger Forest for hiking and other outdoor pursuits.

To apply please send (i) your CV, (ii) a letter of motivation including a 1-2-page statement of your research experience, and (iii) the contact details of three referees as a single PDF file to: oliver.krueger at uni-bielefeld.de.    

Review of applications will begin on August 1st 2021 until the positions are filled. For further information, please see www.uni-bielefeld.de/fakultaeten/biologie/forschung/arbeitsgruppen/behaviour/team/ galapagos-sea-lion or contact Jonas Schwarz via email (jonas.schwarz1 at uni-bielefeld.de) with any informal inquiries.     

The University of Bielefeld is an equal opportunity employer. We particularly welcome applications from women and handicapped people. Given equal suitability, qualifications and professional achievement, women and handicapped people will be given preference, unless particular circumstances apply.
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