Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Switzerland

1) POST-DOC: Candidates are invited to apply for a postdoctoral research position to join our studies on evolutionary mechanisms of conflict and cooperation, with particular emphasis on generalized reciprocity, transitions towards complex sociality, and alternative reproductive tactics. Model species include Lake Tanganyika cichlids, Norway rats and ambrosia beetles. Applicants must be experienced in empirical behavioural research and state-of-the-art statistical analysis, and they should have an excellent publication record. Successful candidates will share in our teaching of behavioural ecology and supervision of students at undergraduate and graduate levels. The position is initially for three years and can be prolonged (max. 10 years). Preferred start is January 2011.

2) PhD Generalized Reciprocity: We search for a PhD-applicant experienced in behavioural research to study the mechanisms of generalized reciprocity in wild-type Norway rats. Potential approaches include causal (e.g. hormonal regulation), functional (e.g. cost-benefit analysis) or developmental (e.g. social experience) levels. Candidates should have a sound background in evolutionary biology, and they should have successfully published previous work (e.g. from their master’s thesis). The position is for three years and should preferably start in January 2011.

3) PhD Developmental Effects: A PhD-position is available to study effects of the early social environment on development of social behaviour with cooperatively breeding African cichlids as a model. The focus is on both, the molecular and physiological basis of developmental effects, and on their fitness consequences. The project involves experimental manipulation of social conditions and behavioural observations in a laboratory setting, quantification of gene expression in brain samples, and measurements of circulating hormone levels. Eligible candidates will have a master’s degree in Biology and research experience in animal behaviour, a genuine understanding of evolutionary theory and a strong commitment to basic science. Practical skills in molecular techniques and in the work with fish would be advantageous. Preferred start: April 2011.

The successful candidates will join a bustling research environment consisting of about 10 PhD-students and advanced research staff, five technicians and a varying number of master’s students and guest scientists. Besides this Behavioural Ecology group, the Institute of Ecology and Evolution at the University of Bern comprises research groups on Aquatic Ecology (Ole Seehausen), community ecology (Wolfgang Nentwig), Conservation Biology (Raphael Arlettaz), Evolutionary Ecology (Heinz Richner) and Population Genetics (Laurent Excoffier). Salaries will follow the schemes of the national funding organization of Switzerland.

Closing date: Open until filled, but all application materials, including CV, a summary of research experience, copies of any published or in-press papers, and two letters of recommendation should be received by 31 October 2010 to ensure full consideration. Candidates should indicate in a cover letter for which position they apply and when they could take it up. Please send all application material to the secretary’s office, c/o Marlis Gerteis, Dept. Behavioural Ecology, University of Bern, Wohlenstrasse 50A, CH-3032 Bern, Switzerland; or as e-mail attachments to marlis.gerteis@iee.unibe.ch. Please consult our web-page for information on our research: http://behav.zoology.unibe.ch/ For inquiries please contact michael.taborsky@iee.unibe.ch (positions 1 & 2) or barbara.taborsky@iee.unibe.ch (position 3).

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