Category Archives: Jobs / studentships

PhD – Leibniz IZW, Berlin -Deadline 15/11

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz IZW) in Berlin is Germany’s premier wildlife research institute. The Leibniz IZW focuses on the life histories and mechanisms of evolutionary adaptations of mammals and birds, their limits and their conservation in natural and anthropogenically influenced environments. The institute operates within the fields of evolutionary ecology, evolutionary genetics, wildlife diseases, reproduction biology and reproduction management. For an interdisciplinary externally funded project on

Epigenetic stability and plasticity of social environmental effects

the Leibniz IZW offers

1 PhD-position (50%) in Bioinformatics, Metagenomics and Computational Biology.

The health consequences to hosts of the microbiome, i.e. intestinal bacteria, and of the eukaryotic biome, i.e. the intestinal community of fungi and other protozoans plus unicellular and multicellular eukaryotes, are receiving increasing attention. Intestinal biomes can have both beneficial and pathogenic effects. The aim of this PhD project is to determine how social status, and most intriguing, changes in social status, influence the composition, diversity and gene content of intestinal biomes in a highly social carnivore, the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). In spotted hyenas as in other socially structured mammalian societies, social status determines access to food resources and thus profoundly affects key physiological processes, including investment in immunity, and Darwinian fitness. It is currently unknown whether social mobility over-rides life history trajectories set by the previous social environment.

Already collected faecal samples will be used to assess the composition and diversity of intestinal biomes in terms of mutualists, commensals and parasites under the supervision of Prof. Heitlinger. To identify differences in the gene content of the intestinal biome, a metagenomic approach will be used under the supervision of Prof. Soen. Status-specific differences in bacterial genes will then be related to status-specific differences in metabolism, host gene expression and immunity, which will be investigated in other project sections.

The position involves collaborative research between Prof. Emanuel Heitlinger, who holds a joint junior professorship position at Humboldt University Berlin/Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) and Prof. Yoav Soen, who is the head of the Department of Biomolecular Sciences at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Longer, regular visits to the Weizmann Institute are required.


? Completed MSc in bioinformatics, computational biology, or biology;

? Programming skills (e.g. Python, R) and proficiency working in a Unix/Linux command line environment;

? Background in statistical data analysis and good understanding of underlying mathematical principles;

? Experience in analyses of large scale sequencing datasets are beneficial, ideally for gut microbiome analyses, transcriptomics or similar;

? Experience working in a molecular biology laboratory is required, ideally experience in metagenomics;

? Experience with databases for computational biology;

? Reliability, high motivation and efficiency; ability to work independently and as part of a team;

? Strong organisational and communication skills; willingness to engage in collaboration for successful and timely implementation of the project and publication of results;

? Proficiency in English.

We offer state-of-the-art methodology and a stimulating research environment in an interdisciplinary, collaborative project. The position will start January 1st, 2018 and is limited to three years. Salary is 50 % according to TVöD (Bund). The place of employment is the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz IZW), Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17, 10315 Berlin (Germany).

As a member of the Leibniz Association the Leibniz IZW is an equal opportunity employer, determined to increase the proportion of women in successful scientific careers, and particularly encourages women to apply. Preference will be given to disabled applicants with the same qualifications. Enquiries or further questions should be directed to Prof. Emanuel Heitlinger ( and Prof. Yoav Soen (

Applicants should upload a letter explaining their interests in and particular skills for this position, a CV, copies of relevant degrees, list of publications and names and contact details of two referees preferably before 15th of November 2017 (with interviews scheduled to be at the Leibniz IZW on the 5th December 2017 from 9 am onwards) via IZW’s online-job- application facility button Apply online”.

Edward W. Rose III Postdoctoral Fellowship Program at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology

These competitive postdoctoral fellowship awards ( support innovative, independent research by early career scholars of exceptional promise. Multiple Rose Fellow positions are available annually, with applications due on September 8.

PhD Opportunity, Oxford University

Project Title: Harnessing novel technology and approaches to monitor and improve productivity of UK broiler breeders

Supervisor(s) names: Professor Tom Pizzari, Dr Grant McDonald (Department of Zoology, Oxford University) & Dr. Santiago Avendano (Aviagen®)

Deadline:  31 July 2017

More Information:PhDAdvert

postdoc on Genomics of senescence in the Seychelles warbler

Based in Leeds with Hannah Dugdale.

Conservation Genetics job – Edinburgh Zoo / WildGenes

The role

Due to the expansion of our team, an opportunity has arisen for a committed researcher to join the Royal Zoological Society of Scotland WildGenes lab. Reporting to the Conservation Programme Manager – Wildgenes in our Conservation team, the successful candidate will initiate, implement and disseminate conservation genetics projects in the WildGenes laboratory. Duties include assisting with the project management and analysis of genetic data for a diverse portfolio of conservation genetic projects.

Who we are looking for

The successful candidate will have a PhD in Conservation Genetics or Population Genetics/Genomics, a proven track record of scientific publication, and a commitment to conservation. You will enjoy working at multiple levels, from complex data analysis to presenting results to a wide range of audiences. Since our projects are based across the globe, the role will involve international travel and willingness to travel to attend meetings is therefore essential.

Applicants with additional background in any of the following disciplines will be welcomed: Quantitative Genetics, Population Modelling, Bioinformatics, Project Management within the conservation sector.

Closing date:      Sunday 28 May 2017

Dr Helen Senn

WildGenes Programme Manager
0131 314 0317

Great postdoc position with Frank Chan (Max Planck Institute, Tubingen)

Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Max Planck Campus, Tübingen, Germany
A postdoctoral researcher position is available in the Chan Lab to work on a unique genomics dataset in mice, with the aim of understanding the molecular basis of phenotypic variation and response to selection in a population genetics and quantitative genetics framework.

We’re looking for a postdoc skilled in population and/or statistical genomics to take on the analysis of a replicated artificial selection experiment in mice. In order to study major morphological changes in a model organism, our collaborator, Dr. Campbell ROLIAN (Univ. of Calgary, Canada), has performed artificial selection for increased tibia length in mice (2 “Longshanks” selection lines & 1 control line, >6000 total individuals; see Marchini et al., 2014). Over 21 generations, the Longshanks selection experiment has produced 15-20% increase in tibia length but unchanged body mass relative to random-bred controls.

Having retained nearly all individuals from the entire selection experiment, we are now nearly finished with complete re-sequencing of all available breeders (~1800 individuals) in both Longshanks and control lines, with the ultimate goal of re-tracing the entire selection experiment in every individual, at every locus, in the entire genome.

You will work with the complete dataset in close coordination with Prof. Nick BARTON (IST Austria) and his team to link theory with empirical genomic data. Candidates must have a strong background in bioinformatics, including experience with genomic data analysis and strong quantitative and programming skills. Further background in population genetics and modelling will be an advantage. The postdoc will work closely with Prof. BARTON’s group, therefore she or he must show independence and ability to drive her/his own research project. You will enjoy excellent computational and sequencing support, as well as the opportunity to design and conduct functional tests in mice together with our wet-bench team members.
Our on-going work has found many loci showing very strong response to selection, with a substantial fraction of parallel response. Further dissection of top loci has identified specific mutations in limb enhancers. Our functional test in mice showed that these mutations modulate enhancer activity in a way consistent with increased tibia length.
Together with the ROLIAN and BARTON groups, we will study the selection response from multiple angles, ranging from trait mapping, population genomics, theory to developmental genetics. The Longshanks selection experiment combines quantitative, developmental and population genetics and offers a unique opportunity to study how the genome responds to strong selection in a model paradigm.
The Max Planck Campus in Tübingen, Germany is one of the leading campuses in evolutionary genomics research. The Chan Lab enjoys generous funding support by the Max Planck Society as well as the European Research Council (ERC). Our campus hosts world-class research groups, including a Nobel laureate and multiple ERC-funded teams (groups active in evolutionary genomics include Felicity Jones, Detlef Weigel, Ralf Sommer and Ruth Ley). We operate state-of-the-art sequencing (Illumina, PacBio and others) and other core facilities. All seminars and communications are in English.
For informal enquiries and applications (cover letter, CV, and two reference contacts), please e-mail Consideration of applications will begin on 14 May, 2017, with a target start date of Sept 2017. The actual start is flexible.

[1] Marchini M., Sparrow, L.M., … Rolian C., BMC Evolutionary Biology 2014 14:258, doi: 10.1186/s12862-014-0258-0

[2] Cosman M.N., Sparrow, L.M., Rolian, C., Journal of Anatomy, 2016 228:6, doi: 10.1111/joa.12459


Frank Chan
Max Planck Research Group Leader
Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society
Spemannstrasse 39
72076 Tübingen

T: +49 (0)7071 601 888
F: +49 (0)7071 601 801

4 PhD positions, Griffith Ecology lab, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

We  have several PhD positions available in the Griffith Ecology lab at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
Please see details below, and at
4 PhD positions in Behavioural and Physiological Ecology
at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
We are pleased to announce multiple opportunities available for a start from mid to late 2017
1Adapting to a foreign climate: the reproductive ecology of the house sparrow in Australia
The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) was introduced into Australia in the 1860’s and has since become well established across a broad range of climates in both countries. This project will take advantage of this ‘experimental’ introduction to focus on behavioural and physiological adaptations to different climates through a field-based comparative approach. This research will complement our existing work on related questions in endemic Australian species and will provide insight into the capacity of avian species to adapt to changing climates. This project will involve periods of field-work in Broken Hill, Armidale and Hobart in Australia, along with a range of behavioural, molecular and physiological assays. The project will involve collaboration with other groups in Australia and the US.
2The challenge of growing in a hot climate (in the zebra finch)
In recent years we have characterised the very hot conditions in which zebra finches are raised (with nests often reaching temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius, as well as identifying adverse effects of these conditions on embryonic development, offspring growth, and adult sperm. This project is supported by an ARC funded project and will investigate the adaptations that this iconic and well-studied species has to deal with the extreme climate in which it lives. The project will take a variety of approaches including behavioural work, and assays of metabolism and physiology, and combine fieldwork and laboratory work. The project will be run in collaboration with Dr Christine Cooper (Curtin University, Western Australia), Prof. Pierre Deviche (Arizona State University, US), and Prof. Pat Monaghan (Glasgow, UK).
3: Social structuring and life-history in free-ranging domestic sheep
In this project we will examine the importance of social structure and collective intelligence to life-history trade-offs and productivity in domestic sheep in the rangelands of Australia. The project will use tools from social network theory and spatial ecology to characterise individual and group behaviour and investigate their effect on individual quality and productivity (lambs and wool) in this challenging, but economically important part of Australia. The project will be based at Fowlers Gap (near Broken Hill in the arid zone) and require field work and well-developed analytical skills. This work will be run in collaboration with partners in the pastoral industry and be jointly supervised by Dr Stephan Leu (also at Macquarie University).
4: Parasite transmission dynamics in an Australian lizard
This project will investigate the relationship between host spatial and social behaviour and bacterial transmission. It combines social network theory, spatial ecology and wildlife epidemiology to determine how different bacterial strains are transmitted through the population and how individual behaviour and consequently population social structure changes as a function of infection status. The project combines the analysis of a very comprehensive (already collected) dataset with scope for the student to develop his/her own ideas and conduct fieldwork. The student should be interested in social networks and disease modelling and have strong analytical skills. This project will be jointly supervised by Dr Stephan Leu and A/Prof Martin Whiting (both at Macquarie University). We also have strong relationships with disease modelling colleagues in the US.
The Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University is a vibrant environment which offers excellent support to postgraduate students. A Macquarie University Excellence in Research Scholarship has already been assigned to one of these projects, but there are other scholarship opportunities available to suitably competitive candidates. International candidates are welcome to apply for any of the projects listed above.
The 2014 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $26,682 pa tax exempt for 3 years (indexed annually). In addition to external grant support for projects, there is additional internal funding (up to $17,000) available to cover direct research expenses and conference travel.
Applicants should ideally have a research-based MSc in a related discipline (with a minimum 50% research component), and additional relevant research experience, qualifications, and details of awards or prizes. For projects 1, 2, and 4 an ability to work in remote and harsh conditions as well as experience in capturing and handling animals is desirable. A driving licence is required for all projects.
Applications should include 1) your CV, 2) a brief statement of your reasons for applying (max. 500 words) and the project you are applying to work on, 3) contact details of two academic referees, 4) your nationality (for scholarship eligibility purposes). Applications should be submitted electronically as a single PDF file.
Applications for these positions (and any initial enquiries) should be emailed by 7th April 2017 to:
Prof. Simon Griffith, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

ornithological field technician positions, Univ. of York

We are seeking to recruit three research technicians for a collaborative project (University of York and Natural England), based at the Humberhead Peatlands NNR, near Doncaster.

The project is part of a wider EU LIFE+ funded project called ‘That’s LIFE’, focusing on the restoration of lowland blanket bog through scrub removal and re-wetting. The Humberhead Peatlands is an SPA for its breeding population of nightjars and an SAC for its lowland bog habitat.

The nightjar project fieldwork aims to collect data on any behavioural and population changes that occur as a result of this restoration work. The work involves ringing, tagging and tracking European nightjars, as well as nest finding to investigate breeding productivity and exploring their food resources through moth trapping on the NNR from June to August 2017.

We are able to offer some shared accommodation close to the field sites. Fieldwork involves long hours in the field, primarily overnight, with some afternoon work required. In addition, staff will assist with maintenance of kit and recording of data. The work will be conducted in small teams of employees, students and volunteers.

Position 1: Senior avian research technician

We are seeking an experienced avian field technician (grade 4 ~ £20,624 pro rata dependent on experience). One person required for 8 -10 weeks, on a full-time basis.

The ideal candidate would have:

  • A or C-permit ringing licence
  • Experience of ornithological fieldwork, particularly ringing and breeding surveys
  • Experience of, and enthusiasm for, working outdoors
  • Full, clean driving licence
  • Good physical fitness

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience of fitting or using radio/GPS tags
  • Own transport

Positions 2 & 3: Research technicians (grade 3 ~ £17,898 pro rata dependent on experience). Duration – 6-8 weeks

We are also seeking two field assistants (grade 3) who would have a T or C ringing permit, or at a minimum some experience of handling birds.

This position would additionally require a full clean driver’s licence, some experience of outdoor fieldwork, and the ability to work enthusiastically in small teams for long hours in the field.

All positions would start June 1st (approx.) 2017, and would continue until mid-August.

Position 4/5: Student internship

Starting end of June
Ecology / zoology degree
Fieldwork experience desirable but not essential
Can develop own project for dissertation

Accommodation and small stipend offered

If you are interested in the role please contact Dr Kathryn Arnold, with your CV, references and a short covering letter, detailing previous experience.

For informal enquiries, please contact Lucy Ryan (PhD Student)

Deadline 14th April 2017

Please note that the positions will be offered subject to satisfactory references, check of eligibility to work in the U.K. (verified copy of passport) and proof of qualifications if necessary.

Whilst we will attempt to reply to all candidates, the volume of applications we receive may mean that this is not possible. If you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date, you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Lucy Ryan, PhD Student
Environment Department
Wentworth Way
University of York
York, YO10 5DD

Max Planck postdoc position on Genomics of Migration

Link to the advert:

2 positions for masters or post PhD students who are looking for experience

The two positions are:

1) Data analysis volunteer
2) General volunteer
Both positions will be heavily involved in both the terrestrial (tortoise, marine turtles, landbird and seabird) and marine (SCUBA surveys) monitoring programmes, specifically to assist me in review of long-term data sets and subsequent implementation of any changes required to improve data quality and outputs. Additionally we hope to write-up some of our data for publication. Plus they would get to spend six to eight months on Aldabra!
April J Burt- Aldabra Scientific Coordinator <>