University of Cambridge

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Postdoctoral Research Associate: Life history evolution

A post-doctoral research associate position in Department of Zoology, located in Central Cambridge on Downing Street, is available from 7 August 2017 or as soon as possible thereafter for up to eighteen months, to work with Professor Rufus Johnstone on mathematical and computational modelling of life history evolution in banded mongooses.

The PDRA will work on integrating trans-generational costs of reproduction into models of life history evolution, and exploring the strategies that breeders may adopt to ameliorate these costs. We are interested in i) the circumstances under which selection favours parents that incur costs themselves in of trans-generational damage on their offspring, ii) how this trade-off modulates investment in other life history traits, and iii) how investment in shielding of young, and consequently offspring quality and subsequent life history, may be expected to change with parental age. There is, however, scope for the focus of the modelling to reflect the interests of the candidate.

This work will be carried out as part of a NERC-funded project, in collaboration with Dr Jon Blount and Prof Michael Cant at the University of Exeter, who will be collecting data on trans-generational costs of reproduction in wild banded mongooses, which will be used to inform development of the models and to test their predictions.

Duties will include developing models of life-history evolution, using a combination of game theoretical and adaptive dynamic techniques, possibly supplemented by individual-based simulations, and analysing and writing up the results.

  • The successful applicant should have a PhD in an appropriate subject (e.g. evolutionary biology), involving a substantial element of mathematical or computational modelling;

  • Demonstrated record in written (i.e. scientific journals) and oral (i.e. professional conferences) communication relevant to evolutionary and mathematical biology;

  • Ambition and drive, strong work ethic and good interpersonal skills;

  • Enthusiasm to interact with colleagues;

  • Ability to organise time and work effectively, independently and responsibly in a research team setting.

Informal enquiries can be directed to Prof Johnstone,

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for up to 18 months.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please quote reference PF12613 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online