University of Cambridge

Job Opportunities


Research Associate: Evolution and inclusive inheritance

A post-doctoral research associate position in Department of Zoology, located in Central Cambridge on Downing Street, is available from 8 August 2017 for up to 31 May 2019, to work with Professor Rufus Johnstone on mathematical and computational modelling of the evolution of inclusive inheritance.

The position is part of the world's largest project to expand our understanding of evolution. The Extended Evolutionary Synthesis project, involving a multi-national, interdisciplinary consortium of 51 world-renowned experts, with funding from the John Templeton Foundation, aims to explore new ways to think about and understand evolutionary phenomena.

The PDRA will work on modeling three mechanisms of inclusive inheritance: (i) social transmission (exploring how social learning and teaching changes across the life-cycle), (ii) epigenetic inheritance (investigating how maternal investment and resource transmission impacts on subsequent health and development), and (iii) ecological inheritance (considering how environmental modulation and niche construction generate group differences in behaviour). There is, however, scope for the focus of the modelling to reflect the interests of the candidate.

Duties will include developing models, 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:

  • PhD in an appropriate subject (e.g. evolutionary biology), completed or completion imminent, 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 31 May 2019.

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 PF12677 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.

Further information

Apply online