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Postdoctoral Research Associate: Behavioural Ecology

A Postdoctoral Research Associate position in the Department of Zoology, located in central Cambridge, is available from 1 April 2018 for up to two years in the first instance. The PDRA will work with Dr Claire Spottiswoode on the behavioural ecology of the unique mutualism between wax-eating birds called honeyguides, and the human honey-hunters with whom they cooperate to gain access to bees' nests.

The PDRA's main focus will be to understand the ecology of guiding behaviour from the honeyguide perspective: what fitness benefits do honeyguides obtain from guiding humans, and why is guiding behaviour evolutionarily stable against honeyguide and human cheats? To address these questions, the PDRA will further build up our marked study population of honeyguides, and carry out a series of field experiments at our long-term study site in the Niassa Reserve, a vast wilderness area in northern Mozambique.

Responsibilities will include leading the design of field experiments; carrying out fieldwork at the Mariri Environmental Centre, Mozambique; analysing and writing up the results; and contributing to field research team management.

Essential skills:

  • PhD in an appropriate subject (e.g. behavioural ecology or evolutionary biology);
  • Significant fieldwork experience, including field experiments;
  • Enthusiasm for spending 2-4 months per year carrying out fieldwork in a remote part of northern Mozambique;
  • Ability to work with others, including living and working local communities during fieldwork;
  • Enthusiasm for natural history;
  • Physical fitness and resilience to work under challenging field conditions;
  • Good data handling and data analysis skills;
  • Good communication skills (written and oral);
  • Ability to work effectively, independently and responsibly in a research team setting;
  • Ability to speak basic Portuguese or Swahili, or a willingness to learn;
  • Full, clean driving licence.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available from 1 April for up to 24 months in the first instance.

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 PF14752 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online