Asistente de investigación en ornitología (Hungría) ~

12 de febrero de 2018

Asistente de investigación en ornitología (Hungría)

Research Assistant Position

University of Debrecen, Hungary

ELVONAL (cutting edge) – Breeding system evolution in shorebirds

The Hungarian government recently opened up a new funding stream to support cutting edge research across all scientific fields (Nature 551: 425), and our team was one of the 12 winners. This will be a 5-year project focusing on testing key hypotheses of breeding system evolution through the use of genomic, immunological, and demographic approaches. The project focuses on shorebirds (i.e., plovers, sandpipers, and allies) that exhibit an unusual diversity of mating systems and parental care (see references).

This job offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for an ambitious research assictant who wants to combine fieldwork with coordinating practical aspects of field research across numerous field sites. The main tasks of the Research Assistant are to carry out field studies in Madagascar, Cape Verde, Mexio, Russia or China, possibly in other countries, and coordinate practical aspect of the field projects that include securing permits, ensuring standardized data collection, availablity of research tools and equioment. We seek candidates with experience in behavioural ecology and field biology preferable with birds. Excellent communication skills and database handling are essential.

This is a full-time position and the salary will be above the normal Hungarian level (up to 1200 EUR, depending on experience). Note that the cost of living in Hungary is substantially less than in the US or in Western Europe. This position is available for 3 years (subject to probation period) with the possibility of extension for the duration of the ELVONAL project (5 years). See further specifications below.

Application deadline is 28 February 2018. The application should include a (1) max two pages cover letter, (2) CV with list of publications, and (3) the name and contact details of three refereespreferably from research, academia or conservation. The applications should be emailed to Ms Emese Kapczar Interviews will be in early March and the position is available from 1 April 2018. Applications from women and minority candidates are especially welcome.

Debrecen is the second largest city in Hungary and has a lively university community. The University of Debrecen was established in 1538, and it is one of the prestigious universities in Central Europe The university has over 4000 students – many are from abroad. The Dept. of Evolutionary Zoology and Human Biology is one of the leading departments in natural sciences Debrecen Airport has connections with some of the main European airports. Debrecen’s surrounding has impressive wildlife and landscape that include Hortobagy National Park, a UNESCO-recognised protected area. See details at

For further information please contact Ms Emese Kapczar

Selected publications

Bulla, M. et al. 2016. Defying the 24‐h 1 day: Unexpected diversity in socially synchronized rhythms of shorebirds. Nature 540: 109-1013.

Eberhart-Phillips, L. J. et al. 2017. Adult sex ratio bias in snowy plovers is driven by sex-specific early survival: implications for mating systems and population growth. Proceedings of The National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 114: E5474-E5481.

Liker, A., R. P. Freckleton & T. Szekely. 2013. The evolution of sex roles in birds is related to adult sex ratio. Nature Communications 4: 1587.

Rosa, M. E. et al. 2017. The effects of adult sex ratio and density on parental care in Lethrus apterus (Coleoptera, Geotrupidae). Animal Behaviour 132: 181-188.

Vincze, O. et al. 2016. Parental cooperation in a changing climate: fluctuating environments predict shifts in care division. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26: 347-358.

Further specifications of the position

Employer: University of Debrecen, Dept of Evolutionary Zoology & Human Biology, University of Debrecen, H-4032, Egyetem ter 1, Hungary

Job description:

• The Research Assistant will carry out research in shorebird populations included in the ELVONAL project eg Madagascar, China, Russia or South Africa in regards to mating system and parental care

• coordinate practical aspects of research associated with the ELVONAL project: preparations of fieldwork, data collection, field notes, reports, permits, and field equipment and coordinate research with external collaborators

• assist administration associated with the project

• carry out other scientific, academic or practical activities that are deemed necessary for the a success of the project


• BSc or MSc in evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, zoology or in any relevant field

• solid knowledge in evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology and/or ornithology

• experience in avian field ecology, behavioural ecology or a relevant field

• knowledge of R programming environment and database handling skills

• international field experience in studying wild bird populations, preferably shorebirds

• experience in bird ringing and preferably ringing licence

• valid driving licence

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