Postdoc/Scientific coordinator position in ornithology with lots of fieldwork everywhere ~

11 de febrero de 2018

Postdoc/Scientific coordinator position in ornithology with lots of fieldwork everywhere

Scientific Coordinator/ Post-doc 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 experienced post-doc who wants to combine fieldwork with cutting-edge evolutionary and behavioural science. The main tasks of the Scientific Coordinator are to carry out and supervise field studies in Madagascar, Cape Verde, Mexico, Russia, and/or China, possibly in other countries. We seek candidates with experience in behavioural ecology and field biology (preferable with birds), and skills in one of the following fields: behavioural analyses, demography, immunology, epidemiology or comparative genomics. Publications in top peer-reviewed journals, 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 2000 EUR, depending on experience). Note that the cost of living in Hungary is substantially less than in the US or Western Europe. The position is initially for 3 years (subject to probation period) with the possibility of extension until the lifetime 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 four refereepreferably 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 scientific coordinator/post-doc will carry out research in shorebird populations included in the ELVONAL project (e.g., Madagascar, China, Russia, and South Africa) in regards to mating system and parental care

• coordinate research associated with the ELVONAL project: supervise PhD students and research assictants, and coordinate research with external collaborators

• coordinate sampling, behavioural recording, data analyses, and preparations of manuscripts for publication

• present the results at conferences and research seminars, and promote the results of the ELVONAL project

• assist administration associated with the project

• carry out other scientific and/or academic activities that are deemed necessary for the success of the project


• PhD in evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, zoology, or relevant field of life sciences

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

• experience carrying out or supervising large-scale research projects

• at least 2 years post-doctoral experience in avian field ecology, behavioural ecology or a relevant field

• skills in statistical modelling (e.g., mixed-effects regression, mark-recapture analysis, population matrix modelling)

• at least 10 published (or accepted) research papers in peer-reviewed journals

• advanced knowledge of R programming, database management, and data wrangling

• international field experience studying wild populations (preferably birds)

• experience in bird ringing and preferably ringing licence

• valid driving licence

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