Oferta de doctorado con aves en Nueva Zelanda ~ Bioblogia.net

14 de marzo de 2018

Oferta de doctorado con aves en Nueva Zelanda

One PhD position available for new project on the evolutionary origins of song learning in birds. This project is a collaboration between Dr. Kristal Cain (kecain.weebly.com) at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, and Dr Michelle Hall (michellehall.wordpress.com) at The University of Melbourne in Australia. Both domestic and international applications are encouraged.

Vocal learning in birds is of great interdisciplinary importance and
an excellent model for human language. This research relies on a clear
understanding of the evolutionary origins of vocal learning, but recent
reports have undermined previous assumptions, leading to a hotly contested
debate about the evolution of vocal learning. Vocal development in one
group of birds, the New Zealand wrens (Acanthisitti), is critical for
resolving this debate, but is currently unknown and unstudied. The project
will focus on tītipounamu/rifleman and combine in-depth behavioural
analyses with new acoustic tools to determine whether vocalisations are
learned or innate in these endemic birds. We are also interested in sex
differences in vocal acquisition patterns.

This project has a strong field focus and will require substantial time
in remote areas. There is flexibility for keen students to guide the
direction of the research within the framework of the overall project. The
PhD project is anticipated to start mid-2018, with fieldwork commencing
in August. Informal inquiries are welcome.

Preferred selection criteria

• Strong previous academic record

• Enthusiasm and interest in the broad concepts and questions
motivating the research

• Interest in undertaking field-based avian research, especially
in collecting acoustic data

• Enjoyment of outdoor fieldwork and confidence in working in
remote locations that can experience extreme weather.

• Excellent interpersonal, oral and written communication skills

• Ability to learn/use R (statistical programming language),
new packages for analysis (e.g. warbleR), and new software (e.g. Sound
Analysis Pro)

• Experience with bird banding/ringing, nest searching, and
acoustic techniques is helpful

To apply, please send an e-mail briefly explaining your research
interests and career goals, a CV, a copy of academic transcripts,
and contact information for two references to Dr. KE Cain
(k.cain@auckland.ac.nz). Informal enquires are also welcome.

Application and funding details: This project supported by the Marsden
Fund of The Royal Society of New Zealand (broadly equivalent of US
NSF). Funding includes a tax-free stipend, full tuition fees, and
operational expenses for travel, conference attendance and research
expenses over the 3-year programme.

Requirements: Applicants should have completed a degree with a
significant research component (e.g. MSc or BSc Honours), and
have an excellent academic record. Students will need to qualify
for a U Auckland scholarship and admission to U Auckland (see
https://www.auckland.ac.nz/en/for/future-postgraduates). Please also
note the English language proficiency requirements.


We encourage all qualified applicants to apply. Auckland is a diverse and
welcoming city and we are committed to increasing diversity in biology. We
particularly encourage Maori/Pacifica students to apply; tītipounamu
are endemic songbirds and taonga, adding special significance and
kaitiakitanga to our proposed research. Our project celebrates their
unique status – the phylogeny/whakapapa of this species is critical
to our project and for understanding the true origins of vocal learning

Kristal Cain - Lecturer
School of Biological Sciences
University of Auckland
+64 9 923 5815

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