5 ofertas de técnico, doctorado y postdoctorado en el nuevo Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior ~ Bioblogia.net

18 de junio de 2019

5 ofertas de técnico, doctorado y postdoctorado en el nuevo Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior

The new Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior (https://www.ab.mpg.de/) in Konstanz, Germany, has 5 open PhD, Postdoctoral andTechnician positions in collective animal behavior in birds, fish and insects. The positions are open immediately and the deadline for applications is July 15th. Candidates should contact Iain (icouzin@ab.mpg.de) with “Position #” where # is the respective position number. Applicants should include their CV and provide a statement of interest for the respective position(s) to which an application is being made, and the names and contact information for 3 people who can provide references.

Candidates will work in a dynamic research environment, and will be based in the Max Planck Department of Collective Behaviour ( see http://collectivebehaviour.com/) and the Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour (https://www.exc.uni-konstanz.de/collective-behaviour/) at the University of Konstanz in the historic city of Konstanz in Southern Germany.

The University of Konstanz one of the nine “elite universities” in Germany. Konstanz is renewed for its beauty and is well connected via Zurich International Airport which is about 50 mins drive / 1hr5mins direct train away.

The Max Planck Institutes and the University of Konstanz focus on excellence in research and the successful applicant will benefit from outstanding infrastructure, opportunities for training and a highly collaborative and international research environment.

Our working language is English and consequently applicants must be fluent in this language; no knowledge of German is required. This appointment is for one year initially, with the possibility of renewal based on satisfactory performance. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience, and benefits are included.

Position 1: Analysis of ultra-high resolution 3D tracking data to understand bird social behavior (PhD / open-ended Postdoc position)

Iain Couzin http://collectivebehaviour.com/people/couzin-iain/
Máté Nagy http://collectivebehaviour.com/people/nagy-mate/

The candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary, international team to study collective sensing and decision-making in birds. The candidate will have access to a newly-developed, fully automatic, 3D tracking technology developed for birds and deployed in a large (15 x 7 x 4m) state-of-the art indoor aviary at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Konstanz/Radolfzell. In addition to 3D tracking this aviary is instrumented for automatic call localisation, allowing the study of multimodal (visual and acoustic) communication. Research questions of interest include innovation, cognition, social learning, individual and collective sensing / decision-making.

Position 2. Development of computational tools to study collective animal behavior (PhD / open-ended Postdoc position)

Iain Couzin http://collectivebehaviour.com/people/couzin-iain/

We are particularly interested in machine learning (e.g. deep-learning) methodology for behavioral analysis, and especially the translation of sensory cues/signals into behavioral decisions. A recent example of the type of technology we have already developed, see: Graving et al., “Fast and robust animal pose estimation”.

Position 3. Utilization of immersive Virtual Reality to understand individual and collective decision-making (PhD / open-ended Postdoc position)

Iain Couzin http://collectivebehaviour.com/people/couzin-iain/

In this project the candidate will employ a new immersive Virtual Reality system for freely moving animals to investigate the sensory basis of schooling in fish in the Couzin Lab. This project will integrate VR and conventional experimentation to map how properties such as rate, and timing, of turning and/or acceleration/deceleration, as well as the position on the retina prior to, or during, behavioral change impacts movement decisions of focal real fish. Of particular interest will be how individuals integrate information, such as changes in motion of others (e.g. turning, startle behavior), in space (different regions of the visual field) and time (the time between the observed changes). These data will be used to determine the algorithms employed by zebrafish when making movement decisions. We will work with colleagues in the Computer Science department to seek machine learning methodology that allows the unsupervised identification of the visual features that are maximally-informative regarding individual decisions in a collective context.

Position 4. Connecting Individual Differences to the Functional Complexity of Animal Groups (open ended Postdoc position)

Iain Couzin http://collectivebehaviour.com/people/couzin-iain/

This project will explore how inter-individual differences in behavior and physiology (such as differences in individual sensitivity, uncertainty, influence of and by others in the group, sensory capabilities, decision-making algorithms etc.) impact the sensing, decision-making and search dynamics of the groups. We will seek to understand how differences affect whether a decision is made, which alternative or sequence of alternatives is chosen, the speed and accuracy of the decision or search, and the responsiveness of the decision and search to changes in the environment. We are open to employing different experimental systems in this study, including (but not exclusively) fish and birds.

We aim to examine individual differences for the following kinds of dynamics, which are fundamental to collective animal behavior:

Spreading dynamics describe how easily a response by an individual to a stimulus, such as a threat, target, or source of data, spreads through a networked group of individuals. Spreading dynamics underlie the dynamics of collective decision-making and search.
Decision-making and search dynamics describe how individuals and the group as a whole make choices among alternatives: for example, choosing which alternative is true, which action to take, which direction or motion pattern to follow, or when something in the environment or in the state of the system has changed. Decision-making under limited information and uncertainty is fundamental to search tasks in which individuals must choose among options in order to find a target or peak in an uncertain distributed field.
Multiple task management describes how tasks such as search and threat avoidance are carried out simultaneously given costs, benefits, and limited resources that derive from complex, real-world environments. Spreading and decision-making dynamics are fundamental to multiple task management.

We know little about the relationship between social network structure and contagion, and have no information at all about multiple layers of communication (such as mediated by different sensory modalities) and how individuals integrate these layers of sensory input when making decisions. We will address these issues using methodologies in which we can quantify inter-individual differences in sensing and response to stimuli as well as by physically and pharmacologically manipulating sensory modalities allowing us to precisely test specific hypotheses regarding social contagion in natural animal groups. This will allow us to reveal how the structure of communication networks impacts collective sensing, search, foraging and avoidance of risk. The successful candidates will, have access to world-class research facilities including considerable in-house expertise in machine learning, automated tracking, sensory reconstruction, virtual reality and and behavioural analysis technologies.

Position 5. Skilled Research Technician

(full-time, up to E 13 TV-L) Job code: 2019/128 - for details, including how to apply, see https://www.exc.uni-konstanz.de/collective-behaviour/engagement/open-positions/

The “Centre for the Advanced Study of Collective Behaviour” at the University of Konstanz, together with the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, is seeking a highly skilled research technician for a temporary position until end of December 2025 (with a possibility of a further 7 years if the cluster is successful in the second round of funding). The start date is as soon as possible. In principle, this position can be divided into two half-time positions.

The role involves working closely with the scientists at the “Centre” to support outstanding research in our unique “Imaging Barn”: a 15 x 7 x 4m tracking environment in which we have developed a globally-unique capacity to track animals (insects, birds and mammals) in 3D with extremely high temporal and spatial resolution. Specifically, the role will be to learn, run, and organize the 3D tracking technology (VICON motion capture system (Nexus and Tracker software) and 3D acoustic tracking software) in the “Imaging Barn” facility at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior. The position will be based in the "Imaging Barn" facility, which is in the nearby Radolfzell location (approximately 30 mins drive from Konstanz). However, there is a plan to extend this to the larger “Imaging Hangar” facility, which will be running from early 2021 as part of a major infrastructure project (the 30 Million Euro “Visual Computing of Collectives (VCC)” building focused on collective behaviour research on the University campus).

Your Responsibilities
Implementing python code into the VICON software to address researchers’ need
Organising and managing the experiment timetable coordinating with researchers who are using the facilities
Calibrating the camera system prior to experiments
Maintaining the VICON; microphone array, and associated systems
Consulting with researchers’ experimental design in regard to the VICON system’s strengths and limitations
Assisting with extracting, processing and storing experimental data and assistance with setting up experiments with a diverse range of organisms
Your Competencies
University degree in biology, physics, computer science, or a related scientific field
Interest in collective animal behaviour
Good English in word and writing
Organisational and management skills
Some knowledge, or interest in learning, programming languages (python, C++, MatLab, etc.)
Willingness to work with and handle a variety of animal species including insects, birds and bats (no previous experience required)
Willingness to work with your hands (i.e. building experimental equipment, etc.)
Willingness to work with a diverse and international community of people
Flexibility and problem-solving skills
Enthusiastic and positive outlook
We Offer
Good development opportunities, extensive training and an attractive remuneration package.

Iain D. Couzin

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