Postdoc sobre organización social en ratones en Sudáfrica ~

17 de octubre de 2019

Postdoc sobre organización social en ratones en Sudáfrica

Postdoc Project: Reproductive Competition and Sociality

(Seasonal Unpredictability and Social Flexibility)

We are looking for a highly motivated postdoc to join the striped mouse project and our group at the University of the Witwatersrand (Johannesburg) to study the influence of the degree of reproductive competition on sociality. We have two South African funding opportunities (one pending, one call coming up) and decisions about the funding and the postdoc position will be made before Christmas 2019.

For the project, a long-term dataset on social organisation of striped mice will be available for analyses (from 2003 to present) and further data collection will extend to 2021. Sociality (% of solitary versus group-living striped mice) will be studied in relation to population density and the intensity of reproductive competition, which is (i) very high during the spring breeding season when all females breed, (ii) absent during most summer dry seasons, (iii) low during summers with unexpected rains when few females breed (6 out of 17 summers in the current data set).

Questions and predictions: We expect that reduced reproductive competition during summer breeding will lead to more social instability in spring compared to summer, i.e. groups to be more stable in summer. We will also study which factors differ between females that breed during the summer vs. females that don’t. Finally, the impact of rare summer breeding on population dynamics will be studied.

Key requirements: Strong statistical skills. Good understanding of social evolution. Strong CV with 3 publications from the PhD and at least 1 publication per year from postdoc studies, some of them in high ranking journals (impact factor >3). Willingness to spend considerable time in the field in South Africa. Ability to analyse data and to write manuscripts while being field based.

What you will learn: Strong field skills. The postdoc will spend considerable time in the field. It is expected that the postdoc will prepare and start analysing the database while being based at the Succulent Karoo Research Station in South Africa

Key references:

Schradin, C. 2013. Intraspecific variation in social organization by genetic variation, developmental plasticity, social flexibility or entirely extrinsic factors. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences, 368, doi:10.1098/rstb.2012.0346.

Schradin, C., Hayes, L. D., Pillay, N. & Bertelsmeier, C. 2018. The evolution of intraspecific variation in social organization. Ethology, 124, 527-536.

Schradin, C., König, B. & Pillay, N. 2010. Reproductive competition favours solitary living while ecological constraints impose group-living in African striped mice. Journal of Animal Ecology, 79, 515-521.

Schradin, C., Lindholm, A. K., Johannesen, J., Schoepf, I., Yuen, C.-H., König, B. & Pillay, N. 2012. Social flexibility and social evolution in mammals: a case study of the African striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio). Molecular Ecology, 21, 541-553.

How to apply: In a single PDF, send a letter of motivation, your academic CV, and contact details of a minimum of 2 referees to Carsen Schradin, and Neville Pillay, Applications will be screened continuously. For full consideration, send your application before the 1st of November 2019.

More information:,, To get more details on the research questions email


Dr. Carsten Schradin

Director of the Succulent Karoo Research Station (South African non-profit organization), Goegap Nature Reserve, PO Box 541, 8240 Springbok, South Africa

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