Doctorado pajarero en Noruega estudiando dinámicas ecológicas en gorriones ~

31 de octubre de 2021

Doctorado pajarero en Noruega estudiando dinámicas ecológicas en gorriones

Oferta compartida por Nuria

PhD position on The Evolutionary Ecology of Social Behaviour, Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (CBD), NTNU, Trondheim, Norway

General aim of the project:
Predicting responses to a changing environment is currently one of the biggest challenges in biology. The realization that evolutionary change can rapidly affect ecological and demographic processes, and thus determine the ability of populations to cope with environmental change, has led to a rapid increase in the number of studies focusing on the feedbacks between ecology and evolution (eco-evolutionary dynamics). Surprisingly, even though competition, cooperation and sexual reproduction are key ecological processes determining phenotypic evolution and the size of populations, classic theory on the evolution of social behaviour has not been fully integrated within the eco-evolutionary dynamics paradigm. There is thus a huge gap in our understanding of eco-evolutionary dynamics, which hinders our ability to predict how populations will respond to the rapid environmental change currently faced by many organisms. This project will help build this missing bridge between social behaviour and eco-evolutionary dynamics research using a unified framework based on behavioural ecology theory on social traits, quantitative genetic models providing statistical descriptions of the responses to selection, and population projection models focusing on stochastic population dynamics. We will focus on a house sparrow meta-population on Norwegian islands that has been monitored since the early 90s. The project will involve analyses of existing data and fieldwork.

Accordingly, the main aims of the PhD position are 
1) to quantify how social interactions affect the reproductive success of individuals; 
2) to quantify the spatial and social structure of house sparrows in different island populations; and 
3) to quantify how the patterns of social interactions affect population dynamics and how population dynamics affect the patterns of social interactions. 
These aims will be achieved using an exceptional multi-year dataset from a house sparrow meta-population in Norway.

The position will suit a PhD candidate who is keen to learn advanced statistical methods, and apply them to understand patterns, causes and consequences of phenotypic variation arising in wild populations. It will provide complete doctoral education to obtain a doctoral degree, including primary research training, PhD-level credit courses, and appropriate teaching experience. Research training will include data management, statistical analyses including mixed models and capture-mark-recapture approaches, experience of field data collection, and experience of working within a collaborative research team.

The successful candidate should have a quantitative methods background in evolutionary biology and behavioural ecology. The working environment is English.

Project group:
The project is based on a recently funded proposal “Social dynamics and eco-evolutionary feedbacks in wild populations” by the Research Council of Norway. The PhD student will work in the Centre for Biodiversity Dynamics (CBD; ) at the University of Science and Technology (NTNU; ) in Trondheim, Norway. The main supervisors will be Yimen Araya-Ajoy and Jonathan Wright and the PhD-student will collaborate closely with Myranda Murray, Jane Reid, Bernt-Erik Sæther and Henrik Jensen. CBD is a leading center on evolutionary ecology research and is located on the beautiful Trondheim fjord. The city has a very socially progressive environment, full of students and with great access to nature. For more information about the project, please contact and for more information about working in our group please contact

Project duration and starting date
The successful candidate will be offered a fully-funded three-year PhD-position starting 01.01.2022. There is a possible extension to 4 years if the student is also involved in teaching. Apply here

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