Delegates at ASSAB 2014 conference, Katoomba

Delegates at ASSAB 2014 conference, Katoomba


Message from ASSAB President: 2015



Faculty Positions

Tenured professorship in Neurobiology, University of Würzburg [March 22, 2015]

The position (equivalent to tenured associate professorship) is integrated into the Department of Behavioral Physiology & Sociobiology (Zoology II) at the Biocenter, University of Würzburg. The successful candidate should have an internationally competitive research record on the neuronal mechanisms and/or the evolution of insect behavior. This might include aspects of intra- and inter-species interactions and/or behavioral timing. The research focus should complement existing research fields both thematically and methodologically. Research interests with high potential for interactions with the emerging Center for Computational and Theoretical Biology will be considered preferentially. Expectations include active contributions to the DFG collaborative research center (SFB 1047) “Insect timing: mechanisms, plasticity and interactions”, and participation in the establishment of new collaborative research programs.

Teaching responsibilities include basic and advanced seminars and courses for bachelor, master and teacher (biology) students in animal physiology, behavioral sciences, neurobiology, and evolutionary biology. The Biocenter of the University of Würzburg offers an excellent scientific environment with unique opportunities for interdisciplinary collaborations.

Requirements for the position include an adequate university degree, a proven record of teaching, a doctoral degree, habilitation or equivalent academic qualifications earned via a junior professorship or from outside the university.

The University of Würzburg is an equal opportunity employer. The university seeks to increase the number of women in teaching and research and strongly encourages applications of qualified women. Handicapped candidates are also encouraged to apply and will be treated preferentially if qualified equally.

Please submit your application electronically and as a hardcopy by 3 April 2015, following the directions on our website (http://www.dekanat.biozentrum.uni-wuerzburg.de).

Dekan der Fakultät für Biologie
Biozentrum, Am Hubland
97074 Würzburg, Germany

Starting date: April 2016

Associate Lecturer (Level A): Animal Behaviour, Macquarie University, Sydney [March 21, 2015]

Macquarie University is a workplace like no other. From our inception we have crossed traditional boundaries. We developed the first electronic calculator for people with vision impairment, wireless internet technology and the Macquarie Dictionary. We were the first university in Australia to introduce childcare on campus and the first to appoint a female Vice-Chancellor. We were founded to be different, and we have always been at the forefront of changes to the way we work, live and learn.

We are recognised globally as one of Australia’s leading research universities. We recently earned a 5-star rating in the QS World Rankings, including the highest rating for employability. We have been among the top-rated employers in the Australian Workplace Employers Index since it was founded 2010.  We are, definitively, a world-class university for students and staff. We’re investing heavily in new buildings, courses and staff, and collaborating with businesses here and around the world including Cochlear Ltd, Intel and the CSIRO.

Our University is set on a wide, park-like campus, with all the facilities you would expect in a world-class CBD. With our new high-tech library, private teaching hospital, gym and pools, childcare facilities, excellent transport, and the newly expanded Macquarie Park shopping mall next door, Macquarie is a great place to work and relax.

The Department 

The Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University is a leading research and teaching department and conducts research all levels of biological organisation as well as across a diversity of taxa. For more information please visit http://bio.mq.edu.au/

The role 

One 0.8 FTE, 4-year fixed term teaching/research position is available in the Department of Biological Sciences, starting 01 July 2015.

The successful candidates will:

  • Have a PhD in a relevant discipline
  • Develop and lead a research program in Animal Behaviour
  • Develop internal and external collaborations
  • Apply for and attract external funds
  • Deliver teaching at the undergraduate and postgraduate level (postgraduate course-work or supervision)

Essential Selection Criteria:

To be considered for this position, applicants must respond to the selection criteria below and attach as a separate document in the application process:

  • Completion of a PhD in Biology, Zoology or a relevant field
  • Evidence of strong research activity in Animal Behaviour relative to opportunity.
  • Demonstrated potential to attract external funds
  • Demonstrated teaching experience and demonstrated potential for teaching excellence at an undergraduate and/or postgraduate level across one or more disciplines in Biology
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Demonstrated ability and commitment to build collaborations within and outside a university department
  • A track record of contribution to administration in a University or professional setting.

Salary Package: Level A from $66,334 to $89,320 per annum plus 17% employer’s superannuation and annual leave loading

Appointment Type: 0.8 full-time equivalent, 4 year fixed term commencing 1 July 2015.

Enquiries: Professor Marie Herberstein, Head of Department, Biological Sciences via e-mail marie.herberstein@mq.edu.au or phone +61 2 9850 6276

Applications Close: Sunday 5 April 2015 at 11.55pm

Macquarie University is an EO Employer committed to diversity and social inclusion. Applications are encouraged from people with a disability; women (particularly for senior and non-traditional roles); Indigenous Australians, people who identify as GLBTI; and those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Applications need to be submitted through the Macquarie University online recruitment system. Where circumstances such as disability or remote location prohibit your access to our online system please contact the enquiries person listed in this advertisement for assistance.


Graduate Positions

Two PhD Scholarships: Visual Information Processing in Ants, Macquarie University, Sydney [March 23, 2015]

Project description: Size is thought to dictate the performance of sensory systems and through this the lifestyle and the information processing capacities of animals. Ants exhibit dramatic differences in body size both within and between species. Irrespective of size, all individuals have to be competent navigators, pinpoint goals, detect polarised skylight, estimate distances, view landmarks, memorise and recall crucial information. This project will identify the behavioural costs and neural adaptations for navigating at the limits of size.

The project will involve state-of-art ant tracking techniques (Differential GPS, high speed videography), video analysis and insect view reconstructions. In addition, there will be opportunities to learn histological, neuroanatomical and micro-CT techniques to measure, map and reconstruct the sensory and information processing structures in ants. This research addresses many fascinating areas of biology and offers tremendous scope for students to pursue their own interest in the field of insect navigation.

We are looking for students enthusiastic about experimental research, are self-driven, and fully dedicated to work on an exciting project in a vibrant and stimulating environment alongside a team of international researchers. Candidates with experience in video and image analysis and/or working with social insect behaviour are particularly encouraged to apply. Start date is negotiable, but must be before October 2015.

Project will be suitable for candidates with a background and an interest in evolutionary biology, neurobiology, computational biology and myrmecology. Additional information: http://ecologicalneuroscience.com

Contact: Dr Ajay Narendra; ajay.narendra [at] mq.edu.au; 02 6125 4799; Deadline: May 31, 2015

The 2015 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $25,849 pa (2015 rate) tax exempt for 3 years.

Prospective PhD applicants should have completed the equivalent of Macquarie University’s Master of Research (MRes) degree, MPhil or other 2 year Masters degree with a major research component with excellent results. Refer to the HDR Entry Criteria for more information about this.

To be eligible for a PhD scholarship applicants would be expected to have a record of excellent academic performance, especially in the research Masters degree, and additional relevant research experience and/or peer-reviewed research activity, awards and/or prizes in line with the University’s scholarship rating guidelines. Refer to the HDR Scholarship Requirements for more information about this.

Applicants will need to complete a candidature/scholarship application form and arrange for two academic referee reports to be submitted to the Higher Degree Research Office. Refer to: http://www.hdr.mq.edu.au/information_about/applicationsfor further application instructions. Macquarie University will advise the successful applicant of entitlements at the time of scholarship offer. Please quote the allocation number 2015140 (domestic applicants) or 2015141 (international applicants) on your application

PhD Scholarship: Lizard Personality, Learning and Metabolism, University of New South Wales, Sydney [March 21, 2015]

Dr. Daniel Noble and A/Professor Shinichi Nakagawa in the Evolution & Research Centre (E&ERC), at the University of New South Wales (UNSW) are seeking a highly motivated and enthusiastic student to study the covariation between metabolism, personality and learning in a model Australian lizard system. The student will join a newly formed lab group at UNSW and be part of an exciting multidisciplinary team building links between environmentally driven effects on phenotypic variation and the consequences of these effects on fitness. The student will combine theory with extensive experimental work manipulating incubation temperatures, taking behavioural and physiological measures, and establishing controlled semi-natural breeding experiments to obtain multigenerational data. They will use cutting edge molecular (e.g. SNP genotyping) and statistical tools (e.g. meta-analysis, Bayesian and individual-based modeling) during their candidature to address important topical questions in evolutionary and behavioural ecology.  The student will also work with collaborators from Macquarie University, Sydney University, and The Australian National University in addition to other research groups at UNSW. We expect the student to travel to both international and national conferences to present the results of their work during their candidature.

If you are interested in joining our exciting project at E&ERC, UNSW please send an email with an expression of interest, why you are interested in joining the lab and your CV to Dan (daniel.wa.noble@gmail.com) and Shinichi (s.nakagawa@unsw.edu.au). High quality applicants will apply for an APA scholarship through UNSW, which covers tuition and provides a stipend ($25,392/year; more details at: https://research.unsw.edu.au/domestic-research-candidate-scholarships). Opportunities exist to make additional income through teaching positions advertised in the department.

Note that to apply for an APA scholarship, the candidate needs to be Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. However, we welcome students who would like to bring their own scholarship to join our project.

PhD Scholarship: Primate behavioural EcologyUniversity of Western Australia, Perth [January 19, 2015]

A qualified PhD student is sought to carry out a fieldwork-based observational study in the field of primate behavioural ecology under the principal supervision of Associate Professor Cyril C. Grueter at The University of Western Australia (UWA). The project aims to shed light on the social organisation of a supergroup of Angolan colobus monkeys in Rwanda. The group numbers 500+ individuals, one of the largest primate groups ever recorded. Very little is known about the ecological preconditions (resource abundance and distribution) that allow these primates to live in such extremely large groups and nothing is known about how these supergroups are internally structured. Our field research is designed to fill this knowledge gap. There is also room for slight modifications in the nature of the project, e.g. examining the effects of forest fragmentation on social grouping patterns. Data will be collected using group scans and focal animal sampling to determine social relationships and proximity patterns. Vegetation sampling/phenological data collection will be undertaken to characterise abundance, distribution and seasonality of food resources. Due to superficial similarities with human multilevel societies, this project also has implications for an understanding of human social evolution. 

The specific areas of expertise of the applicant are open but should fit into the general theme. Topics of interest include primatology, biological anthropology, and behavioural ecology. Competitive applicants will hold a M.Sc. or Honours in zoology, (biological) anthropology or related fields and have a strong interest in animal behaviour. General UWA PhD entrance requirements can be found on the Future Students website (http://www.studyat.uwa.edu.au). Demonstrated scientific creativity and expertise working with primates and/or field experience in tropical areas and knowledge of applied statistics are a plus.

The student is expected to be scholarship competitive. Domestic students may apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award (APA) or a University Postgraduate Award (UPA) scholarship. International students may apply for an International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS). Partial funding for the project is available, but the candidate is expected to seek additional funding from granting agencies for the project-related expenses. 

For enquiries, please contact Dr. Cyril C. Grueter, School of Anatomy, Physiology and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia, 35 Stirling Highway, Crawley, 6009, WA, Australia; e-mail: cyril.grueter@uwa.edu.au; phone: +61 (8) 6488 8643.

Ph.D. Scholarship: Multivariate Evolution: Experimental evolution of multiple trait interactions under changed environments, Deakin University [January 8, 2015]

I have a Ph.D. scholarship available for a first class student starting in 2015 or 2016 at the Waurn Ponds (Centre for Integrative Ecology) campus of Deakin University. The research takes advantage of my long term experimental evolution project which investigates multivariate evolution of male colour pattern components, female colour preferences and colour vision in 12 guppy mesocosms under three different light environments. General topic: Quantitative genetics of experimental evolution of colour patterns and behaviour in guppies and its relationship to trait functions and functional interactions.

General aims: To examine the pattern, processes and causes of evolution of the G-matrix (genetic variance-covariance matrix) of multiple colour pattern components and their links to mate choice behaviour in populations which are actively evolving under different visual conditions. We are explicitly interested in the pattern and process of multivariate evolution under divergent environmental conditions. Questions include: What are the effects of correlational selection on the G-matrix? Does the form of the G-matrix influence multivariate evolution in the predicted ways? You can also investigate the causes of correlational selection, for example: Does correlational selection of colour pattern components result from their interacting effects on chromatic and luminance contrast and hence on their efficacy as visual signals? There are a lot of different possible avenues of research so long as they investigate the patterns and process of multivariate evolution; I encourage all my students to follow the lines most interesting to them provided it is practical in the 3 years of research.

If you are interested in any aspect of this, please email me. If you are interested, please email me (John A. Endler): John.Endler@deakin.edu.au

Eligibility requirements: In addition to the general PhD requirements at Deakin. You will need some experience with quantitative genetics techniques and some multivariate statistics. Experience with MATLAB or R analysis

is particularly welcome. First preference will be given to Australian citizens or permanent residents but if no appropriate candidates apply, the fellowship will be given to the best non-Australian who applies. You should be able to provide a very strong undergraduate record and letters of recommendation. Unlike other Australian scholarships, I do not expect you to have published any papers, in fact I’m highly suspicious of publication of work done as an undergraduate. However, you should definitely show your merit in your undergraduate record and letters of recommendation. These documents should also show that you are creative, original, innovative, and analytic rather than just a technician or a paper mill. Stipend: Standard APA rate ($25,849 in 2015) with standard conditions in regards to extensions and other allowances.

Dates and details: The closing date for applications is 1 July 2015; and the successful applicant should start no later than February or March 2016, sooner if possible. For more information on any aspect of the scholarship, please email me: John.Endler@deakin.edu.au. For information about the Centre for Integrative ecology, see http://cie-deakin.com/

Field Assistant Positions

Monitor a colour-banded population of lovely fairy-wrens in Cairns

We are looking for field assistants to help expand and monitor a colour-banded population of lovely fairy-wrens in Cairns (Queensland), Australia for a study on female ornamentation. Time periods: June or September 2015 (3 to 6 months). Duties include regular censusing of colour-banded birds, searching for and monitoring nests, mist-netting, recording song and measuring colouration, behavioural observations, video analysis, and data proofing. Working days are long, with early starts six days a week. Enthusiasm, self-motivation and organisation, and a strong work ethic are a must. Qualifications: experience monitoring colour-banded birds, nest-searching, and mist-netting. Good knowledge of English is a requirement. Must also be early riser, physically fit, able to work in extreme weather conditions, and enjoy basic shared living conditions. Having experience in behavioural observations and a driving licence is a plus but not a requirement.

Accommodation is provided, but assistants cover travel to the site and their own food costs. The project will reimburse up to AUD$750/mo towards receipted food and travel expenses. For more information contact: Ana Leitao (avitorinoATstudent.unimelb.edu.au). To apply, please email a letter outlining previous relevant field research experience, and a CV including names and contact information for 3 referees. Applications received until the 9th of April 2015 will receive full consideration. Later applications may be considered.


Upcoming Conferences

2015. August 9-14. Behaviour 2015 - 34th International Ethological Conference. Cairns Convention Centre, Queensland, Australia

2016. March 29 – April 3. International Congress of Neuroethology, Uruguay

2016. August. 8th World Congress of Herpetology, Hangzhou, China

2016. September 25-30. International Congress of Entomology, Orlando, Florida, USA

2018. International Union for the Study of Social Insects, Guarujá, Brazil.



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