Delegates at ASSAB 2014 conference, Katoomba

Delegates at ASSAB 2014 conference, Katoomba


Message from ASSAB President: 2015



Faculty Positions

Lecturers in Psychology (Education and Research), College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter, UK [April 21, 2015]

Job reference : P48356

Application closing date : 18/05/2015

Location: Exeter
Salary: salary range £33,242 up to £40,847 on Grade F, depending on qualifications and experience.
Package: Generous holiday allowances, flexible working, pension scheme and relocation package (if applicable)
Job category/type: Academic

Combining world class research with very high levels of student satisfaction we are a member of the Russell Group and now have over 19,000 students. In the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF) Exeter was ranked 16th nationally with 98% of its research rated as being of international quality. We are ranked 7th in The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide league table, 10th in The Complete University Guide and 12th in the Guardian University Guide.

The College of Life and Environmental Sciences is committed to providing innovative teaching inspired by our world class research 85% of which was rated as world leading or internationally excellent in the REF2014. The Times Higher Education World Rankings 2014/2015 place us in the top 100 in the world.

We are seeking to appoint two Lecturers in Psychology who will contribute to extending the research profile of Psychology at Exeter. Candidates with an outstanding research profile in any area that will complement and extend our world-leading research in clinical psychology; social, environmental and organisational psychology; cognitive psychology and neuroscience, and animal behaviour are invited to apply.  However, we are particularly keen to encourage applications from candidates in the areas of clinical psychology and animal behaviour.

The successful applicant will hold a PhD in Psychology area and have an independent, internationally-recognised research programme in an active field of Psychology research related or complementary to existing Exeter strengths. He/she will be able to demonstrate the following qualities and characteristics; a strong record in attracting research funding, or demonstrable potential to attract such funding, teamwork skills to work in collaboration with existing group members, an active and supportive approach to inter-disciplinary and multi-disciplinary research that will help to foster interactions and links both within the University and externally, the attitude and ability to engage in continuous professional development, the aptitude to develop familiarity with a variety of strategies to promote and assess learning and enthusiasm for delivering undergraduate programmes.

We are keen to receive applications from the widest talent pool and to encourage this applications from those wishing to work part-time or on a job share basis are encouraged.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Head of Psychology, Prof Mark Levine (tel: 01392-726448, email: M.Levine@exeter.ac.uk ) to discuss the posts further. You may also wish to consult our web site at http://psychology.exeter.ac.uk/index.html for further details of the Psychology Department and the College.

To view the Job Description and Person Specification document please click here.

The department is proud to have a Bronze Athena SWAN award in recognition of their commitment to providing equality of opportunity and advancing the representation of women in STEM/M subjects.

The University of Exeter is an equal opportunity employer which is ‘Positive about Disabled People’. Whilst all applicants will be judged on merit alone, we particularly welcome applications from groups currently underrepresented in the workforce.

Lecturer/Associate Professor (Senior Lecturer/Reader), Animal Behaviour and Welfare, Plymouth University, Devon, UK [April 13, 2015]

The School of Biological Sciences at Plymouth University is looking to appoint dynamic and enthusiastic academics to contribute to its ongoing success and growth. The School has existing research and teaching strengths in areas of ecology, animal behaviour, microbiology, food security, ecotoxicology, and environmental risk assessment.

You will have experience of research in animal behaviour and /or animal welfare to complement our existing research and teaching profile. We particularly encourage applications from those whose research focuses on the mechanistic underpinning of animal behaviour and animal welfare (e.g. physiology, neurobiology). Although there is some flexibility the post holder will be required to deliver teaching in animal physiology and/or health within the general wider context of behaviour and welfare.

For informal discussion on this post please contact Dr Sarah Collins, Associate Professor in Animal Behaviour, tel: +44 1752 584616 email: sarah.collins@plymouth.ac.uk

Full details:

Job reference A4186. Closing date 04 May 2015

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


Graduate Positions

PhD Scholarship: Invasion Ecology, Deakin University [April 30, 2015]

A PhD scholarship on invasion ecology is available in the Rollins lab in the Centre for Integrative Ecology at Deakin University. Although invasive species are a massive threat to biodiversity, and costly to society, we still do not understand the evolutionary processes that shape invasions. Invasive populations often show rapid evolutionary change in novel environments but attempts to identify the underlying genetic basis of these changes have been largely unsuccessful. This PhD is part of a larger project exploring an innovative and untested alternative possibility: that invader evolution is primarily driven by epigenetic change. Using an iconic Australian invasive species, the cane toad, we will conduct a multi-generational experiment to manipulate DNA methylation levels and quantify the effects on phenotypic traits important to invasion and which have been shown to change across the introduced range in Australia, including traits related to dispersal ability, immune function and personality. We will also be investigating the plasticity of these traits and determining whether this relates to changes in epigenetic state. The larger project is well-resourced and multi-disciplinary, combining the efforts of molecular ecologists at Deakin University with invasion ecologists (Professor Rick Shine and his team) from the University of Sydney.

Selection criteria: This PhD project will be primarily based at our collaborator’s field station in the Northern Territory but will also include time at the Deakin University Geelong campus. We seek an ecologist with an interest in epigenetic inheritance who will work closely with team members who are conducting genetic/epigenetic analyses. There will be flexibility to tailor the PhD project to your specific interests if they are aligned with our research direction.

We seek someone who is hard-working and enthusiastic about invasion ecology and herpetology. The ideal candidate will have some field experience, a demonstrated ability to work independently and well-developed organisational skills. Preference will be given to applicants with at least one first-authored publication.

Scholarship/application details: The successful candidate will be awarded a PhD stipend of AUD$25,392 per annum (tax-free) over three years. Applicants should send an email to Dr. Lee Ann Rollins (lee.rollins@deakin.edu.au) including: 1) a CV; 2) academic record (subjects and marks); 3) a one-page summary of your research interests and career goals; and 4) details of 3 referees (including any previous research supervisors). Closing date for applications is 22nd May.

PhD opportunity in Anthrozoology, La Trobe University, VIC [April 20, 2015]

  • Are you interested in understanding how psychological factors like motivation and sustained attention affect scent dog performance?
  • Do you have a strong academic background in psychology, behavioural neuroscience, ethology, zoology, veterinary science or other related discipline?
  • Can you see yourself undertaking a challenging but rewarding PhD project supervised by a team of leading researchers?
  • Would you like to spend three years living and working in the wonderful regional Victorian City of Greater Bendigo?

The Anthrozoology Research Group at La Trobe University is interested in psychological factors that make dogs successful in scent based roles, including detection of: endangered or invasive species; medical conditions such as hypoglycaemia and cancer; agricultural problems such as animal and plant diseases. We are offering a three year scholarship of approximately $30,000 tax free per year for a PhD candidate to study these processes using advanced techniques drawn from the fields of psychology and behavioural neuroscience.

To be eligible for this position you MUST hold a first class honours degree in a relevant discipline OR be close to Completing your honours year.

Please contact Associate Professor Pauleen Bennett for additional information.
Pauleen.bennett@latrobe.edu.au or phone 03 5444 7460
Details: http://www.anthrozoologyresearchgroup.com/get-involved/

PhD opportunity: Arresting woodland bird declines through Noisy Miner control: a large-scale removal experiment, The University of Queensland or University of New England [April 20, 2015]

Aggressive exclusion of birds from woodland and forest habitat by native Noisy Miners is a Key Threatening Process under the EPBC Act. It has severe impacts on an extensive range of threatened woodland bird species, and flow-on effects for threatened eucalypt-dominated grassy-woodland communities. Removal of Noisy Miners from selected woodland patches has enormous potential to immediately boost conservation outcomes by opening up previously alienated habitat to threatened birds, and increasing the available resources for these birds much faster than other restoration activities alone. Preliminary work in other states suggests removal can be achieved at low-cost and, at least in some circumstances, has enduring benefits. With growing interest in using direct control of noisy miners as a management tool, broader-scale research is needed urgently to examine the circumstances under which it is appropriate and effective. This project will quantify the cost-effectiveness of direct control of noisy miners, and establish factors that influence success of the approach in restoring assemblages of threatened woodland birds.

This project offers a rare opportunity to be involved in a landscape-scale field experiment. Fieldwork will be done across three regions of inland New South Wales. The PhD student can enrol at either The University of Queensland or University of New England. The supervisory team includes Dr Richard Major (Australian Museum), Dr Paul McDonald (UNE) and Assoc. Prof. Martine Maron (UQ).

Prospective students must be eligible to obtain an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship or international equivalent. Project running costs with the potential for a scholarship top-up are available. If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact either Martine Maron (m.maron@uq.edu.au) or Paul McDonald (paul.mcdonald@une.edu.au), and send a CV and transcript of undergraduate results.

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/applications for 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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