Delegates at ASSAB 2014 conference, Katoomba

Delegates at ASSAB 2014 conference, Katoomba


2014 ASSAB Student Grants Announced



Faculty Positions

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Zoology/Ecology, James Cook University, Townsville [December 5, 2014]

Ref. No. 14283 – Townsville

The College of Marine and Environmental Sciences has an enviable international research reputation, and is a leading Australian University in the ISI field of Ecology and Environment. We are seeking to appoint a Lecturer in the Terrestrial Ecosystems and Climate change group, to contribute to and complement our current teaching and research profile. The appointee will have a strong interest in teaching and research in the tropics. He/she will have demonstrated experience and success in tertiary teaching, student supervision and research. The appointee will be required to teach in appropriate areas of zoology, ecology and/or quantitative biology, including their area of special expertise. Preference may be given to applicants with interests in one or more of the following: terrestrial vertebrate ecology, ornithology, mammalogy, wildlife biology, plant-animal interactions, conservation, quantitative methods, and/or terrestrial invertebrate biology.

The Terrestrial Ecosystems and Climate change group is one of the top disciplines in James Cook University for winning competitive research grants, and belongs to JCU’s flagship research College. JCU is an excellent base for research in tropical zoology and ecology because: it has excellent infrastructure; there is ready access to a wide array of environments (rainforest, savannah, streams, wetlands, mountains and islands); there is a rich intellectual environment in the region, including CSIRO (on campus), Wet Tropics Management Authority, Australian Institute of Marine Science, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, several government departments and successful cognate disciplines of JCU; and it has the all the attributes of a western-style university in a safe political and healthy environment.

Employment Type: Appointment will be full-time on a continuing basis.

Salary: Lecturer – Academic Level B – $84,700 – $99,942 per annum; Senior Lecturer – Academic Level C – $102,988 – $118,228 per annum. Level of appointment and commencing salary will be in accordance with qualifications and experience. Benefits include a generous superannuation scheme with 17% employer contributions, five weeks annual recreation leave, flexible working arrangements and attractive options for salary packaging.

Applications close on 11 January 2015.

Applications must be lodged electronically using the online facility located at http://www.jcu.edu.au/jobs/

Lecturer/Senior Lecturer in Marine Biology, James Cook University, Townsville [December 5, 2014]

Ref. No. 14282 – Townsville

The College of Marine and Environmental Sciences is a recognised world leader in coral reef research. We are seeking to appoint a Lecturer in the Discipline of Marine Biology, within the Marine Ecosystems and Impacts Group, to complement our current teaching and research profile. The appointee will have a strong interest in teaching and research focussed on marine invertebrate biology and ecology in the tropics. He/she will have demonstrated experience and success in tertiary teaching, graduate student supervision and research. This is a joint research and teaching appointment, and the appointee will be required to teach undergraduate and postgraduate subjects in marine biology, ecology, and/or quantitative biology. Preference may be given to applicants with interests in coral biology and ecology, and/or marine invertebrate biology.

The Marine Ecosystems and Impacts group of the top research disciplines in James Cook University, and belongs to JCU’s flagship research College. JCU provides an excellent base for research on coral reefs because it has excellent infrastructure including aquarium facilities and high-performance computing facilities, and has ready access to a wide array of marine environments within the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area and the Pacific and Indian Oceans. JCU has a rich intellectual environment including as the administering organisation for the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, together with internal Centres that have an aquatic/maritime focus.  Further, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and several government departments are all located within the region.

Employment Type: Appointment will be full-time on a continuing basis.

Salary: Lecturer – Academic Level B – $84,700 – $99,942 per annum; Senior Lecturer – Academic Level C – $102,988 – $118,228 per annum. Level of appointment and commencing salary will be in accordance with qualifications and experience. Benefits include a generous superannuation scheme with 17% employer contributions, five weeks annual recreation leave, flexible working arrangements and attractive options for salary packaging.

Applications close on 11 January 2015.

Applications must be lodged electronically using the online facility located at http://www.jcu.edu.au/jobs/


Lectureship, 5-year Fixed term, Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, NZ [November 11, 2014]

The School of Biological Sciences invites applications for a 5-year fixed term position as Lecturer in Ecology. Applicants should have a strong record of research and teaching with a focus on some area of the study of animal, plant or microbial ecology. Applicants with expertise in plant or molecular ecology are particularly welcome, but talented applicants in other areas of ecology will be considered.

The successful applicant will be expected to collaborate with other researchers within and outside the University as well as establishing their own research portfolio that attracts external funding and postgraduate students. They will also be expected to teach in the School’s academic programme at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

The School of Biological Sciences currently employs 180 staff and supervises 120 PhD students. The School has modern laboratories and facilities (see SBS web site: http://www.sbs.auckland.ac.nz/), and has excellent facilities in genomics, proteomics and metabolomics, plant culture, Drosophila, zebra fish, and small mammals.

Further details on the School and the position are available from Dr Jacqueline Beggs, Associate Professor and Academic Leader (Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour) j.beggs@auckland.ac.nz

Applications must be submitted online. Applications close: Sunday, 30 November 2014

Assistant Professor position, Animal Physiology, University of Toronto Mississauga [Nov 2, 2014]

The University of Toronto Mississauga (UTM), Department of Biology, invites applications for a tenure-stream faculty appointment in Animal Physiology at the rank of Assistant Professor effective 1 July 2015. We are searching for an outstanding physiologist with demonstrated excellence in endocrine physiology and neurobiology. Specifically, we seek a researcher using invertebrates or non-mammalian vertebrates as models to investigate mechanistic questions at the molecular and cellular levels. The successful candidate is expected to demonstrate an integrative approach to their research. The UTM and its affiliated institutions offer a stimulating and supportive environment with a variety of facilities and a highly interactive community of researchers. We seek applications from individuals whose research program would complement existing departmental research strengths, which include physiology, neuroscience, genetics, behaviour, and evolutionary biology. Our research spans scales from molecules to landscapes. Excellent opportunities exist for collaboration within the Department of Biology, with other departments at UTM (e.g., Chemical and Physical Sciences, Mathematical and Computational Sciences, Psychology), as well as with faculty at the St. George and Scarborough campuses of the University of Toronto. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in Biology or related fields (e.g., Physiology, Biophysics, etc.), post-doctoral experience, an outstanding academic record, demonstrated research excellence, ability to recruit and supervise graduate students, and excellence in teaching. The successful candidate will be expected to have the ability to teach within the comparative physiology program and to contribute to the teaching program of the department. Salary will be commensurate with qualifications and experience. The appointee will be located in the Department of Biology (http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/biology), University of Toronto Mississauga, and will also be a member of the tri-campus graduate Department of Cell and Systems Biology (http://www.csb.utoronto.ca).

All qualified applicants are invited to apply online by clicking the link below. Applications must include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, a statement outlining current and future research interests, a statement on teaching philosophy and experience, and three representative publications. Submission guidelines can be found at: http://uoft.me/how-to-apply. We recommend combining attached documents into one or two files in PDF/MS Word files in the following format: Letter, CV and research and teaching statements, Publications

Applicants should arrange for three signed letters of reference from individuals familiar with the candidate’s research and teaching to be sent directly to: Dr. Sasa Stefanovic, Chair, Department of Biology, University of Toronto Mississauga, 3359 Mississauga Road, Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6, Canada, or by email to: biochair.utm@utoronto.ca.

If you have any questions about this position please contact Prof. Sasa Stefanovic at biochair.utm@utoronto.ca.

Closing date for submissions is 14 November 2014. For more information on the Department of Biology please visit our webpage at http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/biology. Information on potential graduate unit can be found at: http://www.csb.utoronto.ca.


New Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship, UC Davis, California [August 3, 2014]

The College of Biological Sciences at UC Davis invites applications for the New Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship program that will bring outstanding young researchers to campus to conduct highly integrative research addressing major societal challenges.  Fellows will have a home in a sponsoring college laboratory and will conduct research that leverages the tools and approaches represented by at least one additional laboratory at UC Davis.

The position is for TWO YEARS, subject to review after one year, and can begin as early as 1 July 2015.  This position is covered by a collective bargaining unit.  It has an annual salary of $50,000 plus benefits (health, dental and vision insurance), and $10,000 per annum in research and travel support. The Fellow will be expected to participate in graduate training activities in the area of interest and in the second year of the fellowship to present a workshop aimed at graduate students involving the transferal of new methods, tools, techniques or concepts to the UC Davis community. Eligibility is restricted to individuals who have the Ph.D. degree and will have completed no more than three years of postdoctoral training at the time of this appointment. Interested early career individuals should establish communications with at least one host laboratory in the UC Davis College of Biological Sciences and a second bridge laboratory that can be from the CBS or any other UC Davis department. Associate Dean for Research, Peter Wainwright (pcwainwright@ucdavis.edu), can provide additional input on the fellowship.

ONLINE APPLICATION: Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, CV, a short (1-2 page) description of research accomplishments, a short (3-4 page) description of proposed research including names of both proposed faculty mentors, and copies of two publications, all in PDF format at: https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/apply/JPF00328  We require 3 letters of recommendation. The referees you list in the online application will receive an automatic notification from our system instructing them how to directly upload letters to our website. Refer to the on-line instructions for further information. For full consideration, applications (including letters of reference) must be submitted by 5:00 p.m., December 1, 2014. The University of California is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to the development of a climate that supports equality of opportunity and respect for differences. E-mail questions to Sally DiVecchia (svdivecchia@ucdavis.edu). Apply from here.



Graduate Positions

PhD scholarship: Conservation genomics: predicting the adaptive potential of the endangered New Zealand hihi (stitchbird; Notiomystis cincta), University of Auckland, NZ [December 5, 2014]
A PhD scholarship, funded by a New Zealand Marsden Fund Grant, is available with Dr Anna Santure in the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, New Zealand. This project is an exciting opportunity to use genomics and statistical genetics approaches to understand and predict the adaptive potential of the endangered New Zealand hihi (stitchbird; Notiomystis cincta). Determining the adaptive potential of wild populations requires that we understand the genetic basis of traits that are important for survival and reproduction in these populations. In this project, we will characterise the genetic basis of morphological and life history traits in the reintroduced Tiritiri Matangi Island population of hihi, in order to understand the potential of the species to respond to changing environmental pressures, including anthropogenic climate change. Hihi are an ideal study system because, in addition to being a wonderful example of eccentric New Zealand wildlife, a reintroduced population of birds on Tiritiri Matangi Island has been intensively monitored since introduction and we have a wealth of data on morphological and life history traits, social and genetic relationships, DNA samples and environmental variables. The project student will be responsible for helping to develop a genomic toolkit for hihi, using this toolkit to determine the genetic basis of traits in the population using genetic linkage mapping and association, and investigating genetic trade-offs between traits that may constrain the adaptive potential of the species.
We are looking for a candidate with a strong background in statistics, bioinformatics, mathematics, computer programming or similar, as well as a passion for genetics, ecology and conservation biology.

The PhD position requires the applicant to be eligible for admission to the PhD programme at the University of Auckland (here) ; please note the English language proficiency requirements). Candidates should ideally have a GPA of 7 or above; international students are welcome to apply.

This project is a collaboration with Drs Patricia Brekke and John Ewen at the Institute of Zoology, Zoological Society of London, see http://www.hihiconservation.com. To apply for this position, please email Dr Anna Santure (a.santure@auckland.ac.nz) with your cv, names and details of two referees, your academic transcript, and a short statement of interest. I welcome informal enquiries.

The PhD scholarship is available from 1 March 2015 and covers tuition fees and provides an annual tax free allowance of NZD$25,000 for three years.

The closing date is 16 January 2015.

Masters and PhD positions in neuroethology/evolutionary neurobiology, University of Lethbridge, Canada [Nov 6, 2014]
Applications are invited for graduate students (M.Sc. or Ph.D.) interested in pursuing a graduate degree in neuroethology or evolutionary neurobiology in the Iwaniuk lab at the University of Lethbridge. My lab uses a wide range of techniques, including immunohistochemistry, autoradiography, stereology, histology micro-CT imaging, bioacoustics, morphometrics and fieldwork, to better understand how species differences in the brain have evolved. Fieldwork is currently focused upon grouse and ground squirrels, but other species may be suitable for addressing specific research questions. Potential projects can be very broadly divided into: the relationship between mating systems and the brain or comparative anatomy of sensory pathways. The details of more specific projects can be found on the lab website (http://scholar.ulethbridge.ca/iwaniuk/), but students are strongly encouraged to develop project ideas related to the main research themes of my lab.

Graduate students are eligible for full funding packages through a combination of TA-ships and competitive internal scholarships, and are encouraged also to apply for external fellowships from a variety of provincial and federal sources. Opportunities also exist for collaborative projects with other labs at the University of Lethbridge or other institutions.

Located in southern Alberta and very close to the Rocky Mountains, Lethbridge offers a sunny, dry climate, which is surprisingly mild for the prairies, excellent recreational amenities, especially for outdoor enthusiasts, and a reasonable cost of living. The University of Lethbridge is a top-ranked Canadian university that is home to several major research centres, including the Canadian Centre for Behavioural Neuroscience and the Water Institute for Sustainable Environments as well as a field station in the Crown of the Continent region of the Rocky Mountains.

To apply, send:

  1. A CV;
  2. Unofficial copies of academic transcripts;
  3. A brief description how this research fits into your interests and goals; and;
  4. The contact details of at least two references to Dr. Andrew Iwaniuk (andrew.iwaniuk@uleth.ca).

Review of applications will begin immediately with a deadline of 15 December 2014 for the next round of applications. Information on the graduate program at the University of Lethbridge can be found at: http://www.uleth.ca/graduatestudies/


Potential PhD project, University of Tasmania, Australia [October 11, 2014]

Applications are currently being received for a 2015 commencement

For more information please contact Prof Elissa Cameron (Elissa.Cameron@utas.edu.au) &/or Assoc Prof Erik Wapstra (Erik.Wapstra@utas.edu.au) at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Tasmania.

The study of parental effects is a fundamental area in evolutionary ecology, but is characterised by poor integration of proximate causation and ultimate explanation. Parents influence the development of their young through both genetic and non-genetic effects, with sex allocation one maternal effect that can have profound implications for fitness. In mammals, the glucose hypothesis has been postulated to link the adaptive hypotheses of sex ratio adjustment and unify other proposed mechanisms. This PhD project will investigate the role of glucose as a unifying mechanism in sex allocation theory and the practical applications of skewing sex ratios for conservation purposes in mammals.


PhD opportunity: Chemistry and function of fruit fly pheromones, Macquarie University, Sydney [July 22, 2014]

Expressions of interest are sought for a PhD opportunity to study composition and/or function of pheromones used for communication by Bactrocera fruit flies.  

Bactrocera fruit flies – a genus of more than 500 species – include some of the world’s most devastating insect pests of horticulture. Air-borne pheromones are used by these insects to communicate, and in synthetic form also have potential as tools for control. Depending on the candidate’s interests, research emphasis may be comparative, describing and comparing pheromones used by different species, or may be functional, with more detailed analysis of pheromone composition, synthesis and biological activity.  The general skills developed in this research area would be readily transferable to other research questions later and so provide a good general training. 

This project will be supported in the Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Sciences (www.cbms.mq.edu.au; Dr Ian Jamie, A/Prof Joanne Jamie, and Dr Soo Park) and Biological Sciences (www.bio.mq.edu.au; A/Prof Phil Taylor) at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and may also involve collaboration with Deakin University (Dr Matt Symonds) and Plant & Food Research, New Zealand (Dr Max Suckling and Dr Ashraf El-Sayed). 

Several scholarship options are available, depending on nationality. For example, suitable candidates would be encouraged to apply for a Macquarie University Research Excellence Scholarship (MQRES) of AU$25,392 pa (tax exempt, increased annually to index cost of living). Students on scholarships are not obliged to contribute to teaching, but may do so to supplement their income if desired. Generous funding is available for research expenses and for travel to domestic and international conferences.

Applicants should have completed research qualifications equivalent to a Masters or Australian Honours degree, and should first contact Dr Ian Jamie (Ian.Jamie@mq.edu.au) or A/Prof Phil Taylor (Phil.Taylor@mq.edu.au) with an expression of interest, including a CV and academic record.


PhD opportunity, Social Organization of Giraffes, University of Queensland [December 4, 2013]

A/Prof. Anne Goldizen, at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, is looking for a PhD student to continue a long-term study of the social organization of giraffes in the Okaukuejo area of Etosha National Park in Namibia. This population was studied first by Dr. Rachel Brand of the University of Newcastle in the UK during 2004-05, then by Dr. Kerryn Carter (then PhD student of Anne’s at UQ) in 2009/10, and has now been studied in 2013 by Anne. Thus we have data on the association patterns of this population of 500+ giraffes from three time periods over the past 10 years, with individuals recognizable across this time period. We have published two papers on the social organization of this population in Animal Behaviour (85:395-394 and 86:901-910, both in 2013). Candidates would have to have completed a prior research degree equivalent to an Australian honours degree (a full-time, 9 month research project) or a masters degree to be eligible for the UQ PhD program. Australian students would need to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award scholarship and non-Australians would need to acquire a PhD scholarship from UQ or elsewhere. Research funds would also need to be sought, with Anne’s assistance.  Interested potential students should also have a drivers licence and extensive travel experience or experience working/researching in developing countries.

Email Anne Goldizen at a.goldizen@uq.edu.au if you would like more information.



Field Assistants Positions



Upcoming Conferences

2014. December 4-5. ASAB Winter Meeting. Zoological Society of London, London Zoo.

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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