Postdoctoral Fellow in Examining Reproductive and Social Behaviour

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 02 Oct 2023

Ref. No. SU FV-4800-22

at the Department of Zoology . Closing date: 10 February 2023.

The Department of Zoology consists of five divisions: Ecology, Ethology, Functional Morphology, Population Genetics, and Systematics and Evolution. At present the department accommodates 45–50 staff and a similar number of PhD students. The advertised position will be part of the Division of Ethology.

Project description
A postdoctoral research position focused on reproductive and social behaviours is available in John Fitzpatrick’s research group in the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University. The aim of this project is to examine the links between social affiliations and reproductive dynamics in animals. To do this, the project will use a laboratory population of several closely related livebearing fish species maintained at the Department of Zoology.

One planned project will focus on determining the links between social behaviours and inbreeding avoidance mechanisms (both before and after mating), building on recent work in the laboratory. Additional experiments are possible depending on the interest and expertise of the applicant. The project offers a rare opportunity to perform experiments and compare findings across closely related species. Substantial infrastructure in the Department of Zoology allows for multiple behavioral and reproductive assays within the project. For example, equipment and resources available for the project include automated tracking to assess collective motion and social affiliations, a range of mate choice assays, predator interactions assays, assessing sperm quality, and examining female reproductive fluid-sperm interactions.

Main responsibilities
This position is 100 % research within the project described above.

Qualification requirements
Postdoctoral positions are appointed primarily for purposes of research. Applicants are expected to hold a Swedish doctoral degree or an equivalent degree from another country.

Assessment criteria
The degree must have been completed at latest before the employment decision is made, but no more than three years before the closing date. An older degree may be acceptable under special circumstances. Special reasons refer to sick leave, parental leave, elected positions in trade unions, service in the total defense, or other similar circumstances as well as clinical attachment or service/assignments relevant to the subject area.

PhD degrees should preferably be focused on Ethology/Animal Behaviour, Behavioural Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, or a related subject.

We are looking in particular for candidates with a strong interest in studying social and/or reproductive behaviours. The candidate must have proven analytical ability, and experience with quantitative analyses of behavioural data. Experience with mixed effects statistical models and demonstrate script writing skills is meriting. As this project focuses on a range of fish species, experience working with freshwater fishes and with phylogenetic methods is meriting (but not strictly necessary for the position).

An ideal candidate would have substantial knowledge and experience evolutionary theory, a demonstrated background in studying sexual selection and/or social behaviour in animals, and conducting related experiments. Experience using molecular techniques to assess parentage is also meriting.

Finally, we are looking for a candidate who is willing to learn new methods as needed and can demonstrate a track-record for doing so.

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to research skills. We are searching for a candidate with experience in the field of animal behaviour and evolutionary biology. Criteria used to assess this ability are: the applicant’s publication record and documented knowledge and achievements within the described research area, the candidate’s capabilities with regards to speaking and writing in English, analytical thinking, creativity, initiative, independence, and team work performance. The applicant’s earlier experience within the field of research can be of relevance especially when further documented by courses, independent research work, personal references, interview and an application indicating the applicant’s motivation in written form.

Terms of employment
The position involves full-time employment for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years, with the possibility of extension under special circumstances. Start date around 2023-04-01, or as per agreement. If an alternative start date is preferable, please indicate this in your cover letter.

Stockholm University strives to be a workplace free from discrimination and with equal opportunities for all.

Further information about the position can be obtained from Dr John Fitzpatrick (host and project leader), .

Union representatives
Ingrid Lander (Saco-S), telephone: +46 708 16 26 64, , Alejandra Pizarro Carrasco (Fackförbundet ST/Lärarförbundet), telephone: +46 8 16 34 89, , and (SEKO).

Apply for the position at Stockholm University's recruitment system. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is complete in accordance with the instructions in the job advertisement, and that it is submitted before the deadline.

Please include the following information with your application

  • Your contact details and personal data
  • Your highest degree
  • Your language skills
  • Contact details for 2 references (reference letters will be requested only from shortlisted applicants)

and, in addition, please include the following documents

  • Cover letter
  • CV – degrees and other completed courses, work experience and a list of publications
  • Research proposal (no more than 2 pages) describing:
    – proposed project plan (i.e., what you would ideally like to do with the position)
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 2 files) and a list up to three representative publications (or manuscripts in prep) with a one paragraph summary of key findings and scientific value for each.

The instructions for applicants are available at: How to apply for a position .

You are welcome to apply!

Stockholm University contributes to the development of sustainable democratic society through knowledge, enlightenment and the pursuit of truth.

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