Postdoctoral position on brain evolution and animal behaviour

Updated: 25 days ago
Deadline: 15 Jul 2022

Ref. No. SU FV-2016-22

at the Department of Zoology . Closing date: 15 July 2022.

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 brain morphology evolution and behaviour is available in Niclas Kolm’s research group in the Department of Zoology at Stockholm University. The aim of the project is to investigate the evolutionary associations between brain morphology variation and behavioural variation at the individual level. To do this, the project will use three already established guppy (Poecilia reticulata) artificial selection lines with i) different brain size, ii) different shoaling behaviour and iii) different telencephalon size. Additional selection experiments are also possible depending on interest. Substantial infrastructures in the Department of Zoology allows multiple assays of cognitive abilities, mate choice, predator interactions, collective motion, physiology and brain and body morphology (the project has access to x-ray microscopy via a Zeiss versa 520) within the project.

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, Behavioural Ecology, Neurobiology, Evolutionary Biology or a related subject.

We are looking in particular for candidates with a strong interest in the evolutionary link between brain morphology and behaviour. The candidate must have proven analytical ability, and experience with quantitative analyses of behavioural data (experience with mixed effects statistical models is meriting). An ideal candidate would have substantial knowledge and experience studying vertebrate brain morphology evolution and conducting related experiments on any aspect of cognition and/or ecologically relevant behaviour such as mate choice, foraging, or predator avoidance.

In the appointment process, special attention will be given to research skills. We are searching for a candidate with experience in the fields 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 maximum of two years. Start date September 1st, 2022, or as per agreement.

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 Prof Niclas Kolm (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 2–3 references

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 3 pages) describing:
    – proposed project plan
    – what makes you suitable for the project in question
  • Copy of PhD diploma
  • Publications in support of your application (no more than 3 files).

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

You are welcome to apply!

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