About the ABS
A postdoctoral position is available for 3.5 years (starting 1 August 2019) in Professor Christian Rutz’s research group at the University of St Andrews, to investigate the tool behaviour of captive Hawaiian crows. The post is part of a BBSRC-funded project, involving close collaboration between Professor Rutz (PI; School of Biology), Professor Josep Call (Co-I; School of Psychology and Neuroscience), Dr Ron Swaisgood, Bryce Masuda, Dr Alison Greggor and Dr Alison Flanagan (overseas project partners; San Diego Zoo Global), Dr William Hoppitt (statistical consultant), and several other team members.
It was recently discovered that the critically-endangered Hawaiian crow is a highly dexterous tool user (Rutz et al. 2016, Nature 537, 403-407). The present project will chart the species’ tool-related skills, and other behavioural competencies, by running the world’s entire captive adult population of crows (>100 birds) on a newly-developed behavioural test battery.
The post-holder will be in charge of organising and running behavioural experiments, involving annual visits to Hawaii (USA) of ~6 months. In-between field trips, they will be based in the Centre for Biological Diversity at the University of St Andrews, to analyse and write-up data, to liaise with collaborators, and to contribute to outreach activities. The post-holder will work as part of a larger team, and share some project-management and supervision responsibilities.
Candidates must hold a doctorate in a relevant subject area (e.g., Biology, Zoology, Psychology), and have proven skills in conducting behavioural experiments, processing and analysing data, and publishing papers in leading journals in the field. The post requires a high degree of self-motivation and independence, effective communication and team work, meticulous data collection and record keeping, and excellent organisational, time-management and practical problem-solving skills.
Informal enquiries (with CV) can be addressed to Professor Rutz (firstname.lastname@example.org.
The University is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through our working on diversity awards (ECU Athena SWAN/Race Charters; Carer Positive; LGBT Charter; and Stonewall). More details can be found at: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/
Further particulars, and an application link, can be found here:
Closing Date: 12 July 2019
Location: St Andrews
Salary: £33,199 to £36,261
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract