30.10.2020 - 12:55
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POST-DOC position: Cognition and Tool use in chimpanzees and other non-human primates

POST-DOC position:
Cognition and Tool use in chimpanzees and other non-human primates

We are offering a two years Max Planck post-doc fellowship with a possible two years extension working on a project that investigates the cognition and complexity of tool use in chimpanzees. The successful applicant will compare different chimpanzee populations (wild and zoo) and other non-human primates, and lead a small team to assist in this work.

This post-doc is part of a larger interdisciplinary project investigating the evolution of brain connectivity (EBC) in hominoids. EBC seeks further understanding of the brains of chimpanzees and other non-human primates, especially the communication, tool use and social cognition pathways. Using the comparative approach and our understanding of chimpanzee and monkey behavior, results will assist our understanding of the evolution of structures and functions of the human brain.

This post-doc project will combine observations, experiments, video recordings and multivariate analysis of tool using data in chimpanzees and other non-human primate species from wild and zoo populations to describe and compare tool use and predict function to brain structures. Building and maintaining a network of research partners among zoos and sanctuaries will be crucial for the project as well as supervising students and staff for data collection and coding.

Qualifications and Requirements

PhD, or comparable degree, in Biology, Psychology or Evolutionary Anthropology and a good knowledge in animal behaviour and animal / human tool use. The following experience is important for the successful applicant:

1. Expertise in research on cognition and tool use, including behavioural experiments with controlled behavioral tests, preferably with primates.

2. Proficiency in observations and collecting behavioural data on social mammals, especially primates.

3. Experience in analyzing multivariate data (using R), working with datasets from different mammal species and programming abilities in R.

4. Excellent communication skills, fluent in English and German, and team leading qualities.

Salary and Funding

Supported by a MPI post-doc contract (2+2 years) from the EBC funding.

Start and Term of Appointment

Starting January 2021


Applications including a cover letter stating research experience and interest, detailed curriculum vitae, and the names and e-mail addresses of three referees should be sent electronically to wittig@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de. Application deadline is 15 October 2020 or until position is filled thereafter.

Interviews will be held by the end of October 2020.

Contact Information

Catherine Crockford (crockford@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de) & Roman Wittig (wittig@[>>> Please remove the text! <<<]eva.mpg.de)

Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

The Max Planck Society is committed to equal opportunities and to employing individuals with disabilities and explicitly encourages them to apply.

We look forward to receiving your completed application.

We look forward to receiving your completed application at https://www.eva.mpg.de/ career .

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Further information on the research agenda of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology is available on our website : www.eva.mpg.de.

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