Using (or building) immersive Virtual Reality to understand individual and/or collective decision-making in insects and/or fish

Supervisor: Iain Couzin, Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior and Cluster of Excellence, University of Konstanz

December 15, 2021

In this project the candidate will develop and/or employ new immersive Virtual Reality systems for freely moving animals to investigate the sensory basis of individual-level decision making, such as during search, navigation and selection among alternative visual options during such processes. The experimental component of this project will involve working with (one or more) organisms such as fruit flies, locusts, zebrafish (or a related compatible system of the candidate’s choice). They would work closely with and/or directly contribute to the development of computational models of visually-mediated decision-making as animals move through space. For the computational position experience with either individual- or agent-based models, neural models, reaction-diffusion models, numerical models relating to geometry, or related approaches, would all be beneficial.

Candidates (2 positions: experimental and theory) will work in a dynamic and highly-international research environment in which the working language is English, and will be based in the Department of Collective Behaviour (see at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior based on the campus of the University of Konstanz in the historic city of Konstanz in Southern Germany. 

The University of Konstanz one of the nine “elite universities” in Germany. The University has almost 12,000 students and is situated on a hill overlooking Lake Constance, the Island of Mainau and Mainau Forest. The campus is a short cycle or bus ride from the city centre. Konstanz has a large and well preserved old town (Altstadt), and a vibrant day and nightlife, including many museums, galleries, and parks. Our nearest airport is Zurich approximately 50 mins drive / 1hr5mins direct train. The Max Planck Institutes and the University of Konstanz focus on excellence in research and the successful applicant will benefit from outstanding infrastructure, opportunities for training and a highly collaborative and international research environment.

Our working language is English and consequently applicants must be fluent in this language; no knowledge of German is required. All of our appointments are for one year initially, with the possibility of renewal up to 4 years for doctoral positions based on satisfactory performance. Salary is competitive and commensurate with experience, and benefits are included. 

The University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Society are equal opportunity employers that are committed to providing employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, or disability. They seek to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourage women to apply  (Equal opportunity). Persons with disabilities are explicitly encouraged to apply.

They will be given preference if appropriately qualified (contact +49 7531 88 4016).




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