Dynamics of complex social systems

Dual supervision: Meg Crofoot and Ariana Strandburg-Peshkin, MPI-AB and University of Konstanz

November 22, 2021

We are seeking Doctoral students to join the Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies at the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior and the University of Konstanz. The department focuses on investigating how animal societies emerge and function by integrating behavioral field biology and modern tracking technologies with quantitative and computational approaches. Our research draws insights from diverse scientific disciplines - including the biological, physical, and social sciences - to tackle broad questions about social systems and collective behaviors.

Students will develop a project within the broad scope of the department’s research focus using existing data from one or more of our ongoing field studies. The position is fully funded for 4 years, and open to students of any nationality.

Qualifications. We are seeking Doctoral candidates with an interest in developing and employing computational approaches to the study of social behavior and ecology. This call is open to candidates from all academic backgrounds who can articulate how their interests and training prepare them for this position. Programming skills and a general enthusiasm for tackling challenging analytical problems are essential. Prior experience with the analysis of spatial, timeseries, acoustic, or network data, and/or experience with machine learning will be positively considered. 

Supervision and Research Community. Students will join the IMPRS-QBEE, and will be supervised by Prof. Dr. Meg Crofoot and/or Dr. Ariana Strandburg-Peshkin. The University of Konstanz and the Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior together form a thriving research community representing a global hotspot for collective behavior and animal movement research.


Research Statement Instructions. Applicants should include a research statement that addresses the following points:

  1.  Describe your academic background, research interests and research experience, and explain how they integrate with the scientific focus of the department (1 page)
  2. Based on your reading of one or more of the scientific publications from researchers in our department, identify a different question that would be interesting to address with the dataset(s) used, and describe the analytical approach(es) you could use to answer it. Please include a mock figure (can be hand drawn) of what your results might look like. (up to 1 page)

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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