Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) | Comparative analyses of brain size evolution

Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior, Radolfzell / Constance

Type of Job


Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Behavioral Sciences Microbiology & Ecology

Job Code: ORNR-W013

Job offer from June 07, 2021

The Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior at its sites in Konstanz and Radolfzell offers an international, interdisciplinary, and collaborative environment that opens up unique research opportunities. The goal of our basic research is to understand and predict animal decision-making in the natural world.

The Max Planck Department for the Ecology of Animal Societies, together with the Max Planck Research Group of Development and Evolution of Cognition and the Max Planck Fellow Group Comparative Socioecology, would like to fill the following position as soon as possible, ideally by September 1st 2021.

Postdoctoral Researcher (m/f/d) on comparative analyses of brain size evolution

The position (60-100%) is limited to a maximum of 3 years and will be located in Constance.

Your tasks

The successful candidate will be responsible for compiling and curating comparative data and conducting phylogenetic analyses for two related projects on cognitive evolution. The first is aimed at testing the cultural intelligence hypothesis for the evolution of niche complexity and brain size in birds and mammals, which focuses on the effects of opportunities for skill learning and of information donation by adults. The second concerns the effects of parental provisioning on brain size within and across vertebrate classes, with a special focus on fishes and patterns of brain size evolution in this lineage.

Your profile

Applicants should hold a PhD degree in Biology or a related field, and have a proven academic interest in evolutionary theory and the natural history of animals, including taxonomy, behavior and life history, while simultaneously having expertise in the use of the latest comparative methods and modern statistical modeling. We are looking for a candidate who is experienced in working with large comparative data sets and has published on comparative analyses. Enthusiasm for working as part of an interdisciplinary, international team is expected.

Our offer

Candidates will work in a dynamic and highly international research environment. Our working language is English and consequently, applicants must be fluent in this language; no knowledge of German is required. The payment is made in accordance with your qualification and the collective agreement for the public service (TVöD-Bund).

For further information regarding this position please contact Carel van Schaik ().

The Max Planck Society endeavors to employ more severely disabled people. Applications of severely disabled persons are expressly welcome. The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds. For details see

Are you interested?

Then we are looking forward to receiving your application until June 30, 2021, as a single PDF file, including a statement of interest, CV and list of publications, names of three references, contact information, and a sample publication. Please submit your application documents online.

Go to Editor View