Collective Animal Behaviour

PhD candidates

Context: The study of collective behavior naturally spans scales, from how neural circuits control individual behavior in a social context, to the analogous issue of determining the structure and function of the communication network among organisms that gives rise to emergent group, and population-level, behavior.

The Department of Biology and Max Planck Institute for Ornithology are seeking PhD candidates to join our highly international, collaborative and interdisciplinary research group to investigating the behaviour and evolution of collective animal behavior in the lab and/or field. We are interested in both invertebrates (e.g. locusts) and vertebrates (e.g. fish, birds) and we particularly encourage those applicants who wish to utilize the many modern technologies we have been developing to advance animal behaviour research (e.g. in automated tracking, virtual reality, drone-based imaging, machine learning, computational modeling) to understand how animals sense their world and make decisions in the face of uncertainty and risk. We seek both those who want to use, as well as to develop, new technologies and so we welcome applications from a broad range of disciplines, including biology, biophysics, complex systems, physics, neurobiology, psychology, engineering etc.

Given the broad nature of this search it will be extremely helpful if applicants can let us know "what excites you about collective animal behaviour, and what may you want to work on?”.

(Advisor Iain Couzin)