samedi 19 janvier 2013

Postdoc-Position: Eco-Physiology of Cognition (Excellence Initiative Strasbourg)

A 24 months postdoc position is available in the field of Eco-Physiology of Cognition at the striped mouse research group of Carsten Schradin based at the Institut Pluridisciplinaire Hubert Curien, Département d'Ecologie Physiologie et Ethologie (DEPE). The DEPE is France's largest eco-physiology lab which also hosts one of the most important French research groups on cognition,90-.html. The DEPE offers a privileged environment for exchanging on broad questions in ecology, animal behavior, cognition, evolution and eco-physiology, studying vertebrate species living in extreme environments.

Research topic: Increased environmental stress due to anthropologically induced climate change might impair cognitive abilities of free ranging animals. Students of cognition typically have little experience of physiology while students of physiology typically do not consider cognition. Therefore we will investigate how cognitive tasks (attention, spatial memory) in free ranging animals are influenced by their physiological state. The postdoc is expected to work in the new field of eco-physiology of cognition and to:
1.            Establish cognitive tests for striped mice in the laboratory.
2.            Study how cognitive abilities in free ranging striped mice are influenced by their physiological status, both correlational and by experimentally altering the physiological status.

Strasbourg is a beautiful and international city in the center of Europe, hosting many institutions of the European Union. It lies at the river Rhine at the border to Germany and enjoys a mild climate. West of it you can enjoy the nature of the Alsace, east of it the black forest of Germany. The University of Strasbourg ranks within the 5 best French universities.

Research group: We have been studying 12 generations of striped mice living under the harsh and unpredictable conditions of the Succulent Karoo semi-desert since 2001. We are interested in behavioral and physiological flexibility enabling survival in this extreme environment ( The working language in the striped mouse research group is English. Knowledge of French is of advantage but not mandatory. The research station is in very remote area of South Africa but offers all necessary infrastructure for research.

Salary: This position is funded by the excellence initiative of the University of Strasbourg via the Institute for Advanced Sciences The salary after deduction of social fees but before taxes will be approximately 2000 Euro / month.

Starting date: Preferably between April and June 2013, though a later start in 2013 would be possible.

Profile and requirements for the candidate:
·         You can produce outstanding academic results!
·         Strong background in cognition and a strong interest in eco-physioloy OR strong background in eco-physiology and a strong interest in cognition.
·         Very good writing skills proven by a good publication record.
·         Enthusiastic about field work with the willingness to spend 6-9 months /year in the field.
·         Good technical skills.
·         Strong experimental, analytical and statistical skills.
·         Good organizational skills and the ability to work independently.

Applicants should send a cover letter detailing their motivation and expectations from this position, and a CV (combined into a single PDF), as well as contact information for two referees to Carsten Schradin (, before February 25th 2013. Interviews are scheduled for March 2013.