mardi 16 décembre 2014

PhD opportunity in Visual Ecology

PhD position in Visual Ecology  (Prof. John Endler)

Summary: We would like to offer a PhD position aligned with a recently ARC-funded Discovery project to investigate how animals process highly contrasting colour patterns using behavioral experiments with guppies or bowerbirds.

Background: Animals often use complex colour patterns to find food, avoid predation, attract mates and compete for resources. However, after several decades of research on how (and if) animals perceive colour, and the threshold at which animals can detect differences between colours, we remain surprisingly ignorant of how animals process highly contrasting colours. Second, we have a poor understanding of how these colours interact in complex patterns that provide signaling or camouflage mechanisms. We aim to understand how highly contrasting colours are perceived by animals; determine how different colour pattern elements have to be, relative to their positions, to maximise visual contrast; and examine highly contrasting colour patterns in the context of colour-driven tasks in both terrestrial and aquatic environments.

Your PhD project will be an important contribution to this work, and will involve:
·      Behavioural experiments with guppies or bowerbirds
·      Fieldwork
·      Neurobiological methods and visual modelling
Location: You will be based at Deakin University, Geelong, Australia in the laboratory of Prof. John Endler. You will have access to world-class equipment and made-to-order facilities, and also stimulating academic environment in the Centre for Integrative Ecology. You will also work in collaboration with Dr. Karen Cheney and Prof. Justin Marshall at the University of Queensland, Brisbane with further opportunity to work with international colour vision experts Prof. Daniel Osorio (University of Sussex, UK) and Prof. Misha Vorobyev (University of Auckland, NZ).
Funding: We will help you to apply for a PhD scholarship to cover your tuition fees and stipend. Depending on your nationality and location, this could include: Australian Postgraduate Award (APA, Australian students); International Postgraduate Research Scholarship (IPRS, international students), or a similar scholarship from your own country. The ARC Discovery Project will cover travel, fieldwork and experimental costs.

We encourage high quality candidates to contact us directly at:
Prof. John Endler ( (please note: in the field until beginning of Jan)
Dr. Karen Cheney (