mardi 13 mars 2018

Postdoc in bird song

A 3-year postdoc is available at QMUL to work with me (Rob Lachlan), David Clayton, and Dan Stowell. The project examines how birds perceive differences in songs using operant techniques; machine learning; and cultural evolution. Intrigued? Please write to me and/or see the links below for more information.

A Postdoctoral Research Assistant position is available at Queen Mary University of London (QMUL) as part of a project funded by the BBSRC. The project ‘Machine learning for bird song learning’ seeks to develop and apply new methods for assessing the similarity between complex bird song syllables, guided by the perception of birds themselves.
This particular research position will play two key roles in the project. First, you will lead the effort to use operant conditioning techniques to examine how birds judge the similarity of song syllables. This will involve using existing operant conditioning techniques to examine how zebra finches assess song syllable similarity. It will also involve the development of new methods (in collaboration with Dr Robert Lachlan) to carry out operant conditioning with free-living wild birds. Second, you will collate data-sets of song variation from free living populations, and (again in collaboration with Dr Lachlan) carry out comparative analyses using cultural evolutionary simulations fitted to data, and based on song comparisons using our new methods in order to compare processes of song learning between species. The project will therefore allow you to develop skills in two cutting edge areas of behavioural biology.
The project will require that you travel to collaborate with project partners in the Netherlands (Wageningen) and the UK (Cornwall). 
The ideal candidate for this position should have a PhD in animal behaviour and communication. Experience in working with both captive and wild birds, in operant conditioning methods, and with evolutionary theory would be desirable. A track record of peer-reviewed publications is essential.
This is a full-time, fixed term post available for a period of 3 years. The start date is 01/06/2018. The salary is in the range of £32,956 - £38,709 per annum and is inclusive of London allowance. The salary will be dependent on qualifications, skills and experience. 
Candidates must be able to demonstrate their eligibility to work in the UK in accordance with the Immigration, Asylum and Nationality Act 2006. Where required this may include entry clearance or continued leave to remain under the Points Based Immigration Scheme.
Informal enquiries for further information are welcomed and may be made to Dr Robert Lachlan, email: or Tel +44 (0)20 7882 5058
For further information about the School, please see
To apply please click the link below
Application enquiries should be directed to
The closing date for applications is 6 April 2018. Interviews will be held shortly thereafter.