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PhD position in Regensburg: Economic behaviour in ants and flies PDF Tisk Email

A new work group studying Comparative Behavioural Economics (the comparison of economic behaviour between humans and animals) is being founded at the University of Regensburg, and we are searching for a talented PhD student to join the team. The Animal Comparative Economics lab (ACElab, see www.animal-economics.com) will study the behaviour of animal decision-making, perception, and cognition by taking inspiration from Behavioural Economics and Comparative Psychology.

Economic decisions are very important for human societies, and many decisions made by animals are ultimately economic in nature. Animals face similar problems to humans: They too must constantly value options and choose between them. The way in which animals make value judgements will have large repercussions for all aspects of their behaviour, and, in social insects, will strongly affect the collective behaviour of colonies.

Over the course of this PhD, the successful applicant will explore how ants (Lasius niger) and flies (Drosophila melanogaster) perceive and make judgements about the value of resources. In a series of experiments firmly grounded in economic and psychological theory, the applicant will contribute to the group’s aim of establishing  invertebrates as model economic agents. They will then go on to test key theories in economics and consumer psychology using these simple and unbiased systems.

The initial portion of the research will involve behavioural experiments. As the research project develops, the PhD student will be encouraged to follow their own interests in exploring the system further. 

The nature of this project is strongly interdisciplinary, with active collaboration from workgroups specialising Economics, Psychology, and Neurobiology. The successful applicant will thus gain a unique range of experience and skills.

The position is for 3 years, on the DFG pay scale rates 65% E 13 Level 2 to E 14 Level 1.

The ideal candidate will have:

- extensive experience with behavioural experiments, ideally with ants or Drosophila

- a proven ability to complete research projects

- strong references from previous collaborators

- good spoken and written English

An MSc in Biological Sciences, or an equivalent degree, is required for this position.

Applicants from outside the EU are required by University legislation to take an entrance examination to join the PhD programme.

For more information, see www.animal-economics.com.

To apply, contact Dr Tomer Czaczkes, email tomer.czaczkes[at]ur.de.

Applicants should send their C.V., a personal statement of motivation, and at least one academic letter of reference. The application deadline for this position is the 28th February 2016, butapplication will close early if sufficient suitable candidates apply or extended if no suitable candidates are found in that time. 

Dr. Tomer J. Czaczkes
University of Regensburg

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