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DEPE | Post-doctoral Fellowships » Socio-genetics of communal breeding, alternative reproductive tactics and (...)

Socio-genetics of communal breeding, alternative reproductive tactics and mate choice in female striped mice

Dernière mise à jour : lundi 12 septembre 2016, par Nicolas Busser

Opportunity : This is a great opportunity to analyses 10 years of pedigree data of a free ranging population of a sociable mammal, with information of 8-12 groups per year and nearly 3000 individuals being genotyped. This should lead to several publications in high ranking journals.

Project : We study the evolutionary and ecological reasons of group living, cooperative breeding, alternative reproductive tactics, mate guarding and mate choice in the striped mouse. Interesting research questions that can be studied with the database include : Influence of genetic relatedness on communal breeding ; fitness consequences of female alternative reproductive tactics ; fitness consequences (male and female) of monogamous versus polygynous breeding ; mate choice of solitary breeding females versus females associated to a breeding male : mate guarding and multiple paternities. The applicant can also develop other and additional research questions.

What kind of people are needed ? Applicants must have a strong background in behavioural ecology and evolutionary biology and be very proficient with statistical analysis in R. A background in genotyping is beneficial, but all samples have already been analysed. Important is a very strong academic background and publication list. Per year of PhD studies, at least one paper must have been published, and per year of postdoc at least two papers. These must include some papers in high ranking journals such as Proceedings of the Royal Society of London, Molecular Ecology, Journal of Animal Ecology, or similar.

Work : The postdoc is expected to spend one season (approx. Aug-Nov) in the field in South Africa to learn field techniques and the structure of the databases providing information on social and reproductive tactics, and to learn about the natural behavior. Otherwise the postdoc will be based in Strasbourg at the CNRS, IPHC, Department of Ecology, Physiology, and Animal Behavior (DEPE). The working language at the DEPE is English. While knowledge of French is of benefit, it is not necessary (the PI of the project cannot speak French !).

Collaborations : This project is a collaboration between the DEPE-CNRS in Strasbourg (Dr. Carsten Schradin), where the postdoc will be based, the University of Zurich (Dr. Anna Lindholm, Switzerland), where genetic analyses have been conducted, and the Succulent Karoo Research Station in South Africa (Dr. Carsten Schradin), where samples and data have been collected.

Funding application : We are looking for somebody who is willing to apply for a Marie Curie fellowship (or a similar postdoc funding schema) to work on this project.
Support for application : Scientific advice on the project proposal will be given by Dr. Carsten Schradin. The University of Strasbourg as well as the CNRS support applicants in preparing their proposals for a Marie Curie Fellowship.

Deadline : The deadline to apply for a Marie Curie Fellowships is the
How to apply ? If you are interested, send a short motivation letter, your CV, and contact details of a minimum of 2 referees to You can also contact me for any questions at this email address.

Key references
Schradin, C., A. K. Lindholm, J. Johannesen, I. Schoepf, C.-H. Yuen, B. König, and N. Pillay. 2012. Social flexibility and social evolution in mammals : a case study of the African striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio). Molecular Ecology 21:541-553.
Schradin, C., and A. K. Lindholm. 2011. Relative fitness of alternative male reproductive tactics in a mammal varies between years. Journal of Animal Ecology 80:908-917.
Schradin, C., C. Schneider, and A. Lindholm. 2010. The nasty neighbour in the striped mouse (Rhabdomys pumilio) steals paternity and elicits aggression. Frontiers in Zoology 7:19.
Hill, D. L., N. Pillay, and C. Schradin. 2015. Alternative reproductive tactics in female striped mice : heavier females are more likely to breed solitarily than communally. Journal of Animal Ecology 84:1497-1508.

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