Graduate position, Bielefeld University, Galapagos sea lions

A PhD position to study animal personalities and the ensuing consequences at the individual and population level in Galapagos sea lions (Zalophus wollebaeki) is available in the Department of Animal Behaviour at Bielefeld University from July 1st 2017 or soon thereafter. The position is available for three years and is funded by Departmental funds with an initial six-month tax-free stipend of 1000, followed by 30 months of an E13/50% position with a gross salary of ca. 1300 per month.

We seek a bright and highly motivated student who has a proven record of field experience studying wild animals. A very good Master degree or equivalent in a relevant topic (e.g. animal behaviour, behavioural ecology, population ecology, evolutionary ecology) is expected. The ideal candidate will be able to work both independently and as part of a multidisciplinary team, will have experience with both statistics and
genetic techniques and, in addition to excellent spoken and written English, will be able to speak Spanish.

The study will take place on Caamaño, a small islet in the Galapagos archipelago. We have studied Galapagos sea lions there since 2003 and most sea lions are individually marked (…/animalbehavi…/trillmich/sealions.html). Field seasons on Caamaño last from September-December and February-March each year. Caamaño is a small island and there are no facilities at all, so an ability to work in truly primitive conditions is essential.

The successful candidate will be based at the Department of Animal Behaviour at Bielefeld University ( and will be supervised by Oliver Krüger, Fritz Trillmich and Joe Hoffman. The department is the oldest of its kind in Germany and currently hosts five principal investigators, five postdocs and fifteen PhD students. It offers a stimulating international environment and an excellent research infrastructure including a brand new molecular laboratory.
The working language of the Department is English. Together with the Evolution and Animal Ecology research groups housed in the same building, there are some 50 scientists and PhD students from over ten different countries working on related topics in behaviour, ecology and evolution.

Bielefeld is a city of 325,000 inhabitants with all expected amenities and easy access to the Teutoburger Wald for hiking and other outdoor pursuits. It offers a high standard of living and is well connected to most major European cities.

To apply for the position, please provide: (i) a letter of motivation including a 1-2- page statement of your research experience; (ii) a CV including publication list; (iii) names and contact details of three referees willing to write confidential letters of recommendation. All materials should be emailed as a single PDF file to:

The application deadline is March 5th 2017 and interviews will take place shortly thereafter. The preferred start date is July 1st 2017 but is flexible and will depend on the timeframe of the most qualified applicant. For further information, please see animalbehaviour/home.html or contact Stephanie Kalberer via email ( with any informal inquiries.

The University of Bielefeld is an equal opportunity employer. We particularly welcome applications from women and handicapped people. Given equal suitability, qualifications and professional achievement, women and handicapped people will be given preference, unless particular circumstances appl

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