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Reference : UMR5175-ANNCHA0-002
Workplace : MONTPELLIER
Date of publication : Monday, September 20, 2021
Type of Contract : FTC Scientist
Contract Period : 12 months
Expected date of employment : 1 January 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : between 2643€ and 3941€ per month gross salary, depending on previous experience (Determined by the CNRS)
Desired level of education : PhD
Experience required : 1 to 4 years
We are hiring a postdoctoral researcher in the context of ANR SoCo on the “Causes and consequences of social competence and cognition”. During the first three years of this ANR collaboration between 3 Institutes (SETE in Moulis, CEFE in Montpellier and EDB in Toulouse), we have phenotyped wild blue tits and great tits for social competence / behavioural plasticity and cognitive abilities. These tits are monitored during spring and breed in nestboxes. Around 200 individuals were phenotyped with a variety of tests in aviaries, while 800 individuals were phenotyped in the field with two types of tests. Our aim is now to explore the genetic bases of variations in social competence and cognitive abilities. Funding is available to conduct genomic sequencing as well as for fieldwork. The postdoc will also have the liberty to develop research on related topics, including experimental approaches for the study of cognition.
The post-doc will be working with Anne Charmantier (CEFE), Alexis Chaine (SETE) and Charles Perrier (CBGP).
- Field work in spring, as well as possibilities to participate in aviary experiments
- DNA extraction and coordination of genotyping with the sequencing platform MGX (candidate gene approach and/or RADseq)
- Genomic analyses may include 1. A candidate gene approach, 2. A quantitative genetics/ genomic approach based on a Genomewide Relatedness Matrix
-Development of new experimental investigations of cognition and/or social competence in the wild.
- Interest and knowledge in the field of animal cognition
- Manipulation of small passerines in the wild (bird capture, ringing and behavioural tests)
-Setup of behavioural tests in nature and controlled conditions
- Genomics and/or Quantitative genetics and/or Population genetics and/or Demographic inference from genomics data;
- This project implies collaboration with other researchers in France and will imply short visits;
- Ability to work independently, organisational skills and time management.
- Training for bird ringing and manipulation will be available during the contract.
The social environment often has an important impact on fitness and generates a form of selection called 'social selection'. The aim of this project is to measure both the causes and consequences of individual variation in cognitive abilities that should underlie social competence, especially in great tits (Parus major). Specifically we will measure the genetic basis (causes) of variation in a number of cognitive abilities as well as the consequences of that variation for social competence and fitness thereby linking different levels of analysis from genes to cognition and social behavior to fitness. To achieve this ambitious goal, we have built a consortium that has complimentary expertise in the key components of this project (behavior, cognition, selection, genetics). We will use a combination of controlled experiments in aviaries, measures of cognition, behavior, and fitness in wild populations in contrasted ecological environments, and next-generation genetic sequencing with statistical tools recently developed by members of the team.
Constraints and risks
Field work will be conducted in Spring to monitor tit populations in nest-boxes (but additional fieldwork can be conducted in winter if the research requires it). This implies trips, working with ladders, and manipulating wild birds.
Following interviews, we will recruit either two postdocs for one year, or one postdoc for one year renewable once.
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