Postdoctoral Scientist (f/m/d) in Vertebrate Palaeontology & Ecological Niche Modelling of Pleistocene & Holocene Africa
The ‘Lise Meitner’ Pan African Evolution Research Group (Pan-Ev) at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History is pleased to announce a vacancy for a postdoctoral scientist (f/m/d) in Vertebrate Palaeontology and Ecological Niche Modelling of Pleistocene and Holocene Africa. The position will be for up to three years and starting around late summer.
The overarching research topic in Pan-Ev is to develop innovative interdisciplinary methods and conduct fieldwork in underrepresented regions of Africa to understand human evolutionary processes across the continent.
The candidate’s job will be to compile faunal palaeontological data for Africa over the last half a million years and use these data to reconstruct the history of habitat change. The goal is to understand species distribution and generate new hypotheses for effects of habitat fragmentation and climate change over the last half a million years. To this end, the candidate will use ecological niche modelling combined with climate models, vegetation maps and proxies, generated in conjunction with project partner Professor Andrea Manica at the University of Cambridge. The candidate will therefore spend some time in Professor Manica’s group at the University of Cambridge.
The ideal applicant will have a background in vertebrate palaeontology, biology and evolutionary anthropology, and completed a PhD in one of these areas with a focus on African fossil fauna of the Pleistocene and/or Pliocene, broadly construed. Prerequisites include a robust understanding of the African faunal record in the Pliocene and Pleistocene, preferably also with knowledge of the Holocene record. In depth knowledge and experience of ecological niche modelling and statistics are essential. Knowledge of a range of programmes for conducting analyses is also desirable (e.g. BEAST, R, MrBayes, as well as the creation of 3D models for GMM). Prerequisites also include evidence of strong oral and written communication skills as evidence by an outstanding publication and presentation record, commensurate with career stage. The ability to complete tasks in a timely and structured fashion is also required for the position. Desirable skills also include fieldwork experience in Africa and experience working in teams. Willingness to travel is essential.
We offer an interesting and challenging position in a competitive, dynamic, and stimulating international research environment. The start will be in late summer and the exact date is negotiable.
Remuneration will follow the public service pay scale (TVöD), according to qualification and experience. In addition, social benefits are paid according to the regulations of the Civil Service.
The Max Planck Society is committed to employ more handicapped individuals and especially encourages them to apply. The Max Planck Society also seeks to increase the number of women in areas where they are under-represented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.
How to apply
Please submit your application as a single pdf file in English until March 31, 2019 using the link below. References are also due at March 31 2019.
Your application should include cover letter, CV of no more than 4 pages, list of publications and relevant certificates.