PhD position in Behavioral Neurobiology

Australian/German joint PhD project:
Avian embryonic perception: what role for good vibrations?
With Prof. Kate Buchanan, Dr. Mylene Mariette, Dr. Susanne Hoffmann based at Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, Germany and Deakin University’s Centre for Integrative Ecology, Australia and in collaboration with University of Seville, Spain.

We are seeking an outstanding, highly motivated PhD candidate to work on an international and multidisciplinary research project funded by the Australian Research Council. It has long been recognised that animals perceive environmental information before they are born. This project will test for the first time how parent-embryo communication systems are produced and processed. The aim of the PhD research program is to uncover how parent-embryo vocal communication signals are controlled and processed in the avian brain. After extensive training at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Germany (year 1), the PhD student will work independently as part of a vibrant and productive research team at Deakin University in Australia (year 2 and 3), performing neural and vocal recordings in captive zebra finches, and in wild birds in the field.

Stipend: AUD28.600 (~EUR18.000) p.a. (tax exempt) for 3 years
(for non-Australian students, waivers to overseas tuition fee are potentially available)

Who should apply?
The scholarship would suit a highly motivated and able student with strong interests in neuroscience and animal behaviour. Essential requirements include: Masters (or equivalent) in a relevant field; high proficiency in the use of the English language; excellent written communication skills; high levels of enthusiasm and motivation; and an ability to work independently and as part of an interdisciplinary team. A driver’s licence is essential, as field work will be required. After training, the student needs to be able to perform invasive animal experiments and to take on the collection and analyses of neural tissue. Experience in field work with birds and/or in bioacoustics and/or in neurophysiology are desirable but not essential.

Application deadline: 1st September 2021.
Selection will be based on academic merit and prior experience.
For further information contact Dr. Susanne Hoffmann ( or Prof. Kate Buchanan ( To apply, please send a letter of application, a detailed CV and contact details for two referees to

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