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Postdoctoral position opportunity on Social Networks in Primates

Hiring Organization:
University of Strasbourg Institute for Advanced Study

Date Posted:
2013-01-26

Position Description:
full-time Post-doctoral researcher position (24 months) to investigate the mechanisms underlying information and disease transmission in nonhuman primates. The successful candidate is expected to spend a considerable amount of time observing and conducting behavioural experiments on groups of Japanese macaques in Japan and modelling artificial social networks in order to elucidate how the structure of the social network can influence the speed of information and disease transmission.

Supervisors: Cédric Sueur and Andrew MacIntosh

Website:
Cédric Sueur (leader of social network analysis and modelling): http://www.iphc.cnrs.fr/-Cedric-Sueur-.html
Andrew MacIntosh: http://www.cicasp.pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/people/andrew-macintosh

Summary of the Project
Although living in groups has many advantages, it also involves certain disadvantages such as increased disease transmission and the need to make collective decisions. In theory, the social network properties optimizing decision accuracy and the spreading of information should also increase the disease transmission rate, creating a trade-off between decision-making efficiency and infection risk. We aim to explore this trade-off by examining social network properties and investigating how they might interact to maximize decision accuracy and minimize infection risk. We propose an evaluation of this trade-off in non-human primates using both experimental and theoretical approaches.

The project is innovative and multidisciplinary because it compares information versus disease transmission and combines observation and experimentation with modelling. Our approach is designed to highlight mechanisms underlying decision accuracy and disease transmission, with social networks reflecting a trade-off between these variables. In particular, although information and disease flow networks have been independently studied before, this study aims to directly investigate the costs and benefits of social networks for a specific optimization of this trade-off in diverse species groups. This work thus extends previous pioneer projects into revolutionary new areas.

Qualifications/Experience:
Required: we invite applications from researchers holding (or expecting to obtain prior to August 2013) a PhD in Biology/Anthropology with a strong expertise in SNA, primate behaviour and/or disease transmission. Previous experience analyzing behavioural and diffusion/social data will be highly advantageous. Applicants should be proficient in written and spoken English, have excellent social skills, and be able to work both independently and in a large, interdisciplinary team.

Beneficial: Modelling, field work experience, basic knowledge of French and Japanese

Salary/funding:
The salary will be in accordance with French national regulations for post-doctoral researchers and amounts to ca. 3996euros per month (gross, i.e. ca. 2200euros net basic salary).

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
One national and one international Congress per year, 1 return Airfare France-Japan

Term of Appointment:
The initial appointment will be for 2 years and will begin on 1 August/September 2013.

Application Deadline:
1 April 2013

Comments:
Applications consisting of a cover letter stating research experience and interests, a detailed curriculum vitae, and the names and e-mail addresses of two referees can be sent electronically to Dr. Cédric Sueur, cedric.sueur@iphc.cnrs.fr.

Contact Information:
Cédric Sueur
23, rue Becquerel
Strasbourg, none f-67087
France

Telephone Number:
+33(0)388107453

Website:
http://sites.google.com/site/cedricsueuranimalbehaviour/

E-mail Address:
cedric.sueur@iphc.cnrs.fr

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