PhD position: Reproductive ecology in Glassfrogs
100 %

In the Division of Behavioural Ecology, we study the evolutionary mechanisms that shape animal behaviour in ecologically relevant contexts. Specific research topics include parental decision making, cooperative breeding, parental effects and the development of social behaviour, evolution of complex sociality and cooperation, alternative reproductive tactics strategies, communication networks, cognition, animal personality, and life history strategies. We are based at the Ethological Research Station Hasli, which is located slightly outside the city of Bern within the beautiful Bremgarten forest.

Amphibians feature diverse reproductive strategies, nonetheless we have currently only limited understanding of the evolutionary causes and correlates of this variation. The diversity of parental strategies across glassfrogs – from no care, to varying levels of male and female uni-parental care – and the lack of a sex bias in the predisposition to provide care, renders this frog family ideal for studying sex-specific parental roles. In the recently funded project "Alternative parental strategies shape space use, calling, and cognition in tropical frogs" we will investigate how species-specific differences in parental strategies are linked to differences in space use, communication, and associated cognitive capacities in male and female glassfrogs.

Your profile
We are looking for a highly motivated PhD student, who will be responsible for conducting field experiments, molecular analyses (parentage, relatedness), and bioacoustic analyses. The specific focus of the PhD thesis will be negotiated depending on the candidate's interests and/or skills. However, priority will be given to applicants with previous experience working in tropical environments, (glass) frogs, molecular analyses, spatial ecology, and/or bioacoustics. Our lab welcomes applications from students of diverse national, cultural, and educational backgrounds, who have a high passion for lab and fieldwork. The candidate must be willing and capable to spend up to 2-3 months each year in a tropical research station under simple living conditions and to work during the night (glassfrogs are nocturnal).
We offer
Salary: rate of the Swiss National Science Fund (SNSF) for PhD students.
The preferred starting date is April 2021. The PhD duration is 3 years.
Contact and Application
Please send your application including a motivation letter (max. 1 page explaining why you fit for the job) and your CV including the contact details of two references as
a single PDF
to no later than the
10th of December 2020

Contact: Prof. Ringler Eva, Head of Division Behavioural Ecology, Institute of Ecology and Evolution, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

See following links for further information:
Institute of Ecology and Evolution: (new division website will be online soon)
Swiss National Science Fund:
Field site: