A postdoctoral position is available on an NSF-funded project investigating the relationship be-tween cognition and foraging efficiency in a Neotropical frugivore guild. The position is funded by and will be based at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, but the successful applicant will be expected to spend time each year at the University of California, Davis in the laboratory of Dr. Meg Crofoot. The research will involve (1) GPS-tracking the movements of six large-bodied, frugivorous mammal species on Barro Colorado Island, Panama during an ecologically simple period when only one major fruit source is available, mapping the spatial distribution of this keystone fruit tree species via remote sensing, and collecting data on individual travel routes, patch visit durations, and fruit intake rates to estimate the relative foraging efficiency of each species, and (2) analyzing observed animal movement patterns to evaluate what frugivores know about the distribution of resources in their habitat and how they encode and integrate that information. The applicant will work as part of a collaborative team with Dr. Crofoot and project collaborators Roland Kays (North Carolina Museum of Natural Science), Ben Hirsch (STRI) and Damien Caillaud (Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund). S/he will be expected to supervise and mentor graduate and undergraduate students, and to participate in all aspects of the research project from field work and data collection to managing and analyzing data to writing manuscripts and grant proposals, and will be asked to contribute to the development of research approaches and directions. Eligibility: a Ph.D. in ecology, animal behavior or a related field with expertise in movement ecology or animal foraging behavior. Experience with field-based animal research and movement modelling is necessary. Proficiency in (or the burning desire to learn) R and/or C/C++, the ability to communicate in Spanish, and experience with animal capture, GPS-tracking and GIS software are highly desirable. The position will begin May 2015 and, subject to performance and funding, will last up to two years, with an initial appointment of 12 months and a possible renewal for another 12 months. Salary will be commensurate with experience, and additional funding to defray the costs of professional travel is available. STRI in Panama is home to a lively and diverse academic community, and hosts 100s of visiting scientists from around the world each year (http://www.stri.si.edu/). The field station on Barro Colorado Island is well-equipped, accessible and familyfriendly. To apply for this position, send a single pdf file containing: a CV, a 1-page statement of research and professional goals, one representative publication and the names and contact information for three references to Dr. Crofoot at [email protected]
Please include “Frugivore Cognition Post-doc” in the subject header. Informal inquiries are welcome at the same address. Review of applications will begin Jan 20th, and continue until the position is filled. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute is an equal opportunity employer, and veterans and minorities are especially encouraged to apply. U.S. citizenship is not a requirement and Panamanian candidates are particularly welcome.