Immediate Postdoctoral position | nest site selection in shorebirds

A 3 year postdoctoral position is available immediately at University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Hungary. Application deadline is 30 September 2018. Originally posted by Dr Andras Kosztolanyi (

Life history consequences of nest site selection in shorebirds

3 year post-doc position at University of Veterinary Medicine Budapest, Hungary

PDF Download: NestCoverPostDocJob


Choosing nest sites is a major life history decision, since the vegetation around the nest influences both the risk of predation and the thermal properties of eggs and the incubating parent. In this project we aim to investigate nest site selection in a ground nesting shorebird with biparental incubation, the Kentish plover. Because of the different daily incubation schedule of the sexes, nest cover can be a sexually antagonistic trait, furthermore individuals may have consistent preferences for nest sites. In the project we aim to understand the costs and benefits of this important life history decision, and its relation to sexual conflict and personality of parents. The project is led by Dr Andras Kosztolanyi (Univ Vet Med Budapest, Hungary), Prof Zoltan Barta (Univ Debrecen, Hungary) and Prof Tamas Szekely (Univ Bath, UK), and will be run in close collaboration with the “ELVONAL (cutting edge) – Breeding system evolution in shorebirds” project of the University of Debrecen, Hungary. The research group uses English as communication language.


The job

This job offers an opportunity for an early-stage post-doc who wants to combine fieldwork with cutting-edge evolutionary and behavioural science. The main tasks of the post-doc are to carry out and supervise field studies in Kazakhstan, Russia and/or China (possibly in other countries). We seek candidates with experience in behavioural ecology and field biology preferable with birds, shorebirds. Publications in high-quality peer-reviewed journals, excellent communication skills, and solid skills in data handling are essential.


This is a full-time position and the salary will be above the normal Hungarian level (up to 1200 EUR, depending on experience). Note that the cost of living in Hungary is substantially less than in Western Europe. The position is for 36 months (subject to probation period). See further specifications below.


How to apply

Application deadline is 30 September 2018. The application should include (1) a max two pages cover letter, (2) a CV with list of publications, and (3) the name and contact details of four referee preferably from research, academia or conservation. The applications should be emailed to Ms Fanni Takacs ( Interviews will be in early October and the position is available from 1 November 2018.


For further information please contact Ms Fanni Takacs (


Selected publications

AlRashidi, M. et al. 2011. Parental cooperation in an extreme hot environment: natural behaviour and experimental evidence. Animal Behaviour 82: 235-243.

Bulla, M. et al. 2016. Unexpected diversity in socially synchronized rhythms of shorebirds. Nature 540: 109-1013.

Eberhart-Phillips, L. J. et al. 2018. Demographic causes of adult sex ratio variation and their consequences for parental cooperation. Nature Communications 9: 1651

Vincze, O. et al. 2016. Parental cooperation in a changing climate: fluctuating environments predict shifts in care division. Global Ecology and Biogeography 26: 347-358.


Job description

  • The post-doc will carry out field observations and experiments in plover populations in Kazakhstan, Russia and/or China
  • supervise PhD students and research assistants, and coordinate research with external collaborators
  • coordinate sampling, behavioural recording, data analyses, and preparations of manuscripts for publication
  • present the results at conferences and research seminars, and promote the results of the project
  • assist administration associated with the project
  • carry out other scientific and/or academic activities that are deemed necessary for the success of the project



  • PhD in evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, zoology, or relevant field of life sciences
  • solid knowledge of evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, and/or ornithology
  • experience carrying out or supervising large-scale research projects
  • at least 2 years experience in avian field ecology, behavioural ecology or a relevant field
  • good skills in statistical modelling, and advanced knowledge of R programming and database management
  • at least 5 published (or accepted) research papers in peer-reviewed journals
  • international field experience studying wild populations (preferably birds)
  • experience in bird ringing and preferably ringing licence
  • valid driving licence


Dr Andras Kosztolanyi (

kentish plover Charadrius alexandrinus, ©Chung Yu.


Featured image: Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus, July 2018, Finland. ©Guillaume Bigayon.