Job announcement
University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, Institute of Zoology

PhD position – Vocal communication in white rhinoceros

Application deadline: 1.10.2017
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Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover: PhD position available on vocal behaviourof white rhinoceros

The team of Dr. Marina Scheumann studies vocal communication in different mammalian species. Here, we offer a DFG-funded PhD position as a part of the DFG project: “Vocal correlates of mate quality and proceptivity in the vocalizations of white rhinoceros”. The aim of the project is to investigate whether vocal correlates might encode mate quality, the willingness to mate as well as the reproductive status of the sender. This would allow to develop bioacoustic monitoring systems to improve breeding management.


  • The applicant will collect behavioural and acoustic data as well as faecal samples in different national and international zoos (at least 2 x 6 month stay for data collection)
  • Analysis of audio- and video recordings with specialized software
  • Conducting and analyzing playback experiments in some zoos
  • Performing statistical analysis
  • Publication of the results

We offer:

  • DFG-funded PhD position (65%) for three years starting on 15th January 2018
  • Scientific networking  with different national and international zoos
  • Introduction to up-to-date bioacoustic methods; education in hormonal analysis
  • International working atmosphere

We expect:

  • M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) in biology or similar fields
  • Very good English skills (written and spoken) and the ability to communicate with the zoo staff in German
  • Good statistical, analytic and computational skills
  • Experience in behavioural biology and bioacoustics would be beneficial
  • High motivation to travel to European zoos for at least 2 x 6 months (travel costs are covered by the DFG grant)
  • Driver’s license

Please send your application (CV, Copies of certificates, letter of motivation, names of potential referees) by 1st October 2017 to

For details on the team and on other ongoing projects contact
Dr. Marina Scheumann, Institute of Zoology, University of Veterinary Medicine Hannover, D-30559 Hannover Tel. +49 511 9538750 Fax. +49 511 9538586

© 18.08.2017 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG