Job Announcement
Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Bayern, Germany

1 Volunteer Research Assistant in Behavioural Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology

Application deadline: 15.02.2018

The Research Group of Behavioural Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology in Seewiesen, Bayern, Germany (see, is seeking avolunteer to assist with aviary work during the breeding season of captive Ruffs from10 May until 10 August 2018. Thiswork will be part of a project that aims to understand the proximate and ultimate mechanisms involved in alternative mating strategies in Ruffs.

The work will be conducted at Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, Canada. The position will suit undergraduate (or recent graduate) students with an interest in evolutionary and behavioural biology, endocrinology and/or developmental biology. The volunteer will have the opportunity to experience lekking Ruffs at close hands in a unique captive setting, gain experiences in handling animals, conducting experiments and learn about sexual selection, fascinating mating behaviour and aviculture.

The volunteer will assist with animalcare (egg collection, feeding and weighing of chicks, occasional cleaning of the aviaries), blood and tissue sampling and data management and will help run mate choice trials.

Successful candidates should be highly motivated and well organized, with capabilities of working in a team and with task assigned independently. The volunteer will be included into the staff work rotation that consists of six working days per week that often start early in the morning and during the peak periods can continue until late at night. Experience with handling animals is desirable.

The working language is English, and we expect a good command of the language of all applicants. Eligibility is restricted to UK and EU students. We can only consider applicants who are willing to participate for the entire three months’ period in the project.

The MaxPlanck Institute for Ornithology employs a dynamic, dedicated, and international group of researchers who are focused on exploring the fields of evolution, ecology, genetics, and neurobiology. Benefits will cover basic costs for food and accommodation and travel-related expenses to Canada.

If you are interested in applying for the volunteer positionsas described above, please apply (including your CV and cover letter)via email to

Review of the applications will begin on 15 February 2018until the positionis filled.

© 08.01.2018 Deutsche Zoologische Gesellschaft e.V., DZG