Doctoral position (m/f/d) | Statistical primate demography

Young Researchers Leipzig
Developmental and Evolutionary Biology & Genetics Behavioral Sciences Cognitive Research

Job Code: LH-02-2024

Job Offer from June 04, 2024

The Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVA) in Leipzig, Germany, is a world-leading research institute investigating one of the most fundamental questions in science: What makes humans human? The institute brings together scientists from a wide range of disciplines who take an interdisciplinary approach to gain new insights into the history, diversity and capabilities of the human species.

In the Department of Primate Behavior and Evolution, we develop statistical methods for demography and combine these with long-term life history data to explore the diversity of primate life-history strategies and their evolution. We also use behavioral, field, and genomic approaches to shed light on the patterns and processes that guide primate evolution, including their evolutionary history, social and population structure, and responses to the environment.

We are offering a Doctoral position (m/f/d) | Statistical primate demography, starting in October 2024, full-time (39 h/week).

The Statistical Demography Research Group at the Department of Primate Behavior and Evolution is looking for a talented and motivated young scientist passionate about carrying out research towards a doctoral thesis in statistical primate demography, with applications to primate ecology, evolution, and aging.

The work will focus on development and application of state-of-the-art inference models for primate demography under the supervision of Dr. Fernando Colchero and in collaboration with the Department’s Director, Prof. Jenny Tung. The overarching goal of this work is to understand the influence of social and environmental factors on male and female fertility and survival, as well as sex-differences in actuarial and reproductive aging in primates.

Your qualifications

  • Successfully completed Master’s degree (including M.Sc. thesis) in quantitative or statistical ecology and/or evolution, biostatistics, bioinformatics, or related fields.
  • Background knowledge on animal demography, statistical and preferably Bayesian inference, population ecology, primate life history.
  • Experience with the scripting program R is required.
  • Strong written and spoken English and the desire to work in a dynamic, international team (knowledge of German is not required for this position).

Our offer

  • An exciting and rewarding job in a young, scientifically oriented, international team in one of the most renowned research institutions in Leipzig
  • Access to state-of-the-art scientific infrastructure
  • Targeted and individual mentoring
  • A structured training program with a flexible range of courses in addition to research on the project
  • The candidate will be enrolled within the International Max Planck Research School “The Leipzig School of Human Origins” (IMPRS-LSHO: link for more information find here)
  • A 3-year doctoral funding contract corresponding to the TVöD Bund (Collective Wage Agreement for the Public Service) that combines research in scientific freedom with social security. It allows doctoral researchers to devote themselves independently to their scientific work without any constraints.
  • Excellent quality of life in Leipzig, including extensive green spaces, public transport options, work subsidy for the Deutschland job ticket, and support from a dedicated International Office
  • Family-friendly offers (support in finding a suitable childcare, family room, flexible working hours)

Interested in applying?

Then we look forward to receiving your application! Please upload your complete application documents, including cover letter, CV and relevant references, to our application tool via the  link.

The application deadline is July 15, 2024.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Ms. Claudia Marstaller at

The Max Planck Society and the Department of Primate Behavior and Evolution at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology are committed to employing individuals with disabilities and especially encourages them to apply. Additionally, we seek to increase diversity of our workforce in areas where it is underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourage women and members of underrepresented groups to apply. Information about the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology.

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