Pre- or Postdoctoral Position | Center for Adaptive Rationality

Job Code: 14/2022

Job Offer from June 17, 2022

The Center for Adaptive Rationality (ARC) at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, under the direction of Prof. Dr. Ralph Hertwig, seeks applicants for 1 Predoctoral Position (E 13 TVöD, 70%, 36 months) or 1 Postdoctoral Position (E 13 TVöD, 100%, 22 months) on Human Foraging (Ice fishing).
Preferred starting date is 1 October 2022. Closing date for applications: July 10, 2022

The Position

Job description: Technological developments are opening up new frontiers on individual and collective decision making. Improved tracking technology (e.g., GPS, Galileo, proximity sensing), allow to follow organisms over long periods of time, with ever increasing accuracy. Organism-borne videos provide detailed insights in the (visual) information that organisms have access to. And organism-attached remote sensing allow monitoring of physiological variables (e.g., heart rate) to understand how organisms cope with environmental challenges. We are entering the ‘golden age of bio-logging’. Despite revolutionizing animal ecology, relatively few studies in human ecology have taken such a data-driven approach.

This project aims to do exactly this, investigating human foraging ecology. This work is part of a DFG funded research project. The work combines statistical analyses of a large-scale database spanning 50 years on individual and collective catch data, with empirical fieldwork studying individual and collective foraging of icefishers in Finland. For the fieldwork, up to 100 icefishers will be simultaneously and repeatedly equipped with (i) tracking devices to record high-resolution spatial movement behaviour of ice-fishers, (ii) head cameras to capture continuous information on the search behaviour and foraging success, and (iii) heart rate monitor to study physiology. This novel study system and approach will provide an unprecendented amount of spatio-temporal data on human foragers across natural environments, to uncover new insights in behavioural and physiological mechanisms underlying indvidal and cooperative human foraging.

Your Profile

Requirements: Applicants (m/f) should hold, or anticipate receiving very soon as shown in supporting documents, a master’s degree, diploma or equivalent (or in case of Postdoc application a PhD Degree) in Psychology, Biology, or related natural sciences and ideally have proven skills/background in the following topics:

  • working with spatio-temporal data, visual data, and/or physiological data
  • conducting human individual and/or collective behavior experiments
  • experience in working in the field under challenging conditions
  • statistical data analysis of interdependent data (mixed model approaches, conventional statistics, Bayesian statistics)
  • programming skills (for example in MATLAB, Python, R)
  • experience in working in collaborative research activities including multidisciplinary teams
  • command of the Finnish language is a bonus

Our Offer

The Max Planck Institute for Human Development offers an excellent infrastructure including support staff and equipment for conducting experiments and fieldwork. It provides an international research environment, with English being the working language of the Center for Adaptive Rationality.

Your Application

The Max Planck Society strives for gender and diversity equality. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such qualified individuals.

To apply, please send your application (consisting of a cover letter describing your research interests, a CV, one publication (or another sample of writing), and the contact details of two references) as a SINGLE PDF file to Ralf Kurvers, MPI for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin ( Please submit your application without a photo. Applications must be submitted by  July 10, 2022 to ensure consideration. However, review of applications will continue until the position is filled.

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