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PhD position, Behavioural ecology - 2019BAPFWETEX308Posted by: University of Antwerp
Posted date: 2019-Nov-14
The Faculty of Science is seeking to fill a full-time (100%) vacancy in the Department of Biology for a
Doctoral student in the area of behavioural ecology
Behavioural ecological perspectives on time-keeping in the wild-timing, performance, and response to environmental change
Temporal coordination is of fundamental importance to guarantee that the timing of seasonal and daily activities becomes synchronized with the external environment, orchestrated by internal biological clocks. Yet individuals differ in their timing of activities and can be categorized depending on their preferred onset of daily activities in the morning. Individual variation in so called chronotypes could have significant implications on the way how individuals synchronize their activities with ‘temporal aspects’ of their environment. Timing could hence determine how well an individual is able to match reproduction with the peak in food abundance. Individuals that vary in their preferred onset of daily activities may also differ in the time-point of optimal performance during a day, which could affect their efficiency in exploiting predictable food sources.
Using behavioural-ecological field experiments, you will focus on the consequences of individual variation in timing in wild blue and great tits. You will explore the relationship between animal personality and chronotypes, as both are concerned with consistency in behaviour over time and across contexts. These results will significantly contribute to our understanding of the adaptive significance of timing in the wild.
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