POSITION START DATE: As soon as possible


RANK: Post-doctoral fellow, 12 months term

SALARY RANGE: $45,000–$50,000 per annum (plus benefits), commensurate with qualifications and experience

PROJECT OVERVIEW: We are using our long-term dataset (>2000 individuals over 19 years), as well as field research, test fundamental hypotheses on life history, alternative reproductive tactics and cooperative breeding in an arid-adapted African ground squirrel, using behavioural, molecular and endocrine techniques. Females in this species are cooperative breeders living in family groups with multiple breeders, and males live in all-male bands (unrelated individuals). Both male and female groups are non-territorial, lack dominance hierarchies and display little aggression. They are long-lived, despite a small body size, and have few offspring, similar to large mammals. Males have two alternative tactics – they either delay dispersal and stay with their family, or disperse and join all-male bands. Tactics do not differ in reproductive success but less than 30% of males of either tactic sire offspring. In complex animal societies, females usually live with their close kin but these close kin are also their closest competitors. Thus sociality can be seen as a tug-of-war between cooperation and competition among groupmates. In female Cape ground squirrels, most breeding attempts fail to wean offspring, but the reasons for this reproductive skew are unclear. Reproductive conflict within the family group is not apparent, so such skew is unexpected.

JOB DESCRIPTION: The primary task of this position focus on the analysis and writing of manuscripts on a range of possible topics, including predation risk, personality, spatial mark-recapture, kinship, and heritability.  However, the PDF will also have the opportunity to develop and pursue his or her own research questions within the context of behavioural and animal ecology.


  • To contribute significantly to data interpretation and statistical analysis in the lab
  • Disseminate research through publications in peer reviewed journals.
  • To collaborate in the experimental design and implementation of research projects with graduate and undergraduate students
  • To attend and contribute to research seminars, departmental meetings, and international conferences.
  • Carry out administrative roles as required, e.g., arranging travel to field sites, overseeing a research program.
  • Perform professional activities such as refereeing papers, editing journals, refereeing research grants


  • PhD (or successful PhD viva at commencement of contract) in behaviour ecology, evolutionary biology or a related field
  • Ability to process and analyse datasets using cutting edge statistical tools (e.g., Bayesian, social network analysis, spatial mark-recapture, complex GLMMs)
  • Proficiency with analysis software and programming languages, particularly R
  • Ability to work both collaboratively and independently
  • Well-developed leadership and team management skills


Applicants should send their curriculum vitae, a cover letter expressing their research experience and research interests, and the names of three referees by email to:

Dr. Jane Waterman, Professor
Department of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba

The University of Manitoba is strongly committed to equity and diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from women, racialized persons, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of all sexual orientations and genders, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

If you require accommodation supports during the recruitment process, please contact or 204-474-7195. Please note this contact information is for accommodation reasons only.

Application materials, including letters of reference, will be handled in accordance with the protection of privacy provision of The Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy (Manitoba). Please note that curriculum vitae may be provided to participating members of the search process.