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PhD position in Behavioral Biology (all genders welcome)

The German Primate Center (DPZ) - Leibniz Institute for Primate Research in Göttingen conducts basic research in primate biology, infection research and neuroscience. It maintains four field stations and is a competence and reference center for research on and with primates. The DPZ is one of the 9 research and infrastructure facilities of the Leibniz Association.

As part of a the SPP 2205 “Evolutionary Optimization of Neuronal Processing”, we advertise here a

PhD position in Behavioral Biology (all genders welcome)

This is a 65% position (payment E13 TV-L) initially for one year, with the possibility for extension to three years. The project is expected to commence on July 1st, 2024.

In this project “From Branch to Branch: Unravelling Primate Vision in Arboreal Leaping and Navigation”, we aim to investigate the role of vision and light availability on navigational strategies in wild nocturnal grey mouse lemurs (Microcebus murinus) at the field site of the German Primate Center (DPZ), Kirindy Forest in Western Madagascar. To gain a better understanding of how visual conditions and visual processing affect small- and large-scale navigational strategies, we will track how mouse lemurs navigate throughout their habitat and conduct cognitive experiments on spatial cognition with automated testing devices in the wild. This project is embedded in a cooperation with Fred Wolf, Georg-August University, Göttingen and Daniel Huber, Geneva University, Switzerland. By combining the expertise of these three laboratories, behvaioral ecology and cognition in wild grey mouse lemurs (Fichtel), theoretical and computational neuroscience and computer vision (Wolf), and neural recording in free-ranging mouse lemurs in the laboratory (Huber), we aim to investigate key features characteristic of early primate vision.

Your profile:

  • A good M.Sc. degree in Behavioral Biology or a related field e.g., Cognitive Science, Comparative Biology
  • Experience conducting observational or experimental studies with animals
  • Experience in working in the field would be an advantage
  • Experience in analyzing movement data would be an advantage
  • Advanced statistical and analytical abilities (experience using R is a plus)
  • Excellent command of the English language; basic French skills but would be an advantage
  • Excellent critical thinking and communication skills

What we offer:

  • A highly interdisciplinary and collaborative, team-oriented research environment
  • Close supervision by an interdisciplinary Thesis Advisory Committee
  • Enrolment in a training program comprising compulsory and elective courses suited to individual needs and careers goals, as well as regular retreats and summer schools

We welcome diversity and therefore welcome applications from qualified people, regardless of their ethnic, cultural and social background, gender, religion, ideology, disability, age or sexual identity. Registered disabled applicants with equal aptitude and qualifications will be given preferential consideration. We kindly ask you to indicate a disability in your application.

Employment at the DPZ is based on the civil service rules and regulations. The salary scale is in accordance with TV-L, with VBL pension scheme.

Please send in your written application as a pdf including a cover letter, CV, all certificates and the contact information of two referees until 30.04.2024 under the key word “PhD Primate Navigation” to Deutsches Primatenzentrum GmbH – Leibniz Institut für Primatenforschung – Personnel Office – Kellnerweg 4 – 37077 Göttingen or via mail to bewerbung(at)

For questions about the position, please contact Dr. Claudia Fichtel (claudia.fichtel(at)

For more information about the Leibniz Association see