PhD position in Animal Behaviour

On: Mechanisms underlying communication and cooperation in meerkats

A PhD position funded up to 4 years will be available from September 2019 at the Department of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Switzerland ( to work on group coordination mechanisms in the cooperatively breeding meerkat (Suricata suricatta). Under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Marta Manser, you will investigate cognitive and /or physiological mechanisms involved in vocal communication and cooperation. The focus will be on experiments on captive meerkats (our group at the University and in zoos), with the potential to complement findings in our habituated field population at the Kalahari Meerkat Project in South Africa ( The student will have the opportunity to collaborate with world experts in allying modern techniques and advanced data analyses.

We seek highly motivated candidates, with a MSc degree in Animal Behaviour or related subject, who show a great interest in mechanistic questions and apply modern methods. Applicants should have work experience with animals in captivity or in the wild, being used to working independently, and are fluent in English (German knowledge is not necessary at the University, but of advantage when working in zoos). 

Please send your application by email as a single PDF document (before 15. June 2019) to the address given below and include:

  • One (1) A4 page statement about previous research (main findings, main challenges) and future research motivation (1-2 main questions of interest/hypotheses to test),
  • C.V. (with publication list) and graduate and undergraduate degree certificates,
  • full contact details of two (2) scientific referees.

Selected candidates will be invited for interviews at the end of June 2019. For additional information on the position, please contact Marta Manser via email

get as PDF (PDF, 343 KB).

Prof. Dr. Marta Manser
Animal Behaviour, EBES
University of Zurich
Zurich, Switzerland

Last update: 22.05.2019