Study Cane Toads and get paid !

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REFERENCE NO. 1614/0912

• Enhance your research profile by joining a high-profile well-funded project
• Become part of a world-class research team using a powerful model system to study evolution operating at ecological timescales
• Full-time, fixed term 3-4 years; remuneration package: $92K p.a., further offers may be possible subject to funding and need

The University of Sydney is Australia's first university with an outstanding global reputation for academic and research excellence. It employs over 7500 permanent staff supporting over 49,000 students.

The School of Biological Sciences is one of the largest in Australia with research strengths in many areas of mathematics and statistics. The school attracts a strong body of excellent students as well as Australian Research Council (ARC) grants, fellowships, and other competitive external funding.

Applications are sought for two Postdoctoral Research Associate positions in the evolution and ecology of invasive cane toads that are funded by an ARC Laureate Fellowship "Using biological invasions to understand evolutionary processes" held by Richard Shine.

The project exploits the unique logistical opportunities offered by the cane toad’s Australian invasion to pose and test a suite of hypotheses about evolutionary-ecological processes. In particular, why has the rate of dispersal of invasion-front toads increased so rapidly over this relatively brief period? What are the relative roles of spatial sorting and natural selection in driving that range-edge acceleration? How and why do cane toads at the invasion front differ from those in long-colonised areas in traits such as cognitive ability, behavioural syndromes, dispersal tactics, immunobiology, locomotor ability, morphology and phenotypic plasticity? The project not only will compare such traits between toads from invasion-front versus long-colonized areas, but also link those changes to concurrent research on the genetic divergences that have accumulated during the toads’ Australian invasion.

This is an opportunity to conduct research in a highly productive research team, on a project that has gathered substantial international recognition. You will spend most of your time working out of the University’s Tropical Ecology Research Facility at Middle Point, in a bushland setting 65km east of the city of Darwin in the Northern Territory. The field station has accommodation, office and laboratory facilities, and four-wheel-drive vehicles. However, the research also will require extensive travel in order to collect toads from across the breadth of the Australian tropics. Teaching is not a requirement.

You will have:

• PhD degree in biology (or be close to completing one)

• sound knowledge of advanced techniques and demonstrated capability of research in at least one of the following areas: analyses of morphology, physiology, performance, behaviour, genetics and/or ecology of free-ranging animals

• demonstrated ability to conduct high-quality research either independently or as part of a research team, published research as sole author or in collaboration, excellent written and verbal communication skills.

Experience in conducting fieldwork in remote areas, and in working with multidisciplinary teams, will be highly regarded.

The positions are full-time fixed-term for three to four years subject to completion of a satisfactory probation and confirmation period for new appointees. Further offers may be available subject to funding, need and performance. Successful applicants will need to become members of a University approved superannuation scheme.

Remuneration package: $92K p.a. including $78K p.a. base salary, leave loading and up to 17% superannuation. Some support towards relocation and visa sponsorship will be available for the successful appointees if required.

All applications must be submitted via the University of Sydney careers website. Visit and search by the reference number for more information and to apply.

CLOSING DATE: 13 January 2013 (11:30pm Sydney time)

The University is an Equal Opportunity employer committed to equity, diversity and social inclusion. Applications from equity target groups and women are encouraged.

"Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana".

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