Doctoral dissertation position (ref. 17/2010)

The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin, a member of the Leibniz association, investigates the variety of life histories, the mechanisms of evolutionary adaptations and adaptation limits of wildlife and their interrelations with humans and the environment. The research group 'Evolutionary Ecology' focuses on the conservation of large mammals and studies factors that enhance the survival of populations and their ability to recuperate. Within the research group 'Evolutionary Ecology' we offer from Dezember 2010 onwards for an initial period of two years one doctoral dissertation position.

Work description

The doctoral dissertation will focus on immunology and endocrinology of free-ranging cheetahs and is part of a comprehensive research project on the cheetah population on Namibian farmland. The candidate will investigate the relation between the hormonal status of cheetahs and their immune response.

An important part of the work will be to capture cheetahs in Namibia using box traps, immobilise and sample the animals, process the samples, organise the transport of the samples to the IZW, run one of the two research stations and maintain the project vehicles. Further sample processing and sample analyses will be conducted at laboratories of the IZW and cooperation partners.


Successful approbation in veterinary medicine;
- at least two years of working experience after approbation;
- good ability to work in a team as well as operate in an independent manner;
- a good standard of German and English (oral and written);
- experience in field work,preferably in Africa;
- readiness to write applications for external funding.

Advantageous experience

- basic experience in lab work in immunology or endocrinology;
- interest in technical instruments and new computer software;
- basic knowledge in telemetry of large mammals.

All applicants are expected to give a 10-15 minute presentation in English, presenting his/her previous scientific work or a freely chosen scientific topic. Interviews are likely to be held in early September 2010.

The IZW is determined to increase the proportion of women in successful scientific careers and particularly encourages applications from qualified female scientists. Handicapped applicants will be preferred if equally qualified. For further information please contact Dr Bettina Wachter (

Please submit your application (quoting reference 11/2010) with a motivation letter, CV, copies of relevant degrees and contact details of two people who can provide a reference as one single PDF-file not larger than 500 kb before 22nd August 2010 to:

Leibniz-Institut für Zoo- und Wildtierforschung
im Forschungsverbund Berlin e.V.,
Frau Stephanie Vollberg,,
Postfach 60 11 03, 10252 Berlin.

(Deadline: 22nd August 2010 (ref. 17/2010))