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Currently seeking postdoctoral fellows in social evolution theory (Ad posted Dec 5th, 2016):

Multiple funded postdoctoral fellowships are available in the research group of Erol Akcay at the University of Pennsylvania to work on the theory of animal and human social behavior and social structure. We are seeking enthusiastic and talented individuals to conduct original research on topics related to the lab’s interests. Specific potential topics include: dynamics of social networks, evolution of social preferences and social norms, and collective behavior. There will also be opportunity and encouragement to develop own research questions within these broad areas.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in mathematical or computational theory in ecology, evolution, and/or social science (and a Ph.D. in a related field), and will have demonstrated ability to conduct original research. The fellow will join a vibrant research group working on diverse questions in social evolutionary theory. Start date is flexible, from as soon as possible to the Fall of 2017 at the latest. Funding is available for multiple years, contingent on satisfactory progress.

More about the lab: The Akcay lab ( is based in the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, PA. We study social evolution, broadly conceived, across the tree of life. Work in the group addresses a range of questions at the interface of ecology, evolution, and social dynamics, including: the evolution of social behaviors and social systems of animals and humans, evolutionary ecology of species interactions such as mutualisms, the interplay between physiology and social behavior, dynamics of coupled natural and human systems, and others. More information about the lab’s research and links to recent publications can be found at: and The Biology Department and the University of Pennsylvania provide a vibrant intellectual environment for research in theoretical biology and social evolution, and ample opportunity for cross-disciplinary collaborations. The University of Pennsylvania is in an urban campus in the heart of Philadelphia, one of the most livable big cities in the US.

To apply: send a CV, statement of research interests (2 pages max), two representative papers (published or preprints), and contact information for 3 references to Erol Akcay at Applications will be considered on a rolling basis; informal inquiries are welcome.

The University of Pennsylvania is an EOE/Affirmative Action Employer. Female, underrepresented minority, and LGBT candidates are especially encouraged to apply.

Other than the ad above, we are always looking to recruit enthusiastic graduate students and postdoctoral fellows interested in the active research areas in the lab, which cover a wide variety of complex biological and social systems. We do mostly theory, but enjoy interacting closely with data and the folks that generate it. The Biology Department and Penn in general provide an exciting intellectual environment for the kind of interdisciplinary work we do, with many world-class researchers working on theoretical biology, social evolution, and behavior. Check out the research page and some of the recent publications to get a sense of what the lab is interested in.

Graduate students should consult the Biology Graduate Group‘s admission page for detailed instructions. The deadline for applications are generally mid-December, but you should contact faculty you might be interested in working with well before that date to indicate your interest.

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