Max Planck Institute: Two grants for PhD students in Cultural Evolution

The Minds and Traditions research group (“the Mint”), an Independent Max Planck Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena (Germany) is offering two grants for two doctoral projects focusing on “cognitive science and cultural evolution of visual culture and graphic codes“. Funding is available for four years (three years renewable twice for six months), starting in September 2016. The PhD students will be expected to take part in a research project devoted to the cognitive science and cultural evolution of graphic codes. If interested, please send a motivation letter (maximum two pages) to the group’s principal investigator, Olivier Morin ( by March the 21st, 2016.

The complete call in pdf format can be found here:

Spring School on Quantitative Methods May 2016 | MPI Science of Human History, Germany

Research in cultural and linguistic evolution is growing rapidly. New scholars need to quickly grasp a range of computational and quantitative methods from across different disciplines, to learn to organise and present data, and to critically evaluate the right approaches for their research. Recognising a need for interdisciplinary training from within the field, the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History will be holding its first Spring School on Quantitative Methods from May 13th-18th 2016. Applications are due March 1st.

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Institute of Advance Study – Fellowship programme

The Institute (IAS) is Durham’s flagship interdisciplinary research Institute, and aims to foster creative interdisciplinary debate and collaboration across the entire disciplinary spectrum. We seek to develop and drive forward new thinking by bringing together leading international academics as well as writers, artists and practitioners through the Fellowship programme, which is focussed each year on a very specific but broad theme.  This year for example, we are considering Evidence and next year it will be Scale.  Our Fellowship recruitment process will open in mid-April to recruit the 2017/18 Fellowship related to the theme of Structure.  Our themes do have broad appeal across the Arts and Humanities, Social Sciences and Science, and our Fellows come from across the world.

For more information see: and


PhD position on Human Collective Behaviour. Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin

Starting date: The position is available from May 2016 onwards, but later start dates are possible.

Description: The PhD project will investigate the role of individual differences in human and animal collective behaviours, including group formation, group coordination and conflict resolution. It will involve experiments with human crowds using GPS tracking devices & video tracking, virtual interactive platforms and simulations. Limited work on animal groups (e.g., fish) is also possible. We seek a PhD student with a strong empirical background and excellent skills in (spatial) data analysis. Programming skills are a bonus.

The Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development ( is a highly interdisciplinary and international research group where English is the working language. We offer an excellent infrastructure including support staff and equipment for conducting experiments (e.g., behavioural laboratory, GPS tracking and supercomputers).

The predoctoral contract is for three years. Applications (consisting of a cover letter describing your research interests, a CV, up to two publications, and two letters of recommendation) should be sent as a single PDF file, with your name as the file name, to Monika Oppong (; Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin).

Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Application review will begin on February 1, 2016 but applications after this date will be considered equally. For further inquiries about the position, please contact Ralf Kurvers (

More information:

Funded PhD: How do humans recognise kin?

Lisa DeBruine is now taking applications for a funded PhD student on her ERC project, How do humans recognise kin?

The PhD student, with guidance from the PI and two postdoctoral RAs, will be responsible for designing studies to test the effects of potential kinship cues on prosocial and sexual behavior, recruiting and testing participants, creating custom face stimuli, preparing saliva samples for MHC analysis, taking 3D face images, and processing 3D face images.

The candidate should possess a 1st or 2.1 Honours degree in Psychology, Biology, Computer Science or equivalent. Having MSc or research experience in a related area is an advantage.

The form states that applications are due by 15 January 2016, but I will be accepting applications until a suitable candidate can be found.

“Origins of Genus Homo” live webcast

Join the live webcast! “Origins of Genus Homo” is the topic of a free public symposium hosted by the UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research & Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) on Friday, Feb 5th (1:00 – 5:30 pm PT), co-chaired by Steven Churchill (Duke Univ) and Philip Rightmire (Harvard Univ).

Despite discoveries of remarkable new fossils in recent years, the evolutionary events surrounding the origins of genus Homo are incompletely understood. This CARTA symposium explores evidence bearing on the emergence of our genus, focusing on possible antecedents to Homo, changes in diet and body form as Australopithecus evolved toward Homo, ancient species within the genus, and evolutionary processes likely operating 2.5 – 1.5 million years ago.

Access the live webcast here on Feb 5:

Postdoc in Evolutionary Social Psychology Lab

A postdoctoral position is available with the Evolutionary Social Psychology Lab in the Department of Psychology at the University of Michigan. This is a 2-year position and will involve working closely and collaboratively with Dr. Joshua Ackerman and his graduate and undergraduate students. The lab’s research involves applying evolutionary theory to topics in threat management, life history effects, intergroup cognition, romantic relationships, and decision making. Our primary focus is on the range of cognitions, emotions, and behaviors that occur in response to current and historical infectious disease threats. We also plan to incorporate physiological measurement linking immune system functioning to psychological outcomes. Research includes laboratory and field work using both experimental and correlational designs.

The start date is negotiable; however, a start date prior to September 2016 is requested. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. If feasible, brief interviews may be scheduled at the SPSP 2016 Conference in San Diego. For additional details, and to apply, go to:

Call for unpublished data: artificial surveillance cues for a meta-analysis

The kinds of surveillance cues I am referring to are generally images of watching eyes — drawings or photographs — and have also been referred to as eyespots.  Stimuli that have been used in the past include Horus eyes, Kabuki eyes, Kismet the robot, three black dots in the configuration of an upside-down triangle (suggesting two eyes and a mouth), and photos of watching eyes.

Continue reading Call for unpublished data: artificial surveillance cues for a meta-analysis

European Human Behaviour and Evolution Association