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PhD scholarships in bat echolocation

Subject: PhD scholarships in bat echolocation
From: Dave Mellinger <>
Date: Mon, 07 Jan 2008 15:46:55 -0800

This message is forwarded from Annemarie Surlykke,   Please 
respond to her.

Three PhD Scholarships Available: Bat echolocation. Doctoral Position in Bat echolocation at University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark and University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany.

The ChiRoPing project is offering three PhD scholarships in Active Sonar Perception Inspired by Bats, one at the University of Southern Denmark, Odense, Denmark, and two at the University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany. The scholarships will run for three years from 01/03/2008 - 28/02/2011. ChiRoPing is a multidisciplinary research collaboration between 4 universities in the area of sensing for autonomous systems. The principal objective of the project is to discover how to engineer embodied active sonar perception systems which can serve as a complement to vision and facilitate the deployment of robotic systems in situations where vision is infeasible. The project will implement and evaluate two demonstration systems built as biomimetic models of an insect gleaning and a water-trawling bat species respectively. It will use a classic biomimetic methodology, involving close collaboration between bat ethologists and roboticists. The PhD-projects offered here focus on acquiring and analysing the biological information. The purpose is to identify and measure the relevant acoustic and morphological parameters of a few carefully selected bat species, reconstructing from wild-caught animals exposed to defined behavioral experiments in a flight cage the bats` acoustic experience as they perform natural hunting tasks. These data will form the basis for development of computational models of how bats adapt their acoustic behaviour, in particular the characterisics of their sonar beam (width, intensity, frequency range), during hunting and coordinate it with morphological adaptations, i.e., movements of ears and noseleaf, changes of oral versus nasal emission and opening of the mouth. The information gained will be implemented on appropriate robotic systems by the engineers involved in ChiRoPing, who will in turn feed results and questions back to the biologists. One PhD scholarship is based at SDU, Denmark, mainly at Institute of Biology, University of Southern Denmark, Odense, at The Graduate School on Sense organs, Nerve systems, Behavior, and Communication (SNAK). The project is centered on detailed analyses of acoustic parameters and how these correlate with dynamic motor control of morphological features as mouth and nose-leaf. Method development and first data aquisition will take place in Denmark on European bats with subsequent comparative studies in the field mainly on tropical bat species in Panama. Two scholarships are available at University of Ulm, Germany at the Institute of Experimental Ecology, Faculty of Natural Sciences. They involve detailed studies of flight and capture behavior combined with acoustics on three tropical bat species. These species will be studied at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) facility on Barro Colorado Island (BCI) in Panama where E. Kalko as staff scientist at STRI runs a bioacoustic lab including several flight cages for behavioral experiments. Analysis of the data will largely take place in Ulm. Methods involve primarily recording and analysis of echolocation and hunting behaviour of wild-caught bats with a multi-microphone array coupled with infrared and highspeed video and use of miniature telemikes to record calls from free-flying bats. Part of the equipment will be developed during the project by the partner universities.
What we expect
Recent Masters-level expertise, or equivalent, in one of the areas of bat biology, vertebrate behavioral biology or neuroethology, or bioacoustics. Experience in signal analysis and/or experimental animal behavior is necessary and a broad background in biology is preferred. Applicants should have some experience in the use of modern technologies for documentation of animal behaviour. Some field experience (in the tropics) is desirable. Candidates need to be proficient in English, knowledge of Spanish is advantageous, but not conditional. What we offer We offer a full-time paid position with a maximum duration of 3 years on an exciting research project in an active and reputable research group. The gross salary for the Ph.D. position will be ac-cording to the standard rates and conditions at the employing institution, either Universitet Ulm or University of Southern Denmark. Information and application

University Ulm, Ulm, Germany:
For further information and application to Universitet Ulm please contact Prof. 
Dr. Elisabeth K. V. Kalko,  Please apply 
for the German job before February 2008.The following documents are 
required: letter of motivation, CV including publication list, certified copy 
of grades (Masters, Diplom or equivalent). Please sent the materials directly 
via e-mail to E. Kalko. The general PhD application form is only available in 
German and not required until acceptance.
SDU, Odense, Denmark: For information on ChiRoPing at University of Southern Denmark (SDU) please contact Annemarie Surlykke Please apply for the Danish job before Januar 20. 2008. To apply, candidates should send an e-mail that includes an application, CV (with a brief description of research interests, previous employment, and publication list), documentation of academic degrees, reprints of published articles, and names and contact information for three referees to: You can also send a hard copy application in three duplicates to: Graduate School SNAK, Institute of Biology, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark. Selection of the candidate for the stipend will be made by an evaluation committee. Subsequently, the successful candidate will have to be enrolled as a PhD-student at the University of Southern Denmark (for procedures see application form, and the more general instructions.)

For more information on ChiRoPing see:

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