Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice is looking for excellent candidates for a position of

Post-doctoral Researcher in Polar Evolutionary Ecology

We are a research campus with a strong tradition in biosciences focused on complex ecological, evolutionary & developmental aspects of LIFE.

Centre for Polar Ecology (CPE) (https://www.prf.jcu.cz/en/cpe.html) at the Faculty of Sciences, University of South Bohemia seeks to appoint a junior-level scientist as a post-doctoral researcher in a new group led by Dr Vojtěch Kubelka (https://www.prf.jcu.cz/en/cpe/contacts/people/kubelka.html) and focusing on evolutionary ecology of birds, climate change biology, parasitology, predator-prey interactions and animal migration (https://www.prf.jcu.cz/en/cpe/about/research-group/zoology.html). The exact position targeting is negotiable according to ambitions of the successful applicant.

CPE aims promotes and facilitate research and education in polar ecological sciences at the Faculty of Science, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice. The main goal of CPE is multi-disciplinary research focused on Arctic and polar ecology, zoology, parasitology, microbiology and botany. More information at: https://www.prf.jcu.cz/en/cpe.html.

We offer access to and support from the Czech Arctic research station on Svalbard as well as the support from international network of more than 40 research teams distributed globally and connected via ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science project (https://elvonalshorebirds.com/home/). The Svalbard infrastructure consists of a year-round research station in Longyearbyen, field station in Petuniabukta and a research motor-sail vessel operational all-around Svalbard.

Successful candidate will be promoted to apply for support from faculty budget and will be expected to seek for own research funding applying to national and as well to European founding agencies.

What would be your main responsibilities

  • Organize and carry out field work in a foreign country/countries, execute own polar research with international cooperation
  • Coordinate data collection and analyses, preparation of publications
  • Seek funding for research in close collaboration with team members
  • Supervise students and research assistants
  • Present and promote the results at conferences and seminars
  • Carry out other scientific and/or academic activities that are important for the success of the project

What we offer

  • Two-years position with the possibility of extension
  • Excellent instruments equipment and multiple research platforms within CPE and Faculty of Sciences, University of South Bohemia in České Budějovice
  • Access to the Czech Arctic research station on Svalbard
  • Extensive international networking and mentoring opportunities via ÉLVONAL Shorebird Science project (https://elvonalshorebirds.com/home/)
  • Full support for own research funding applications
  • English speaking, stimulating & friendly international research environment
  • HR Award certificate, jcu.cz/about-the-university/development/hr-award-hrs4r
  • Professional administration support and help with all personal, economic, legal, project, IT, intellectual property needs
  • Flexible working time, 5 weeks of vacation
  • Meals allowance, special mobile services, university kindergarten
  • Work-life balance in a historical middle-sized university city, cz/en/

Competitive candidates are expected to have

  • PhD in evolutionary biology, behavioural ecology, zoology, or relevant field of life sciences
  • Solid knowledge in at least two of those fields: evolutionary ecology, climate change biology, parasitology, predator-prey interactions and animal migration
  • Experience in carrying out or supervising international research projects
  • 3+ years hands-on experiences in basic research, ideally direct experience with Arctic or polar/alpine research
  • Interest in long-term field research using Czech Arctic research station facilities on Svalbard
  • Good skills in statistical modelling, advanced level in using R
  • Strong record of success conducting research and scholarly activities, including publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Demonstrated project management experience and leadership skills
  • Experience with large data sets reading, analysis and presentation
  • Budgetary and general administrative skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to collaborate within a team-based environment, ability to work effectively both in a team and independently
  • Experience in bird ringing, and preferably a ringing licence is welcomed
  • Valid driving licence


Interested candidates should contact Vojtěch Kubelka (vkubelka@prf.jcu.cz). Applications should include CV (max 4 pages), with at least 3 reference contacts and max 2 pages motivation letter outlining your envisaged research ideas fitting into the aforementioned framework. Both documents in English should be sent to Vojtěch Kubelka before the deadline.

Deadline for applications: 20 March 2022

Position start: ideally between September and December 2022 but it is negotiable.

Location description:

České Budějovice is a vibrant medium-sized city and centre of South Bohemian region with an international university community. The University of South Bohemia is the biggest higher education institution in the region with more than 9,000 students, numerous leading departments in natural sciences and field research stations at Svalbard or Papua New Guinea. Five institutes of the Czech Academy of Sciences are situated on the same campus, forming the Biological Centre and representing outstanding cooperation opportunities. The surrounding of České Budějovice has diverse natural and cultural landscapes, including Šumava National Park, two UNESCO biosphere reserves and numerous protected areas with impressive wildlife.

Selected relevant publications:

Kubelka V., Šálek M., Tomkovich P., Végvári Z., Freckleton R. P. & Székely T. 2018: Global pattern of nest predation is disrupted by climate change in shorebirds. Science 362: 680–683. (cover page)

Kubelka V., Sládeček M. & Šálek M. 2019: Great variability in nest lining size: support for thermoregulation but not for anti‑predatory adaptation hypothesis. Journal of Ornithology 160: 993–1002.

Engel N. C., Végvári Z., Rice R., Kubelka V. & Székely T. 2020: Incubating parents serve as visual cues to predators in Kentish plover (Charadrius alexandrinus). PLOS ONE 15(7): e0236489.

Halimubieke N., Kupán K., Valdebenito J. O., Kubelka V., other 19 authors, & Székely T. 2020: Successful breeding predict divorce in plovers. Scientific Reports 10: 15576 (1–13).

Koleček J., Reif J., Šálek M., Hanzelka J., Sottas C. & Kubelka V. 2021: Global population trends in shorebirds: migratory behaviour makes species at risk. The Science of Nature 108: 9(1–8).

Kubelka V., Sandercock B., Székely T. & Freckleton R. P. 2022: Animal migration to northern latitudes: environmental changes and increasing threats. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 37: 30–41 (100+ media coverage contributions in 36 countries; more than 200,000,000 approached people, cover page)