Staff Vacancies


Postdoctoral Research Assistant in Vision-based Guidance of Flight

Salary: Grade 7: 30,768 - 37,768 p.a.

The Department of Zoology is looking to appoint a Postdoctoral Research Assistant in vision based guidance of flight, full-time for a fixed-term period of 3 years.

Birds have been described as “a wing guided by an eye”, but we know surprisingly little of how birds use vision to guide their flight. This project aims to revolutionise our understanding of vision-based guidance and control in birds, and to carry these insights over to application in aircraft. This presents a formidable challenge, but by using a state-of-the-art motion capture system operated with moving obstacles in a custom-built flight facility, we will use system identification techniques to identify the guidance and control laws underpinning visually-guided flight behaviours in birds. We will also identify the motion cues to which birds attend, settling longstanding questions on the extent to which guidance emerges from simple algorithmic rules versus state feedback and estimation.

As postholder, you will be a key player in the team responsible for delivering this research, with a particular focus on perching, obstacle avoidance, and gap negotiation behaviours. You will be involved in all stages of the research, including: a) design of the experiments and motion control apparatus; b) execution of the experiments, involving some handling of the birds; c) system identification analysis of the data; d) presentation of the research at international conferences; e) writing up of research papers. You will also have responsibility for the day-to-day supervision of one or two doctoral students. You will hold a PhD in either biology or engineering, and must demonstrate relevant research experience in at least one of the following areas: i) vision-based guidance/control; ii) system identification experiments; iii) avian flight.

You will be required to upload a supporting statement and CV as part of your online application.

The closing date for applications is 12.00 midday on 26 August 2016.

  • Apply now (Closing date: Noon, 26 August 2016)

Postdoctoral Researcher in Molecular Microbiology

Salary: Grade 7: Salary in the range 30,738 - 33,574 p.a.

We are seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Researcher in microbiologist/bioinformatician working on the investigation of protein antibiotics. This post forms part of a large scale Wellcome Trust Collaboration Award ‘Protein Antibiotics: Discovery, mode of action and development’ involving the Universities of Oxford, Glasgow, University College London and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. The Collaboration is led by Professor Colin Kleanthous, Department of Biochemistry, University of Oxford.

This post will be appointed through the University of Oxford, but the work of the postholder will be split 50:50 between the Department of Zoology, University of Oxford and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, in Hinxton, Cambridgeshire. The arrangements for the split of the work between Oxford and Hinxton are flexible and can be negotiated with the successful applicant. At Oxford the postholder will report to Professor Martin Maiden, with Professor Julian Parkhill being responsible for the work at the Sanger Institute.

In Oxford, the postholder will: build and maintain a database for bacteriocins; integrate Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Klebsiella pneumoniae genome data into the database; and conduct bioinformatics analysis of bacteriocin sequences to understand strain versus species specificity. At the Sanger Institute, the post holder will use high-throughput mutagenesis technologies (TraDIS) to analyse bacteriocin import and susceptibility pathways in P. aeruginosa and K. pneumoniae using purified pyocins/klebicins, perform genome analysis of strains with induced resistance, and profile the effects of the antibiotics on mouse microbiota with 16S rRNA analysis. The successful candidate must have a good first degree and relevant PhD/DPhil, in molecular microbiology or a closely related discipline. The postholder must have a working knowledge and experience of bacterial genomics and bioinformatics and the ability to safely handle bacterial pathogens and experience of molecular manipulations of bacteria.

This is a fixed-term position until 31 July 2021.

You will be required to upload a CV with publication list and supporting statement online.

Only applications received before 12.00 midday on Friday 26 August 2016 will be considered. Interviews will be held in week commencing 12 September 2016.

  • Apply now (Closing date: Noon, 26 August 2016)

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Gender & Diversity

We are dedicated to gender equality. In 2010, Zoology was the first department in Oxford to be given an Athena Swan Silver Award in recognition of its success at promoting the careers of women.