Postdoctoral researcher, Project: 'Group hunting in biological systems'

(salary grade E13 TV-L, under the reserve that funds are granted, starting not later than from 1.10.2021 / for 3 years / closing date for applications 20.11.2020, Ref SCIoI-C3-C33a)

The Humboldt Universität zu Berlin invites applications for a Postdoc position for the Cluster of Excellence “Science of Intelligence”.

What are the principles of intelligence, shared by all forms of intelligence, no matter whether artificial or biological, whether robot, computer program, human, or animal? And how can we apply these principles to create intelligent technology?

Answering these questions – in an ethically responsible way – is the central scientific objective of the new Cluster of Excellence Science of Intelligence (, where researchers from a large number of analytic and synthetic disciplines – artificial intelligence, machine learning, control, robotics, computer vision, behavioural biology, psychology, educational science, neuroscience, and philosophy – join forces to create a multi-disciplinary research program across universities and research institutes in Berlin. Interdisciplinary research projects have been defined (, which combine analytic and synthetic research and which address key aspects of individual, social, and collective intelligence.

Working field

Shepherding behaviour in predator-prey interactions


Postdoctoral project “Group hunting in biological systems”

The main objective of this project is to improve our understanding of group hunting and to provide the basis for the development bio-inspired algorithms of herding behaviour and other forms of manipulations of groups of agents. The primary study system consists of marlins, large predatory fish, which attack fish schools in the open ocean. Drone footage of these predator-prey interactions will be our main focus and source for such bio-inspired algorithms. However, results from other study systems (e.g. wild-dogs) that get published during the running of our project will also be considered. Throughout, the postdoctoral candidate is expected to closely collaborate with a second postdoctoral candidate, who focusses on the development of algorithmic models that provide testable predictions for the analytic system and who works towards synthetic outputs such as the embodiment of shepherding rules in robots.



Applicants must hold a PhD in Biology or related fields and should have a strong background in the following topics:

  • Animal behaviour
  • Lab-based experiments with large number of fish
  • Animal tracking including the analysis of high-resolution tracking-data
  • Statistical data analysis including hierarchical (mixed) modeling and multivariate analysis
  • Excellent English skills are required. Previous experience with working in collaborative research activities including multidisciplinary teams is a plus

Application procedure

Candidates should upload their application preferably via the portal in order to receive full consideration.


Applications should include: motivation letter, curriculum vitae, transcripts of records (for both BSc and MSc), copies of degree certificates (BSc, MSc, PhD), abstracts of Bachelor-, Master- and PhD-thesis, list of publications and one selected manuscript (if applicable), two names of qualified persons who are willing to provide references, and any documents candidates feel may help us assess their competence.