Two fully funded positions (1 Postdoc/1 Predoc) financed through an Office of Naval Research project led by Prof. Paco Calvo are now available at the Minimal Intelligence Lab (MINT Lab), University of Murcia, Spain.
We are seeking highly motivated candidates to team up with a multidisciplinary team of researchers investigating Plant Cognition. Research to be conducted in the framework of the 3-years long project “Plant Intelligence for Robotics and AI” at the interface of the areas of plant neurobiology, ecological psychology and embodied cognitive science.
1. Candidate profiles
An academic degree (Master for PhD students; PhD for postdoctoral candidates) in Ecological Psychology, Plant Biology or closely related fields (the positions are suitable for philosophers of cognitive science interested in pursuing empirical research).
2. Project Description
At MINT Lab we study the ecological basis of plant intelligence. Our aim is to tackle both theoretical and empirical issues in relation to ecological/embodied forms of intelligence by conducting experimental studies. We apply behavioral methods in order to explore perception-action at the level of both roots and shoots; in particular we make use of time-lapse photography to observe plant roots and shoots navigational capacities, and to critically explore the theoretical underpinnings of cognitivist interpretations of the adaptive behavior of plants.
Successful candidates will work on two different plant models:
Predoc: The sensitive plant (Mimosa pudica), to study plant forms of memory and learning alike to nonassociative (habituation) and associative forms of learning observed in the invertebrate literature.
Postdoc: Climbing beans (Phaseolus vulgaris), to study the ecological guidance of the movement of circumnutation under principles of biological sensorimotor control.
3. Expected skills
Successful candidates will be expected to have:
– Fluency in English (Spanish is not required).
– Interest in interdisciplinarity.
– Good communication skills.
– International mobility (the predoctoral student will be expected to spend up to 6 months at the Laboratory of Comparative Psychology and Behavioural Biology, Oklahoma State University, under the supervision of Prof. Charles Abramson).
– For the postdoctoral position, training in ecological psychology is an asset.
Starting date: October 1st, 2019
Working pattern: Full time (37.5 hours/week – Net competitive salary dependent on tax level according to University of Murcia scales).
4. How to apply
The application process consists of two stages.
Applicants must first send by email to Prof. Paco Calvo the following (PDF files only):
– Cover letter of motivation with contact information (max. 2 pages).
– A detailed CV
– Transcripts of academic records of Master’s/PhD degrees (as applicable) and degree certificates.
– Two letters of recommendation (sent directly by the authors to
– A writing sample (max. 4,000 words) or published paper, if available.
Skype interviews with pre-selected candidates will be held before mid July, 2019.
Successful applicants will be advised soon after the interviews whether they have approval to submit a formal application in a second stage to a University panel, which will reach a final decision.
5. Application deadline
You may apply for this position until 23:59 pm (Spanish local time) on Monday, 17 June 2019.
For informal enquiries, please contact Prof. Paco Calvo