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Biology of Behavior Cluster Hire

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The University of Oklahoma Dodge Family College of Arts and Sciences is excited to announce three open faculty positions at any rank in the Department of Biology. As part of our Biology of Behavior strategic initiative, the department continues to build an internationally recognized center of excellence in studying mechanisms of organismal behavior. We are searching for creative, collaborative thinkers to join us in taking an integrative and multifaceted approach to understanding the ultimate and proximate causes of behavior. The Department of Biology already has a strong focus on the study of animal behavior, including 16 complementary faculty research programs that investigate the neurobiological, developmental, and evolutionary processes that underlie how animals behave. We seek to enhance the collaborative momentum of this initiative by inviting individuals with creative, innovative, and dynamic research programs who are interested in joining a strong group of researchers to apply for these faculty positions:

  • A Geneticist who uses integrative molecular approaches to understand the evolution, specification, and/or regulation of how genes affect organismal behavior.

  • A Behavioral Physiologist who studies the endocrine regulation and modulation of behavior. (filled by Alexandra Bentz )

  • An Evolutionary Developmental Biologist who studies how developmental processes give rise to organismal morphology, nervous system structures, and/or physiology that lay the foundation for the generation of behavior. (filled by Gavin Woodruff)

At any given moment, an organism’s behavior reflects the integration of that that animal's history from the evolutionary forces that shaped its genome through development of organ and physiological systems during the lifespan, the modification of physiological systems by experience, and the real-time integration of experience, sensory inputs, and motor outputs. The Biology of Behavior Group at OU asks this fundamental question: How is an organism’s history integrated to generate and regulate behavior? Understanding the Biology of Behavior is rooted in the idea that organismal history is anchored in genes (genotype) and behavior is a terminal trait (phenotype). Thus, our ultimate goal is to understand genotype-phenotype causality for behavior.

The University of Oklahoma is a growing Carnegie-R1 public research university located in the city of Norman, Oklahoma. The University and the surrounding community create an ideal environment where our faculty can integrate work and achievement with family, recreation, and a high quality of life. Find out more about how OU and the Norman community do this.


Candidates must have a Ph.D. degree and a record of outstanding achievement as evidenced by publications. Preferred candidates will have a promising (Assistant professor) or externally funded (Associate/Full professor) research program. Successful candidates will be expected to provide excellent research training for students and postdocs and contribute to undergraduate and graduate teaching (one course per semester) in areas such as animal behavior, genetics, physiology, neurobiology, cell biology, genomics, or bioinformatics.

Applicants should submit a cover letter describing their interest in a position, a full curriculum vitae, research and teaching statements, and up to five selected reprints/preprints as PDF files to the website for this position:


Applicants at the rank of Assistant Professor should also arrange to have three signed letters of reference uploaded to the appropriate website. Applicants at the rank of Associate Professor or Professor may submit names and contact information for three references in lieu of letters. Screening of candidates will begin October 22, 2021 and will continue until the positions are filled.

The University of Oklahoma is an EO/Affirmative Action institution Individuals with disabilities and protected veterans are encouraged to apply. In compliance with all applicable federal and state laws and regulations, the University of Oklahoma does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, gender expression, age, religion, disability, political beliefs, or status as a veteran in any of its policies, practices, or procedures. This includes, but is not limited to admissions, employment, financial aid, and educational services.


The OU Biology Department currently has a broad research strength in the study of animal behavior, including complementary faculty research programs that investigate mechanisms of behavior from social to molecular levels and on timescales ranging from millennia to milliseconds. Through key hires that complement our existing strengths, we will develop our Department and the University of Oklahoma as an internationally recognized center of excellence for the study of the mechanisms that determine organismal behavior.

We are committed to the position that a full accounting of behavior requires an integrative approach that considers evolutionary, developmental, and physiological mechanisms. The behavioral biologists at OU already cross these boundaries, and our strengths in combining evolutionary, physiological, and genetic approaches to behaviors differentiate the OU Biology Department from many other biology departments. The two positions we seek to fill will complement and advance these strengths.

Learn more about our researchers here.