Primate tourism, where people travel to see wild primate populations in their natural environment, is a burgeoning industry and one that has the potential to make a significant contribution to the conservation of endangered primate species. Recently, however, concerns have been raised about the potential negative impacts of such tourism on the animals involved. While a small number of studies have explored tourist impacts on primate behaviour, none have quantified impacts on stress levels and this represents a fundamental gap in our current knowledge. Moreover, the human aspect of primate tourism remains largely unexplored. Consequently, we have very little understanding of the attitudes and expectations of tourists with regard to primates, or how these shape tourists’ behaviour towards - and hence impacts upon - the animals they visit.
Understanding primate tourism from both the human and the primate perspective requires an integrated inter-disciplinary methodology: approaches from biological anthropology are needed to investigate the process from the primates’ point of view, while social anthropological approaches are needed to explore human perspectives. The aim of this PhD project is to develop this inter-disciplinary approach, in order to explore both social and biological aspects of primate tourism. Tourism related to wild Barbary macaques in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco, will be used as a model system for this study.
Applicants are expected to read the following articles, and if shortlisted for interviews, will be asked questions about these articles.
Fuentes (2010) Naturalcultural encounters in Bali: monkeys, temples, tourists, and ethnoprimatology. Cultural Anthropology 25, 600-624
McCarthy et al. (2009) Sequences of Tibetan macaque (Macaca thibetana) and tourist behaviors at Mt Huangshan, China. Primate Conservation 24, 145-151
To apply please complete the form ‘Initial application form for MPhil/PhD’ which can be downloaded from http://www.roehampton.ac.uk/graduateschool/prospectiveresearchstudents/howtoapply/index.html. You are also required to submit a full CV, a written statement of why you would like to undertake this PhD study at Roehampton and the skills that you can bring to the project.
For further information/informal enquiries, contact Dr Stuart Semple (firstname.lastname@example.org)
In addition to the general admission criteria of Roehampton University, the successful applicant is expected to have:
1. A masters degree in zoology or primatology
2. Experience of fieldwork with wild vertebrate populations, preferably primates
3. Experience of, or willingness to learn, laboratory techniques for stress hormone analyses
4. Experience of, or willingness to learn, social anthropological fieldwork techniques
5. An openness to, and interest in adopting, an interdisciplinary approach to research
The studentship consists of tuition fees (for home/EU students) as well as a stipend (currently £15,200 p.a.). Overseas students are welcome to apply, but if they are successful, they will have to pay the difference between home and overseas tuition fees.
Anticipated start date: Feb 2011
5th January 2011; interviews 18th or 19th January 2011
Please note: this is one of five projects to be advertised, with two studentships available. The shortlisted student for this project will compete with students from other projects for one of the two places available.
Dr Stuart Semple
London SW15 4JD
+44 208 3923528