mardi 8 février 2011

Environmental influences on the behavior, physiology and parasite patterns of the Virunga mountain gorillas

Hiring Organization:
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International

Date Posted:

Position Description:
The Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund is seeking a postdoctoral scientist to collaborate on an inter-disciplinary research project to further our understanding of how environmental events, both natural and anthropogenic, influence gorilla behavior, physiology and parasite patterns.

Research Description: The Virunga mountain gorillas face significant environmental challenges that threaten their long-term survival. Habitat loss has forced the gorillas to use higher elevations, thus increasing their exposure to weather extremes and potential nutritional stress. Threats from the local human population in the form of illegal activities (e.g. snares, wood and water extraction) are significant. In addition, the groups inhabiting the Karisoke sector of the VNP have undergone a significant increase in density over the last two and a half decades that has resulted in increased numbers of groups, increased group size, and increased group interaction rates.

To understand the potential implications of these environmental challenges and changes, our objectives are to:
1) increase our basic understanding of gorilla physiology and the factors influencing it;
2) understand how physiology relates to the potential health and thus long-term fitness of the population by assessing the relationship between physiology and parasite patterns;
3) contribute to scientific capacity within Rwanda through training of scientists and students from Karisoke Research Center and the National University of Rwanda.

This project is in collaboration with Dr. Rachel Santymire of the Lincoln Park Zoo and Dr. Tom Gillespie of Emory University.

The Postdoc will oversee all aspects of the project in the field and write under the supervision of the PIs and collaborators.

The position will start approximately March/April 2011 and run for 1 year. An additional year is possible based on funding. The position will be based out of the Karisoke Research Center in Rwanda.

The successful candidate must:

-have completed a PhD in biology, zoology, anthropology, or related field.
-have prior field work experience, preferably with studies that focus on behavior and physiology or parasitology;
- be able to work independently, responsibly, and show evidence of ability to help supervise student projects.
- have excellent verbal and written skills.
- have excellent knowledge of statistics.
- be prepared to write grants to help fund the project.


Term of Appointment:
March/April 2011 for one year with possibility of extension

Application Deadline:
The evaluation process will start immediately and applications will be accepted until position is filled

Please send the following to Dr. Tara Stoinski:
- CV (resume)
- letter of interest, that includes a description of your field research experience
- 2 letters of recommendation.

Contact Information:
Tara Stoinski
800 Cherokee Avenue
Atlanta, GA 30315

Telephone Number:
404 624 5826

Fax Number:
404 624 5841


E-mail Address: