mercredi 20 avril 2011

Volunteer Field Assistant

Hiring Organization:
German Primate Center (DPZ GmbH), a member of the Leibniz Association

Position Description:
The Siberut Conservation Programme (SCP) is looking for a research assistant to continue data collection from a large group of habituated macaques (Macaca siberu) at its field site in Northern Siberut. Siberut is the largest and most northerly of the Mentawai islands, an archipelago 130km off the West coast of Sumatra, noted for its exceptional biological diversity and species endemism. Macaca siberu is found only on Siberut and is one of 5 primate species endemic to the Mentawais.
A minimum of 6 months in the field is required starting in May/June 2011.

SCP is a collaborative venture between the German Primate Center (DPZ) and Bogor Agricultural University (IPB) in Indonesia and was set up in 2002 as a biodiversity research programme integrating the needs of local communities into the objectives of rainforest conservation ( The field station is located in 4500ha of primary mixed rainforest habitat (“Peleonan Forest”) in the North of the island and about one hour away from the project’s village base at Politcioman. A radial transect system facilitates movement through and data collection in the forest, where all local primate species are found (1 macaque-, 1 gibbon- and 2 colobine species). In addition to several habitutated colobine groups, one large group of macaques (ca. 40 individuals) has been habituated as part of an initial study of ranging behaviour and feeding ecology.

The work will be carried out in a small team also including an Indonesian assistant and two local field guides and will involve regularly following the group of macaques and collection of basic data on group movements, home range size and use, food availability and feeding behaviour etc.

The work at the field station is physically and mentally demanding. The climate is tropical with average daytime temps of 25-28°C and high humidity. The station is remote, but well appointed. A series of wooden buildings linked by raised walkways provide basic, but comfortable accommodation and work space for researchers and support staff. Limited phone and e-mail communication from the station is possible. Politcioman a small village 1 hour away, provides a local networking centre and the focus of SCP´s community-based conservation activities.
The position provides an excellent opportunity to gain experience in field-based primatology and animal behavior research. By being part of the SCP team, the person in question may also be able to contribute to the programme’s overall conservation objectives for the region, including teaching and other community-based activities.

Previous field experience, especially in a tropical climate is desirable and applicants should have experience in behavioural data collection methods. Candidates should also be: physically fit; possess good organizational and communication skills; be fluent in English (spoken and written); willing to learn Bahasa Indonesia and to work in a remote and isolated place under difficult environmental conditions.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
Camp fees and on-site food costs will be covered and necessary equipment provided. A contribution towards flight costs may also be available.

Application Deadline:
15 May 2011

Written applications to be submitted by indicating "Macaca siberu" to Applicants should send their CV, a letter with details of reseach interests and experience

Contact Information:
Prof. Keith Hodges
DPZ, Reproductive Biology Unit, Kellnerweg 4 Goettingen 37077 Germany


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