jeudi 10 mai 2012

Rhesus monkey research on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico

Hiring Organization:

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Date Posted:

Position Description:
We are looking for an intern to assist on a project examining kin recognition on a semi free-ranging rhesus macaque population on Cayo Santiago, Puerto Rico (USA). The project is being undertaken in the Lab of Prof. Dr. Anja Widdig and Dr. Dana Pfefferle (Leipzig University & Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology, Leipzig, Germany; see The volunteer will work alongside Dr. Pfefferle (
The successful applicant will be expected to work on Cayo Santiago for 5-6 days a week, and may also be required to undertake data entry and/or processing in the later afternoon and early evenings. On Cayo Santiago, the primary task will be to assist carrying out playback experiments. In order to do so, appropriate training will be provided. This position is ideal for graduate students or recent graduates looking to gain experience in fieldwork and data collection.

Applicants should have a Bachelor in Biology, Ecology, Animal Behavior, Physical Anthropology, Primatology, or a related field. Previous field experiences (preferably in the tropics) and knowledge of Spanish is helpful, but not necessary. In general, carrying out playback experiments can be a protracted and patience challenging task, including many hours of waiting for the correct situation. Thus you must be able to maintain a positive attitude. Applicants also must be in good physical and mental condition; feel comfortable being far away from family and friends; be emotionally mature, energetic, and very patient; have an excellent eye for detail; don’t be afraid of approaching monkeys (!); willing to work in a small team setting and follow instructions; be able to maintain a positive and humorous attitude towards challenging and tiring work. Although the work can be demanding and tiring, being close to habituated primates is very rewarding and a great experience.
The language in our team is English. The successful candidate must have medical insurance, a valid IACUC certificate ( and will have to provide medical test in order to be allowed to work on Cayo Santiago (information will be provided after acceptance).

Initially no support will be provided. However, AFTER SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION of the internship, depending on experience, performance as well as on final costs for housing and travel, the field assistant can receive partial compensation.

Costs that have to be expected:
-Round-trip to Puerto Rico (cost varies)
-Transportation from and to the airport (transportation might be arranged privately, otherwise approx. 60 US$/trip)
-Housing (depending whether houses can be shared between 200-500 US$)
-Medical insurance (cost varies, proof needs to be provided)
-Medical tests required to work on Cayo Santiago (costs vary)
-Field clothes and personal expenses

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
AFTER SUCCESSFUL COMPLETION of the internship the field assistant can receive partial compensation.

Term of Appointment:
From Mid of September 2012 till end November 2012 (most likely 15th of September – 18th of November).

Application Deadline:
12th of June 2012

To apply, candidates should email a brief cover letter outlining their interests, experience, and why they wish to undertake work on the project. They should attach a CV that includes at least contact details of two academic references. If asked, it will be the responsibility of candidates that academic references are send to All documents should be submitted as one PDF file. Please only send email applications.

Contact Information:
Dana Pfefferle

E-mail Address: