As part of Durham University’s Primate and Predator Project, located in a remote area of Limpopo Province, South Africa, we are looking for 3 keen and motivated Volunteer Research Assistants for the human-primate conflict stream of the project. This PhD project is investigating the scale and nature of crop raiding on commercial farms in the area, as well as assessing local perceptions and tolerance towards primate ‘pests’. The data will enable the relative risk index of crop raiding to be modelled, and, based on this, strategies for mitigating risk will be evaluated.
Research Assistants can be expected to carry out crop damage assessment surveys (vegetation transects) and focal farm surveys (behavioural observations of primates on farms). Observation days run from sunrise to sunset; resting days will be scheduled regularly. The project is also making use of camera traps and primate GPS collars, assistants may also be required to help with these tasks.
Whilst staying at the Research Centre where the project is based, there may also be the opportunity to become involved in some of the Research Centre’s own projects, such as a giraffe identification and behaviour project and alien and invasive plant species control.
We are looking for Research Assistants with the following:
* The positions would be suitable for a biological sciences (or similar) graduate or post-graduate.
* Preferably with prior field experience with primates, or with all or any of the techniques mentioned above.
* Each applicant should be an enthusiastic, hardworking and flexible team member, with the ability to work independently to a high standard and be competent working unsupervised.
* Applicants should be physically fit, ready for long challenging days spent on farms with little or no shade.
* Possession of a valid driver’s licence is desirable, but not essential.
Unfortunately funding is not available for Research Assistants, so applicants should have sufficient funds to cover airfares, accommodation, food, medical insurance and any equipment they require.
The project is based at Mogalakwena Research Centre (www.researchlimpopo.com). Accommodation is in the form of dorm rooms (sleeping 4-6) with a shared ablutions block (hot showers) and a communal kitchen and braai area. Research Assistants will often share cooking duties and eat together. Rent is ZAR3,600 (GB£275/US$440 at current exchange) per month, which includes use of the Research Centre facilities and internet access.
Ideally we would like Research Assistants to start as soon as possible and request a minimum stay of a 3 month probation period, after which a longer stay can be discussed (the project is running for 12 months). Please indicate your availability on your application.
To make an application (please include a brief cover letter and CV) or for further details please contact Leah Findlay at firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be accepted until positions are filled.