vendredi 16 janvier 2015

Assistant field needed on project “Alarm call of wild Titi monkeys”

Hiring Organization:
Mélissa Berthet, PhD student, Laboratory of comparative cognition, University of Neuchâtel

Position Description:
Titi monkeys Callicebus nigrifrons present a very complex vocal repertoire, and studies on their alarm calls have shown that they can encode both the type of predator and its location in the alarm sequences. This project aims to investigate deeper the understanding of those messages by the listeners, using playback experiments and presentations of stuffed predators.
We are looking for a research assistant from the end of March to end of June/July 2015 to help a master student on the field, in the Reserve of Caraça, Brasil. It is an 11 000 ha private reserve in the State of Minas Gerais, managed by the community of Fathers and Brothers from the Sanctuary of Caraça, a former monastery recently turned into a Pausada (hotel). This place receives a large number of tourists, coming for spiritual, historical and/or naturalistic purposes. Several research take place in this reserve (geological, ecological, ethological, naturalistic research) and the researchers are housed all together in a little house near to the Sanctuary. The place is very simple but comfortable enough: there is hot water, electricity, internet, the meals are provided by the refectory of the Pausada (lunch are commonly taken on the field). The first city is 30 minutes away driving. Website of the site:
Participation in the research includes: -Behavioural data collection (scans, video recording) -Recording of vocalizations -Playbacks experiments -Presentation of stuffed predators

The successful applicant needs: 
- Really good social skills (there is no private space in the house and it can be crowded) 
- Interest in different culture and will to learn another language if he/she does not speak Portuguese yet (most of the people do not speak English there) 
- Really good physical and mental conditions: Following the monkeys in the dense forest is physically demanding. Be prepared for long days without break in the field and to encounter dangerous fauna (snakes, tarantulas, big cats…)

Applicants should: - Have a background and strong interest in primatology, ethology, behavioural ecology or related fields. - Speak English or French Having a previous experience in the field and/or knowledge of behavioural data collection methods is a plus.

No salary is provided.

Support provided for volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
The research assistant will be responsible for its own flight (to Belo Horizonte) and housing/meals costs, visa and health insurance. The fees at the Sanctuary (housing + breakfast + diner) are 44 BRL/days. All transport from Belo Horizonte to Caraça and around Caraça (grocery shopping for example) will be provided.

Application Deadline:
Review of applicants will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. To apply please send your CV including one or two detailed referents and a cover letter to
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

Contact Information:
Mélissa Berthet, PhD student Laboratory of Comparative Cognition Université de Neuchâtel Rue Emile Argand, 11 2000 Neuchâtel Suisse