The Department of Primatology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, is seeking highly motivated site managers to manage a team for the collection, entry, and processing of scientific data as part of the Pan African Great Ape Population Surveillance programme ‘The Cultured Chimpanzee’. The project aims to compile a large data set to answer questions about the evolution of tool use, hunting, life history and social organisation in wild chimpanzees with a continent wide approach.
The successful candidates will establish and work at temporary research sites where they will collect detailed data on chimpanzee ecology, tool use and behaviour and collect organic samples for genetic, pathogen, diet and stable isotope analyses. The candidate will be responsible for the installation of remote video cameras and subsequent regular revisits for maintenance and data download. Additionally, data on food availability, prey species, other sympatric wildlife, human impact, and information on additional chimpanzee food sources such as ants, termites, nuts and honey will be collected. The candidates will also collect and store faecal, urine, bone and hair samples, as well as environmental samples for isotope analysis.
The candidate will be further responsible for data entry, sample storage, preliminary analyses and monthly reporting of progress and results. Finally, the candidate will be responsible for coordination of the project activities for the site, hiring and supervising 2-4 local field assistants, staying within a fixed budget and managing the field site for 12-17 months. There is also the possibility of assisting in managing an existing site for 4-6 months in Cameroon for exceptionally qualified applicants.
The field sites are located in Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Cameroon, Ghana, Angola and Côte d’Ivoire. Please indicate the languages in which you are fluent in your cover letter and in your CV.
Positions will begin in August with a 2-week training workshop in Leipzig, Germany, followed by 12 to 17 continuous months at the respective field site (depending on difficulty establishing the site) and finally a 1 to 3 month stay in Leipzig to complete data entry, data backup and sample storage.
For more information see “Apes in Africa: The cultured chimpanzees” (Nature 476: 266-269, http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110817/full/476266a.html) and visit our website: http://panafrican.eva.mpg.de
The successful candidate should hold an undergraduate or postgraduate degree in biology, physical anthropology or a related field. As field work will be extremely demanding, the successful candidate must be physically and mentally fit, able to spend long periods of time away from developed areas, out of contact with friends/family and be comfortable with minimal living conditions (no plumbing, electricity, or housing) in extremely remote locations. The candidate must be self-sufficient and able to work independently, capable of learning fast and making decisions on his/her own. He/she also needs to be able to work in a team and communicate well with other team members and the project managers at the institute. Field experience (GPS usage, navigation and camping skills, etc.) is mandatory. All candidates need to be proficient with computers, graphics and spreadsheets, and proficiency in written and oral English is necessary. As most of our sites are in French-speaking countries, French is necessary for these countries. Portuguese would also be a benefit to work in Angola. Because many African countries are politically and socially unstable, the candidate must be comfortable with the risks they are taking upon themselves by working in these countries, please consult with your country’s travel advisories before applying.
200€/month, of which 100€ will be paid each month. The remaining amount will be paid following the successful completion of the field data collection.
- All travel/transport costs (from home country to Leipzig, Leipzig to field site, return from field site to Leipzig and from Leipzig to home country) will be provided. Half of the cost will be reimbursed on the candidate’s arrival at the field site, and the rest on the successful completion of the project.
- Accommodation in Leipzig for the duration of the workshop.
- Food & accommodation at the field site (housing in established locations or in most cases, tents).
- Field survey equipment will be provided.
The candidates are required to arrange and cover the following:
- Health insurance that covers emergency repatriation and liability
- All vaccinations required for the country of travel prior to departure, and any medications needed, including malaria prophylaxis.
Applications must be received by Monday, June 23rd, 2014 in order to be considered. If you receive no reply within 2 weeks of the closing date, please assume that you were not successful on this occasion. If short-listed, you will be required to provide 1 letter of reference (this can also be submitted with the initial application email if desired). Skype interviews will be held in late June. In order to apply, you MUST be available for the starting date of September 1st , 2014 for the workshop in Leipzig, Germany.
Please send a Curriculum Vitae and cover letter to Mimi Arandjelovic (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please highlight your language and field experience skills in both documents. Reference “Field Positions - The Cultured Chimpanzee” in the subject line to ensure your application does not get misplaced.