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ATTENTION: This job expired Apr. 21, 2013 and is no longer linked from the job list. If you are the job poster and would like to renew the listing, please access it through "My Job Listings" (available when logged in only).

Behavioural Observations, Communication, Cognition, Mating Patterns

Date Posted:
2013-01-21

Position Description:
Volunteer research assistant or internship.

Ideally, I would like to undertake a placement which would give me experience of field research and data collection. My main aim is to gain practice of behavioural observations and analysis, which would encourage a deeper understanding of my university studies and teach me to apply this knowledge, and could perhaps contribute towards my dissertation research.

Looking for:
- a short-term placement, July-September 2013 in East Africa
- a longer placement in a *FRENCH-SPEAKING* country, during my 'Year Abroad' (as part of my degree). Flexible dates between July 2013-September 2014.
I have almost 2 years of study of French at university, as well as an A at A-level.

Educational Background:
DURHAM UNIVERSITY (2011-2015) Josephine Butler College
BA Combined Honours in Social Sciences
Second Year
- Evolutionary Anthropology (Primatology); Social Anthropology (Kinship and Belief Systems); Biology, Culture and Society; French; Political Philosophy; Cognitive and Biological Psychology
First Year
- Evolutionary Anthropology (Human Origins and Diversity); Social Anthropology (People and Cultures); French; International Relations; Perspectives on Human Nature (Grade 2.1)

The Evolutionary Anthropology modules have given me a basic overview of primate ecology and adaptive diversity, and functional and behavioural aspects of primate and hominin evolution. We are now taking a much more comprehensive and detailed approach to major primate radiations, in terms of life historical processes and specific behavioural and morphological adaptations, as well as introducing methods of comparative and phylogenetic analysis.

I have developed a more specific interest in communication and cognition in both humans and primates, and am currently taking a module of ‘Biological and Cognitive Psychology’, as background knowledge for research and further study.

Qualifications/Experience:
I believe I would be happy working in the field for long periods of time. I have completed the Bronze, Silver and Gold Duke of Edinburgh Awards, and hiking expedition in Croatia. I have also travelled from South Africa through Botswana, Zambia and Malawi to Tanzania, a month-long trip which also included long walks during high temperatures, as well as some driving and walking safaris. As such, I am comfortable living and working in remote conditions, out of a rucksack, cooking on a camping stove and sleeping in a tent, and have gained skills in planning and navigation.
I have also learnt to manage the intensity of living within the confines of a small group of people, which can be a test of team work and mental strength, especially when physical endurance is being pushed to the limit.

Having already spent a lot of time travelling, I am confident that I would settle easily and would be able to apply myself to the work very quickly. I would be particularly enthusiastic to return to Africa, as I now feel tied to the area following 5 months of volunteer work and travel Tanzania, and would also love the opportunity to rekindle my Swahili.

Furthermore, as I practice six hours of Karate per week, as well as Lacrosse and Badminton at university, I believe I have the levels of stamina needed to carry out observational research in the field, and would of course ensure that I was at maximum fitness before commencing a project.

While I have not had much experience of working with raw data, I am confident that I would pick up the methods quickly, and believe I would enjoy and be suited to data collection and analysis, as I am naturally very accurate and have an A-level in Mathematics. I have also had much practice of meticulous, sometimes tedious, work, particularly during a recent internship in academic publishing, which required me to be observant and pay close attention to detail. I am competent on many different computer programs, including Microsoft Office and some graphic design packages, and I am confident that I could learn to use other software quite easily.

Application Deadline:
July 2013

Comments:
I also have a UK driving licence.

Contact Information:
Chloë Wright
9 Wearside Drive
Durham DH1 1LE
United Kingdom

Telephone Number:
(+44) 07792311118

E-mail Address:
c.i.wright@durham.ac.uk

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