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Field Assistant: Chimpanzee Research at Zambian Sanctuary

Hiring Organization:
Comparative Cognitive Anthropology Group, Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics

Date Posted:
2014-02-18

Position Description:
We are conducting a study investigating the influence of genetic and social factors on the structure of chimpanzee vocalizations. This collaborative study spans multiple sites, one of which is the Chimfunshi Wildlife Orphanage, a sanctuary in the Copperbelt region of Zambia where approximately 100 chimpanzees live in four separate social groups.

We are looking for a research assistant to spend one month at Chimfunshi collecting vocalizations for this study. The dates of the field visit are pre-determined and set for June 15th through July 15th, 2014. All vocalizations will be collected from outside the fence of the social groups using a directional microphone, thus physical contact with chimpanzees will not take place (nor be allowed). The successful applicant will receive training on how to collect the vocalizations via a directional microphone and how to store the data.

The accommodations at Chimfunshi are luxurious by field standards; there are warm (fire-heated) showers, electricity, water safe for drinking, and kitchen facilities. Cell phone coverage is limited. The walk from the accommodations to the chimpanzees is between 30 and 50 minutes along a dirt road depending on which enclosure is being visited.

In order to apply, please send (by email) a cover letter, CV, and explanation of how you meet the following requirements.

Qualifications/Experience:
Required:

Familiarity with chimpanzee behavior.

Previous experience conducting behavioral research.

A level of physical fitness that will allow hours of daily walking and carrying a pack containing potentially heavy equipment.

Previous experience in Africa.

Preferred:

Previous experience conducting primate field research.

Preference will be given to applicants who are able to visit the MPI for Psycholinguistics in Nijmegen, The Netherlands, or the MPI for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, for in-person training prior to the field visit.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
The applicant will be required to pay for their airfare (closest airport Ndola), personal insurance, and medications.

All research expenses on site (research fees, meals, accommodation) will be covered.

Term of Appointment:
June 15 to July 15 2014

Application Deadline:
April 1 2014

Comments:
Applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application by May 1 2014.

Contact Information:
Katherine Cronin, none
Netherlands

Website:
http://www.mpi.nl/people/cronin-katherine

E-mail Address:
katherine.cronin@mpi.nl

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