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Research Assistant for Human-Wildlife Conflict Project, South Africa

Hiring Organization:
Primate and Predator Project Durham University

Date Posted:
2017-10-30

Position Description:
The Primate and Predator Project based within the Limpopo Province, South Africa is playing a critical role in the research and conservation of local wildlife. We are looking for hands-on and passionate research assistants to join our team and help support our critical research into human-wildlife conflict. The project provides a fantastic opportunity to gain exposure to behavioural ecology and camera trapping, working with a range of experience professionals. You will be working with primates whilst developing a range of research skills, which is a perfect stepping stone for your future career in conservation.

Our project investigates the scale and nature of human-wildlife conflict and crop raiding on commercial farms in the area, as well as assessing local perceptions and tolerance towards wildlife ?pests?. We are currently testing strategies for mitigating wildlife conflict, which plays a critical role in preserving local biodiversity.

Key activities
Research Assistants? main tasks will be to evaluate mitigation strategies, mainly through behavioural observations of primates on farms. Other tasks may also be required, including crop damage assessment surveys, group counts, camera trapping and environmental education. As the project involves a social anthropological aspect, assistants will be expected to interact with local farmers, communicate positively, and have knowledge of the project so that it can be conveyed and promoted. Activities will vary and we hope you will want to get involved in a variety of projects during your time with us. We will also help you develop your skills and experience, so if you have any specific interests in particular techniques or aspects of our research, we will try to accommodate these.

Qualifications/Experience:
Everyone at the research centre is passionate about the work they do, so we are looking for someone who is excited to make an active contribution to the project. We are open to your background, what is important is that you are passionate about conservation. There are a few qualities that make you more relevant for the programme: a background in biological sciences (or similar) or prior field experience with primates, the project?s field techniques or working in a southern African environment; being reliable, responsible and motivated to work hard; enjoy working as part of a team and be happy to operate under the authority of field research coordinators, whilst being competent working unsupervised; happy to work long and unsociable hours; possession of a valid driver?s licence (manual). Applicants should be prepared for long challenging days spent on farms with little or no shade.

Salary/funding:
This is a volunteer role so no salary is provided, however you will be exposed to a wide range of research techniques and therefore this could be an integral stepping stone to your next role.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):
You will need to cover your own accommodation and food costs at the research centre. Accommodation costs are currently ZAR4,500 a month, with reductions for those who stay for more than three months. Research equipment will be provided. Volunteers will also be responsible for their own airfare and travel to the centre and medical/travel insurance.

The research centre is located in a rural location so there is housing available onsite. Accommodation is two to four bed apartments with shared bathroom facilities (hot showers, flush toilets) and kitchen area equipped with a gas stove, fridge/freezer, tapped water, washing machine, and electricity.

Term of Appointment:
Positions start on 7 January 2018.

Application Deadline:
Applications will be accepted until positions are filled.

Comments:
To apply for the position or for further details please contact Dr Leah Findlay at l.j.findlay@durham.ac.uk. Please include a brief cover letter and CV. Please use your cover letter to explain why you are interested in working with us and to outline your relevant experience or transferable skills. Please also include contact details for two referees.

Contact Information:
Dr Leah Findlay, none
South Africa

Website:
http://wordpress.com/stats/insights/primateandpredatorproject.wordpress.com

E-mail Address:
l.j.findlay@durham.ac.uk

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Questions about a specific job listing should be directed to the contact person listed for that job. Questions and comments about using the Primate-Jobs web site can be directed to Joe Kemnitz at kemnitz@primate.wisc.edu.