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Research Assistants for Human-Wildlife Conflict Project, South Africa

Hiring Organization:
Primate and Predator Project Durham University

Date Posted:
2019-07-18

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 at the Alldays Wildlife and Communities Research Centre (https://alldayswcrc.org/) and help support our research into human-wildlife conflict. The project provides a fantastic opportunity to develop 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 in the area, as well as assessing local perceptions and tolerance towards wildlife ?pests?.

Key activities

We currently have two assistant positions available. As a primate assistant you will be conducting full day follows of a baboon group that lives in and around the local community. You will collect behavioural data and faecal samples from individually identified baboons, as well as conducting phenological surveys and data entry. As a human-wildlife conflict assistant you will get involved in a variety of tasks, including electric fence mortality surveys, snare removal, environmental education and other community engagement activities. You will also take part in our rock hyrax behaviour data collection. As our project involves a social anthropological aspect, all 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.

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 manual driver?s licence*. Both positions involve long days in the field, from dawn to dusk, often with little or no shade, where summer temperatures can rise above 40oC; all applicants must be prepared and able to cope with such conditions.

*Prior field experience with primates and a driving licence is a must if applying for the primate assistant position.

Salary/funding:
This is a volunteer role so no salary is provided, however you will be exposed to a 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 ZAR5,000 a month, with reductions for those who stay for more than three months. Research equipment is 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 six 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:
Both positions are available immediately and are ongoing.

Application Deadline:
Until filled

Comments:
To apply for either 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. 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:
https://alldayswcrc.org/

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

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