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Field experience before pursuing PhD

Date Posted:
2017-11-03

Position Description:
Field Assistant, Conservation Volunteer etc.

The aim is to gain experience in the field before pursuing a PhD related to primate movement.

Though I'm most interested in Pan, Gorilla, Pongo and Hylobates, I'm fascinated by nearly all primates. Work interests are equally broad and include camera trap research, habituation and working at primate sanctuaries.

Preference for positions that cover some essential costs such as travel and accommodation.

Educational Background:
2014-2017: MSc in Mechanical Engineering (Aerospace Engineering), KULeuven, Belgium.

2011-2015: BSc in Engineering (Mechanical Engineering, Living Systems, Material Science), KULeuven, Belgium.

Qualifications/Experience:
Research assistant in Malaysian Borneo.

Max Planck Institute: PANAF workshop on fieldwork techniques and equipment.

Master's Thesis: Evaluation of trabecular architecture in the primate capitate and third metacarpal and its relation to locomotor activities.

In response to the desired qualifications I often see for these positions:

(1) Field experience: As I only recently graduated, my field experience is currently limited to a position as a research assistant in Malaysian Borneo. I have also attended a two-week PANAF workshop at the MPI in Leipzig where I was introduced to the practicalities of field work techniques, forest navigation and equipment.
(2) Above average fitness: This certainly applies to me as I frequently practice parkour and spend time in the woods climbing trees, hiking and running. I'm a very physical person and enjoy outdoor activities such as urban exploration and paragliding.
(3) Language skills in French: Though my native language is Dutch, I have mandatory French classes from age 8 to 18. While I'm admittedly stronger in understanding French than in immediately forming a correct reply, I find that this improves very quickly when I'm in a French speaking environment. I also speak English at the level of a native speaker.
(4) Resistance to stress: In my former faculty the emphasis was strongly placed on improving stress resistance in students. This was done by combining deliberately high workloads with practical projects and tight deadlines. The main goal of the program was to teach the students how to think logically and develop an aptitude for problem solving in all forms. We weren't taught the knowledge for any job in specific, but trained to learn fast, adapt and function in a wide range of potential positions.
(5) Motivation to achieve tasks under difficult circumstances: I enjoy performing tasks that require some form of problem solving and improvisation, making the most of limited resources.
(6) Capacity to live and work with an international team: I'm used to spending long periods of time abroad and have often worked in groups with a large variety of nationalities. Getting to know people from different cultures is very rewarding and helps broaden your perspective.

Application Deadline:
I would be available starting from February 2018 until the following October.

Comments:
Please contact me if you have (or know of) a position in the above time slot. Thank you for your consideration.

Contact Information:
Pieter Nyssen
Krommejong 1
Voeren, Limburg 3792
Belgium

Telephone Number:
+32 479 79 18 15

E-mail Address:
Pieternyssen92@gmail.com

Questions and Comments

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.