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Positions Available

Research Assistantship: Community Disease Ecology and Field Diagnostics

Hiring Organization:
Field Projects International

Date Posted:

Position Description:
This program was launched in 2012 and is now one of the most comprehensive studies of gastrointestinal parasites in South America. We use microscopic and genetic tools to evaluate parasite infections in non-invasively collected fecal samples. With baseline data on parasites from 11 primate species at CICRA, we can monitor community interactions, health, and population stability, animal behavior, and whether climate change may be altering parasite-host relationships.

You'll help us maintain crucial longitudinal data collection on the local primate assemblage, and usher in data from new taxonomic groups. Among the many questions we hope to tackle with these data, our principal goal is to expose new ecological linkages between Neotropical animals.

As of July 2018, and for the first time in the history of this program, we will now screen samples directly in the field. Samples collected at the field station are taken to the Green Lab, which is hosted by another research station nearby. Here you will learn to screen samples using both microscopy and molecular techniques.

At the end of the program, research assistants will be able to:

*Track primates by movement and vocalizations, as well as radio telemetry
*Work off trail systems, and conduct full-day follows
*Conduct behavioral observations on known-individuals (scan and focal animal sampling)
*Record data on feeding ecology
*Correctly sex individual primates
*Collect GPS data on species movements to create a large, overarching primate movement database
*Demonstrate proficiency in collecting and storing biological samples in field conditions, including participating in downstream applications such as microscopic and molecular diagnostic analyses.
*Input sample and movement information into databases for further analyses

We are currently recruiting participants with the following requirements. If you are uncertain if you are eligible, contact us to confirm.

*Must be at least 18 years of age by the time the training program begins
*Demonstrate a grounding or strong interest in zoology, biology, or anthropology
*Previous field experience is not required, but previous research experience (either outdoors or in the laboratory) will be a plus
*Must be able to justify why this program is important to them and what they hope to gain from it
*Able to provide a letter of recommendation from a source that can substantiate the participant?s experience and skills
*Unafraid of insects, reptiles and the jungle in general
*Must be in good physical condition, with the capability to walk 4 miles a day while carrying field equipment
*Participants will not be discriminated against for medical conditions they might have if we determine that being on this project will not pose an immediate risk to their health.
*Willingness to adjust your schedule to primate daily activity patterns. This can require waking up early, sometimes by 5 am, and going to bed early.
*Due to the nature of the work and weather constraints, participants MUST be willing to be flexible about their days off. Assistants will typically have one day off per week; however we cannot guarantee a set schedule each week.
*Participants must sign waivers of liability for this project and for the field station before their participation in the project is finalized
*Participants must be willing to maintain long hours in the field, but also return to complete data entry in the evenings
*Assistants will have the opportunity during days off to explore various attractions at the field site, such as searching for the resident anaconda at Pozo Don Pedro or looking for endangered giant river otters at Cocha Lobo.

Program fee: $450 per week during sample collection phase; $600 per week during field diagnostics phase

Term of Appointment:
June 3 ? July 30, 2019

Application Deadline:
APRIL 15, 2019

Start dates: June 3, June 17, June 24, July 1; Minimum commitment: 4 weeks (*if you are doing both field collection and laboratory screening the minimum becomes 5 weeks). Appeals to majors: Anthropology, Evolutionary Biology, Veterinary Science.
Training areas: Sample collection and preservation, off-trail navigation, telemetry, land-use mapping, census data collection.

Contact Information:
Mrinalini Watsa


E-mail Address:

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