18.04.2014 - 12:35
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Please also look at our job offers in German.

Post-doc position: Comparative social cognition of two ape species under natural conditions

We are offering a two years Max Planck post-doc fellowship with a possible two years extension working on a project that compares the cognitive abilities in the social domain between bonobos and chimpanzees under natural conditions using an observational and experimental approach.

Our general interest is to understand the relationship between sociality and social cognition. Specifically, we are interested in the use of behavioral strategies that are based on cognitive skills in wild living bonobos and chimpanzees.

This post-doc project will include observations and field experiments on bonobos in LuiKotale, Solonga NP (Democratic Republic of Congo) and on chimpanzees of the Taï Chimpanzee Project, Taï NP (Côte d’Ivoire).

Qualifications and Requirements:

PhD, or comparable degree, in Biology, Psychology or Evolutionary Anthropology and a good knowledge in animal behaviour and animal cognition. The following experience is important for the successful applicant:

1. Expertise in conducting field experiments such as playbacks or similar controlled behavioral tests, preferably with primates.

2. Proficiency  in field observations and collecting behavioural data on social mammals.

3. Experience in working and living under harsh conditions in remote areas.
The successful applicant speaks French and English, is resistant to physical and psychological stress, has strong social skills and is able to work and live amongst a group of international colleagues and local staff.

Salary and Funding:

Supported by a MPI post-doc stipend (2+2 years). In additional the successful candidate is expected to write a research proposal to apply for additional grant money.

Start and Term of Appointment:

Starting summer 2014

Comments:

Applications including a cover letter stating research experience and interest, detailed curriculum vitae, and the names and e-mail addresses of three referees should be sent electronically. Application deadline is 30 April or until position is filled thereafter.

Contact Information:

Roman Wittig (TCP) and Gottfried Hohmann (LuiKotale)
wittig@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.dehohmann@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

PhD or Master’s thesis research project on ‘hominid dental ecology’

The research project we are offering is directly related to the Pan African Programme (http://panafrican.eva.mpg.de/index.php), for which environmental data and organic sample materials (including skeletal remains) are currently collected in the field to study the biological and cultural variation of chimpanzee populations living in different habitats and regions across Africa. The aim of this programme is to understand the evolutionary-ecological factors (habitat, biodiversity, vegetation, climate, genetics) ultimately driving hominoid diversification. Within this framework, the main objective of the project on ‘hominid dental ecology’ is to investigate the dietary ecology, morphology and behavior of extant chimpanzees as a model for the palaeoecology of early hominins. For this project we offer a

 

PhD or Master’s research project

 

to highly motivated students interested in human and primate evolution and in the integration of laboratory and field data. By using dental morphological and biochemical analyses the incumbent will investigate dietary signatures, environmental and physiological markers of stress and other life history parameters in a Pan African skeletal collection of wild chimpanzees and relate them to ecological field data.

 

The research will be conducted in Leipzig (Germany) in a young and interdisciplinary research team at the Max Planck Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology (http://www.eva.mpg.de/mpwc), Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (http://www.eva.mpg.de) under the supervision of Drs. Kornelius Kupczik, Vicky Oelze and Hjalmar Kühl. The MPI has an outstanding international reputation in the various disciplines of anthropology as it unites scientists with diverse academic backgrounds whose aim is to investigate the history of humankind from an interdisciplinary perspective.

 

Profile and requirements:

You have a degree (MSc, BSc, Diploma or equivalent) in physical anthropology, zoology, ecology, biochemistry or paleontology (or other related fields). Experience in dental morphology, pathology and histology and/or stable isotope analysis is desirable, yet not mandatory.

 

You should offer the following skills:

·         basic lab experience (e.g. chemical, biochemical or genetic)

·         basic parametric and non-parametric statistical knowledge

·         good command of English (oral and written).

 

Candidates interested in pursuing a 3 year fully funded PhD research project starting as early as May 2014 should already have a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in hand or close to completing. In addition, we offer 6 months research projects suitable for Master’s research theses. The Max Planck Society is committed to employing physically impaired individuals and to increasing the share of women in areas where they are underrepresented, and therefore expressly encourages applications from such qualified individuals. This position will remain open until filled.

 

Contact:

Please send your application letter with a CV, the contact details of two referees and a brief research interest statement to: Dr. Kornelius Kupczik, Max Planck Weizmann Center for Integrative Archaeology and Anthropology (kornelius_kupczik@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de). Please state in the subject heading ‘hominid dental ecology’ and whether you are interested in a PhD or a master’s project.

Volunteer Position: Field Assistant at the Taï Chimpanzee Project (Côte D’Ivoire)

We are offering 5 volunteer positions to collect indirect health data for the Taï Chimpanzee Project in Côte d’Ivoire.

In cooperation between infectiologists of the Robert Koch Institute (Berlin) and primatologists of the Max Planck Institute for evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) we are investigating pathogens of wild chimpanzees living in Taï National Park, Ivory Coast.  For our project „Great Ape Health Monitoring“ we are looking for 5 volunteers who enjoy working in the field. This work does not include direct work with the chimpanzees but the involvement in more field oriented projects (e.g. catching arthropods) is required. The field study area is situated in Taï National Park, Ivory Coast at one of the research camps, mostly isolated from the rest of the world. However, various other students and assistants live at these camps as well.

Task description:

  • Collection of bones throughout the Tai National Park (together with experienced local assistants)
  • Collection of arthropod vectors throughout the whole Tai National Park for a disease monitoring project
  • Initial training (1 week) of field methods at the RKI in Berlin  
  • Data documentation

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • Background in Biology/ Veterinary Medicine or a related field
  • Previous experience with field work, especially in tropical forests, is preferred but not required
  • Be motivated, independent and responsible
  • Be physically fit, and capable of undertaking fieldwork in hot/humid conditions (fieldwork will include a lot of camping in the forest)
  • Basic knowledge of spoken French

Salary / Funding:

Volunteers are self-funded. Permit fees will be reimbursed after completed tenure. Current living costs are about 150€ per month, which volunteers have to provide themselves together with suitable clothing, health insurance and vaccinations.

Start and Term of Appointment:
 

Start: September/October 2014  
Duration: 6 months

Comments:

Applications including a cover letter stating experience, detailed CV, and the names and emails of two referees should be sent electronically. Evaluation process starts immediately and continues till all positions are filled.

Contact:

Fabian Leendertz
P3 – Epidemiology of highly Pathogenic Microorganisms
Robert Koch Institut
Nordufer 20
13353 Berlin
Email: LeendertzF@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]rki.de
Phone: 0049 -30-18754 2592

http://www.rki.de/EN/Content/Institute/DepartmentsUnits/ProjectGroups/P23/P23.html
http://www.eva.mpg.de/primat/research-groups/chimpanzees/field-sites/

Two positions for student assistants at MPI EVAN

We are looking for highly motivated students who are interested in improving their hands-on experience in nucleotide databases, molecular phylogenetics and phylogeography.

The selected students will participate in the initial stages of an ambitious comparative phylogeography research project involving the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology as well as national and international research institutions.
Our research aims to test paleoenvironmental hypotheses for sub-Saharan Africa by synthesizing existing sequence data for a large number of animal (mostly mammals) and plant species.

Your primary task will be to compile sequence data from genebank and published sources for developing a database of georeferenced DNA sequences for a wide range of African species.  Dr. Paolo Gratton (senior PostDoc) will advise you and supervise your work.

Familiarity with spreadsheet software applications (e.g. MS Excel) will be highly advantageous, while previous experience with at least one programming language (e.g. R, Perl, Python) will be a plus. The start of work will be the beginning of May, for a duration initially limited to 6 months.

Please send your application, including a short motivation letter and CV to Dr. Paolo Gratton (paolo.gratton@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]gmail.com). Please indicate ‘African Phylogeography’ in the subject line.

Volunteer Position: Lab / Field Assitant at the Taï Chimpanzee Project (Côte D’ivoire)

We are offering 1 volunteer position to help monitoring the health of the chimpanzees in the National Park, collect indirect health data and run the field lab for the Taï Chimpanzee Project in Côte d’Ivoire.

In cooperation between infectiologists of the Robert Koch Institute (Berlin) and primatologists of the Max Planck Institute for evolutionary Anthropology (Leipzig) we are investigating pathogens of wild chimpanzees living in Taï National Park, Ivory Coast.  For our project „Great Ape Health Monitoring“ we are looking for a volunteer who enjoys both working in the field and in the laboratory. This work does not include direct work with the chimpanzees but the involvement in more field oriented projects (e.g. catching arthropods) is required. The field laboratory is situated in Tai National Park, Ivory Coast at one of the research camps, mostly isolated from the rest of the world. However, various other students and assistants live at these camps as well.

Task description:
  • Carrying out diagnostic analyses based on PCR techniques for onsite diagnostics (necropsy samples collected by our field vet), maintenance of the lab
  • Collection of arthropod vectors in the forest for a specific project
  • Assistant to the camp manager
  • An initial training (4 weeks) of lab and field methods at the RKI in Berlin  
Qualifications and Requirements:
  • Background in Biology/ Veterinary Medicine or a related field
  • Basic lab experience is required (extraction of DNA, performing PCR)
  • Previous experience with field work, especially in tropical forests, is preferred but not required
  • Be motivated, independent and responsible
  • Be physically fit, and capable of undertaking fieldwork in hot/humid conditions
  • Basic knowledge of spoken French
Salary / Funding:

Volunteers are self-funded. However, accommodation at the field site is provided and one airfare (Germany – Côte d’Ivoire – Germany, at a reasonable max.) as well as permit fees will be reimbursed after completed tenure. Current living costs are about 150€ per month, which volunteers have to provide themselves together with suitable clothing, health insurance and vaccinations.

Start and Term of Appointment:  

As soon as possible (preferable starting from Feb 2014) including a minimum of 8 month in the field.

Comments:

Applications including a cover letter stating experience, detailed CV, and the names and emails of two referees should be sent electronically. Evaluation process starts immediately and continues till all positions are filled.

Contact:

Fabian Leendertz
P3 – Epidemiology of highly Pathogenic Microorganisms
Robert Koch Institut
Nordufer 20
13353 Berlin
Email: LeendertzF@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]rki.de
Phone: 0049 -30-18754 2592

http://www.rki.de/EN/Content/Institute/DepartmentsUnits/ProjectGroups/P23/P23.html
http://www.eva.mpg.de/primat/research-groups/chimpanzees/field-sites/

Volunteer Position: Research Assitant at the Taï Chimpanzee Project (Côte d’Ivoire)

We are offering 1 volunteer position to start the habituation of a new chimpanzee community for the Taï Chimpanzee Project in Côte d’Ivoire, from March 2014 – May 2015.

The volunteer will be following a chimpanzee community that is not yet habituated to human observers. The volunteer will be responsible to manage a team of 4-5 local field assistants   and is supervised by the camp manger. We will provide an initial training on the habituation technique, GPS and data collection methods used. The volunteer and his / her team will be camping in tents using a temporary campsite in the National Park. In addition, at the end of the tenure the volunteers will be responsible to train his / her replacement.

Qualifications and Requirements:

The successful applicant will need to work independently in a remote and physically demanding habitat. Good social skills are needed to work and life amongst a group of local field assistants. The applicant needs to speak French and English will be of advantage. Previous experience in animal behaviour and previous field work will be beneficial.

Salary / Funding:

Volunteers are self-funded. However, accommodation at the field site is provided and one airfare (Germany – Côte d’Ivoire – Germany, at a reasonable max.) as well as permit fees will be reimbursed after completed tenure. Current living costs are about 150€ per month, which volunteers have to provide themselves together with suitable clothing, health insurance and vaccinations.

Start and Term of Appointment:

March 2014 (for 14 months)

Comments:

Applications including a cover letter stating experience, detailed CV, and the names and emails of two referees should be sent electronically. Evaluation process starts immediately and continues till all positions are filled. 

Contact:

Roman Wittig (Director of the Taï Chimpanzee Project)
Email: taichimpproject@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

Volunteer Position: Research Assitant at the Taï Chimpanzee Project (Côte D’ivoire)

We are offering 2 volunteer positions to collect long-term data for the Taï Chimpanzee Project in Côte d’Ivoire, from March 2014 – May 2015.

Each volunteer will be observing chimpanzees of one of our three habituated communities of wild chimpanzees. They will be trained to identify the chimpanzees, learn the behaviours, and their way around the forest. After the initial training they will work independently and collect behavioural observations (focal and ad lib data), as well as urine and fecal samples (for hormonal, bacteriological and virological analysis). The volunteers will collaborate closely with local field assistants and international students alike. They will be responsible for managing the long-term data collection for their respective community. In addition, at the end of their tenure they will be responsible to train their replacement.

Qualifications and Requirements:

The successful applicant will need to work independently in a remote and physically demanding habitat. Good social skills are needed to work and life amongst a group of international colleagues with different cultural backgrounds. The applicant needs to speak French and English. Previous experience in animal behaviour and previous field work will be beneficial.

Salary / Funding:

Volunteers are self-funded. However, accommodation at the field site is provided and one airfare (Germany – Côte d’Ivoire – Germany, at a reasonable max.) as well as permit fees will be reimbursed after completed tenure. Current living costs are about 150€ per month, which volunteers have to provide themselves together with suitable clothing, health insurance and vaccinations.

Start and Term of Appointment:  

March 2014 (for 14 months)

Comments:

Applications including a cover letter stating experience, detailed CV, and the names and emails of two referees should be sent electronically. Evaluation process starts immediately and continues till all positions are filled.

Contact:

Roman Wittig (Director of the Taï Chimpanzee Project)
Email: taichimpproject@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de

PhD Studentship, spatial modelling of great ape abundance in Africa

University of St Andrews and Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

We are currently looking for a student to undertake a PhD to analyse data on great ape populations from line transect and camera trap surveys. Whereas a broad spectrum of methods is already available for analysing great ape population data from line transect surveys, estimation of great ape abundance from camera trap surveys requires further development. Furthermore, recent developments of biometric approaches to detect great apes in camera trap footage provide new opportunities and challenges for survey data analysis. Key goals of the research to be conducted will be to include probabilistic output of biometric systems for inferring great ape abundance from camera trap surveys as well as to incorporate camera trap data into spatial modelling techniques.

This work will require advanced statistical skills. We therefore encourage in particular students with a strong background in statistics or mathematics and a genuine interest in environmental issues to apply.    

The student will be based at CREEM, on a studentship fully funded* by the University of St Andrews and MPI-EVA. 

*All fees (whether home or international) will be covered, and a stipend will be paid for 3.5 years.  For 2013/14, the level of this stipend is £13,726.

Apply at http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/admissions/pg/apply/

The PhD will be at CREEM (http://creem2.st-andrews.ac.uk/) within the School of Mathematics and Statistics at St Andrews.  The supervisors will be Stephen Buckland at CREEM and Hjalmar Kuehl and Christophe Boesch at MPI-EVA.  

St Andrews is a small university town on the east coast of Scotland (http://www.saint-andrews.co.uk/).  The University is nearly 600 years old, and is a mixture of ancient and modern.  

There are 36 academic staff in the School of Mathematics and Statistics, 25 research staff, and over 50 PhD students.  The Statistics Division currently comprises 11 academic staff, 14 research staff and 7 PhD students.  The Division is particularly strong in the area of Statistical Ecology and the statistical ecologists are housed in a purpose-built facility at CREEM, which is a multidisciplinary centre, involving mathematicians, statisticians and quantitative biologists.  The statistical ecologists are also the largest single group in the cross-institutional National Centre for Statistical Ecology (http://www.ncse.org.uk/).

Post Doctoral Research position - chimpanzee social demography

The Department of Primatology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany is seeking a postdoctoral researcher for its Pan African program ‘The Cultured Chimpanzee’ (for more details on this project please see the report in Nature 476, 18 August 2011, pp. 266-269 and http://panafrican.eva.mpg.de/).

More specifically, the research to be conducted will address questions related to the large-scale, range-wide variation of chimpanzee social and demographic structure, as well as investigate the respective contributions of underlying drivers leading to such variability. Within the Pan African Program we are using remote video traps for collecting a unique range-wide dataset on the social and demographic structure of more than 30 chimpanzee communities of all subspecies. Additionally, a wide spectrum of ecological context information on habitat structure, food resource availability and predators will be available.  

Although standardized, the available dataset on chimpanzee social and demographic structure considerably differs from the common type of data that is available from long-term chimpanzee research sites. Data processing and analysis will therefore require new and innovative approaches including the application of available automated species detection software, the use of citizen science for species and individual classification and advanced statistical methods.  

The successful candidate will therefore need excellent organizational and quantitative skills, including statistical and programming expertise. Furthermore, since this work will be directly linked to other projects within the Pan African Program, we expect the candidate to communicate well with other researchers for mutual benefit and integrate well into the department.

The position is available for a three year period from 1 January 2014. The annual salary will be up to 36,000 Euros for German candidates depending on qualifications and an equivalent tax free stipend for foreign candidates.

Please send a Curriculum Vita, publication list, cover letter and two reference letters to Ms. Claudia Nebel (nebel@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de). Please reference “Postdoc chimpanzee social and demographic structure-The Cultured Chimpanzee” in the subject line.

Post Doctoral Research position - chimpanzee ecology

The Department of Primatology at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany is seeking a postdoctoral researcher for its Pan African program ‘The Cultured Chimpanzee’ (for more details on this project please see the report in Nature 476, 18 August 2011, pp. 266-269 & http://panafrican.eva.mpg.de/).

More specifically, the research to be conducted will address questions related to the extent of  the diversity and variability of ecological conditions across chimpanzee habitats including fauna, flora and the abiotic environment and how they affect aspects of chimpanzee biology. Within the Pan African Program, we are collecting a unique dataset on habitat structure, food resource availability, sympatric animal species, climate and human impact from more than 30 sites to learn more about the environments inhabited by chimpanzees.  

Although we use standardized methods for all data collection, the entire dataset is very heterogeneous. Data processing and analysis will therefore require advanced and innovative statistical approaches for data integration and synthesis.
The successful candidate will therefore need excellent organizational and quantitative skills, including statistical and programming expertise. Furthermore, since this work will be directly linked to other projects within the Pan African Program, we expect the candidate to communicate well with other researchers for mutual benefit and integrate well into the department.

The position is available for a three year period from 1 January 2014, salary will be up to 36,000 Euros for German candidates depending on qualifications and an equivalent tax free stipend for foreign candidates.
Please send a Curriculum Vita, publication list, cover letter and two reference letters to Ms. Claudia Nebel (nebel@[>>> Please remove the brackets! <<<]eva.mpg.de). Please reference “Postdoc chimpanzee habitat diversity-The Cultured Chimpanzee” in the subject line.

Camp & Research Administrator

We are searching for a Camp & Research Administrator (CRA) for an ongoing long-term project on bonobo socio-ecology at LuiKotale, Salonga National Park, Democratic Republic of Congo.

The CRA has the following duties:  
  1. Camp management including administration and maintenance of logistics, infrastructure and communication.
  2. Supervision of field research including coordination of working schedules of research teams, management of long-term data, and organization of collecting, storing and transporting biological samples. The CRA is in charge of financial accounting, organizing supplies, maintenance of camp infrastructure, and communication with the research team and local assistants. The CRA represents the project to regional administrators, wildlife authorities, and village leaders. Information about the field site and research activities at LuiKotale is available at http://www.eva.mpg.de/primat/research-groups/bonobos/main-page.html?Fsize=0%2C
Qualifications:

Candidates must have field experience and an academic background in one or several of the following areas: biology, zoology, botany, ecology, anthropology. Given the importance of communication for the work of the CRA, language skills in French (oral and in writing) and English are essential. Other critical requirements are: 

  1. a strong sense of responsibility and a well developed capacity for team work
  2. above average physical fitness
  3. resistance to social/psychological stress, and
  4. practical and technical skills to maintain the technical infrastructure (e.g. solar power generator, sat-phone, sw-radio) and to organize/supervise construction work (e.g. make-shift buildings in camp). 

Candidates will need to have tolerance, social skills and a strong motivation to take on responsibility. They should be able to achieve tasks by improvisation, using the limited sources that are available and must have the capacity to live and work with an international! team of students, volunteers and local staff. Candidates with medical training will be preferred.

Salary/funding:

The monthly payment will be 700 Euro based on a contract for work and services.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging): Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):

  • food (mostly local food and some western food items)
  • lodging (in tents) at the field site
  • one domestic flight from Kinshasa to the field and back
  • contribution of up to 800 Euro to an international return flight (reimbursement only after successful completion of a 10 months term of appointment)
  • expenses for visa up to 100 Euro (reimbursement only after successful completion of a 10 months term of appointment)
  • note that expenses during the stay in Kinshasa on the way in and out of DRC, as well as the costs for supplementary health insurance and other insurances are not covered by the project.

Term of Appointment:

10 months starting as soon as possible

Comments:

Applicants should send a letter of interest that provides information that is useful for evaluating the qualifications outlined above, a CV, and two letters of recommendation.

Contact Information: 

Research positions and graduate student positions (occasionally available)

Inquiries including a description of research interests and previous experience are welcome.

If you are interested in opportunities for field research, please contact:

If you are interested in research opportunities in the genetics laboratory, please contact:

If you are interested in one of the specific projects mentioned elsewhere on the primatology website, you may contact the relevant researcher directly.