Volunteee field assistants for project in South Africa ~ Bioblogia.net

6 de octubre de 2011

Volunteee field assistants for project in South Africa

2 volunteers needed from November / December 2011 onwards

2 volunteers needed from January 2012 onwards

as field assistants for the project:

Evolution and Socio-Ecology of small Mammals in the Succulent Karoo of South Africa

Opportunity: This is a great opportunity for anybody who wants to get more experience in field work relating to evolution, ecology and behavior before starting an MsC or PhD project.

Project: We study the evolutionary and ecological reasons as well as physiological mechanisms of group living, paternal care, communal nesting and social flexibility in the striped mouse. As this species is diurnal and the habitat is open, direct behavioral observations in the field are possible.

What kind of people are needed? Biology/zoology/veterinary students are preferred as candidates. Applicants must have an interest in working in the field and with animals. Hard working conditions will await applicants, as the study species gets up with sunrise (between 5 and 6 o` clock), and stops its activity with dusk (19 o` clock). Work during nights might also be necessary. Work in the field will be done for 5 days a week. Applicants must be able to manage extreme temperatures (below 0 at night in winter, sometimes over 40°C during summer days). Applicants must both be prepared to live for long periods in the loneliness of the field and to be part of a small social group.

Work of field assistants: Trapping, marking and radio-tracking of striped mice; direct behavioral observations in the field. Volunteers are also expected to help with maintenance of the research station (water pump, solar power, etc.)

Confirmation letter: Students get a letter of confirmation about their work and can prepare a report of their own small project to get credit points from their university for their bachelor or masters studies.

Costs: Students have to arrange their transport to the field site themselves. Per month, an amount of Rand 1250 (around 180 US$, 125 Euro) must be paid for accommodation at the research station. Students must buy their own food etc in Springbok (costs of about R 2500, approx. 360 US$ or 250 Euro/month). Including extras (going out for dinner; shopping), you should expect costs of about 600 US$, 450 Euros per month. Students get an invitation letter which they can use to apply for funding in their home country (eg. DAAD in Germany, SSJARP in Switzerland).

Place: The field site is in the Goegap Nature Reserve near Springbok in the North-West of South Africa. The vegetation consists of Succulent Karoo, which has been recognized as one of 25 hotspots of biodiversity. It is a desert to semi-desert with rain mainly in winter (June to September).

When and how long: At the moment we are looking for 2-3 volunteers starting in November / December 2011 and two additional volunteers starting in January 2012. Volunteers are expected to stay at least 4 months, but longer periods of up to 6months are possible.

How to apply? Send a short motivation letter stating why and for which period you are interested and your CV via email to carsten.schradin@ieu.uzh.ch.

More information under



Contact via e-mail: carsten.schradin@ieu.uzh.ch

Dr. Carsten Schradin
Research Assistant, Department of Animal Behavior,
University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190, 8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
Tel: +41 - (0)44 635 5486

Honorary Researcher at the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental Sciences,
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

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