Volunteers: Evolution and Socio-Ecology of small Mammals in the Succulent Karoo of South Africa ~ Bioblogia.net

5 de octubre de 2012

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

2 volunteers needed from November and 1 from December 2012 onwards

as field assistants for the project:

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

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. One focus is on the adaptation
to droughts, combining physiological, behavioral, ecological and
evolutionary research. 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 will also see
how blood samples are collected for physiological measurements. 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$, 120 Euro)
must be paid for accommodation at the research station. Students must buy
their own food etc in Springbok (costs of about R 2500, approx. 360 US$ 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 volunteers starting in
November and 1 in December 2012. Volunteers are expected to stay at least
three months, but longer periods of up to 6months are preferred.

How to apply? Send a short motivation letter stating why and for which
period you are interested and your CV via email to

More information under


Contact via e-mail: carsten.schradin@iphc.cnrs.fr

Dr. Carsten Schradin
Head Succulent Karoo Research Station
South Africa
The research station functions as a South African non-profit organization
Honorary Researcher at the School of Animal, Plant and Environmental
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

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