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Research Fellow for community ecology research in Madagascar
Job Type: full-time temporary position
Posting Date: 13 Feb 14
Closing Date: 24 Mar 14
We are recruiting 1 or 2 people as research fellows to lead fieldwork for a National Science Foundation-funded project on the community ecology of the tropical forests of Madagascar. The successful candidate(s) will work under the direction of Dr. Brent Sewall and Dr. Amy Freestone of Temple University to study mutualistic interactions (frugivory and seed dispersal) between fruit-eating animals (fruit bats, birds, and lemurs) and fruit-bearing fig (Ficus) trees in a seasonally-dry tropical forest. This research is designed to improve understanding of how ecological communities are maintained and change over time. The research will take place in a remote location in rural northern Madagascar near Ankarana National Park, a site with a stunning diversity of endemic flora and fauna.
This will be a full-time temporary position. Field work will begin on approximately June 1, 2014 and will continue for four to eight months. Start date of employment may be flexible, and exact timing of employment will depend on the availability and qualifications of the candidate. Compensation will include salary (commensurate with qualifications and experience), lodging (in rustic cabins), meals, and travel expenses. Opportunities to participate in writing scientific papers may also be available.
The successful candidate(s) will:
- Lead and work cooperatively with field crews of approximately 5-10 people, including primarily Malagasy personnel
- Lead the team in conducting a diverse set of research tasks, including but not limited to intensive direct diurnal and nocturnal observations of the foraging ecology of frugivorous animals, measurements of plant characteristics and demographics, experiments on seed viability and germination, and collection of plant samples.
- Train field personnel and ensure quality of field observations, data collection, data entry, and sample collection.
- Create and maintain a work environment that is both positive and productive
- Advise student participants in separate independent thesis projects
- Schedule, coordinate, and conduct field data collection
- Engage in activities to increase public awareness of ecological concepts, improve ecological training, and promote effective conservation planning within Madagascar
- Handle all project logistics necessarily to enable the smooth conduct of field research
Qualifications – required
- Bachelor’s or Masters degree in ecology or related field
- Commitment to careful data collection and high quality scientific research
- Experience in data collection in field research projects
- Fluency in written and spoken English
- Fluency in written and spoken French and/or Malagasy
- Cultural sensitivity
- Ability to work independently and in teams
- Ability to provide and receive constructive feedback
- Experienced in foreign travel
- Ability to work long hours in difficult conditions
- Ability to work variable schedules that include daytime and nighttime field work
- Ability to walk long distances carrying heavy field gear in hot conditions
- Ability to spend long periods away from city conveniences
- Ability to live and work closely with field team in a small isolated town and remote field site
Qualifications – preferred
- PhD in ecology or related field
- Experience living for extended periods in a rural area in Madagascar or other low-income countries
- Experience working closely with both American and Malagasy people
- Experience in field identification of mammal, bird, and plant species
- Experience leading field teams or working in other supervisory capacities
- Experience in data analysis and publishing research in peer-reviewed journals
To apply, please send:
- a cover letter describing your interest in and qualifications for this position along with dates of availability,
- a current curriculum vitae (cv), and
- contact information for 3 references familiar with your qualifications
Application materials should be sent to Dr. Brent Sewall by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please write “Madagascar Research Fellow” in the subject line. Evaluation of applications will begin on March 7th and continue until the position is filled.
Contact Information:Dr. Brent Sewall, Temple University
Email address: email@example.com
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