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Research Assistantship – Gabon, Africa

by Kris Pieper on April 3, 2015

Research Assistant Position – Gabon, Africa

We are looking for an enthusiastic, motivated candidate for a one-year position working as a field-based research assistant in Gabon, starting around June 1, 2015!


The research project focuses on the impacts of anthropogenic activities on tropical forests,  animal communities and ecological processes in the Central African rainforest. Fieldwork is diverse and consists of conducting animal surveys and collecting data on tree phenology, forest dynamics, seed dispersal and seedling recruitment.


Successful candidates must thrive in a small team setting, working well with both Gabonese and American technicians and guides. Work typically begins at first light (6 am) and can consist of hiking more than 10 km in hilly and swampy terrain in hot, muggy and buggy conditions. Field  assistants live out of a tent two weeks each month. The field station is rustic with only  intermittent access to internet and telephone.


While working in this challenging environment, successful candidates will be rewarded with the opportunity to observe tropical bird and animal species in their natural habitats. Candidates will undoubtedly learn a great deal about tropical ecology, natural history, conservation biology, and the impacts of land use on forest structure and composition in near-pristine and degraded landscapes, as well as what it takes to organize projects in Central Africa.


Preference will be given to candidates with previous field research experience. Experience in French is strongly recommended.


Field assistants must pay their travel to Gabon, but will be provided with room and board at the Ipassa Research Station.


Interested persons should send: 1) a CV, 2) a cover letter describing motivation and  qualifications for position, and 3) the names and contact information of three professional  references. Please send application materials in pdf form to john.poulsen@duke.edu with the subject line ‘(candidate’s last name)-Ipassa Field Position.’ Ex: Smith-Ipassa Field Position. Applications will be accepted until May. 1, 2015.

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