Praktikum in Südafrika04/16/2010
Evolution and Socio-Ecology of small Mammals in the Succulent Karoo of South Africa 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 1000 (around 100 Euro) must be paid for accommodation at the research station. For students with
their own undergraduate project, a fee of Rand 1250 (approx. 120 Euro) per month applies. Students must buy their own food etc in Springbok (costs of about R 2000 or 200 Euro/month). Including extras, you should expect costs of about 300 - 400 Euros per month.
Students get an invitation letter which they can use to apply for funding in their home country (eg. DAAD in Germany, SANW 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 volunteers to start in May 2010 and especially for the period July / August to December 2010. The volunteer project is ongoing, i.e. positions will also be available in 2011. Volunteers are expected to stay at least 2
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 Dr. Carsten Schradin.
More information under www.stripedmouse.com
Contact via e-mail:
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
University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.