Research Assistant position for Loango Gorilla Project, Gabon

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Feb 22, 2024, 4:41:10 AMFeb 22
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Volunteer Research Assistant – Loango Gorilla Project, Gabon

Hiring Organization:

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Position Description:

A research assistant position is available at the Loango Gorilla Project in Loango National Park, Gabon. The assistant tasks will include: data collection on one habituated group of western gorillas and assisting in habituation of another group of gorillas. This work requires long hours in the forest and a great deal of patience. Other tasks include data entry, and possible assistance with other projects including phenology, vegetation surveys, and camera traps. The typical day consists of approximately 10 hours walking in the forest, often through swamps, rain or shine (6 days in the forest per week). The work is physically demanding. Loango National Park is located on the coast of Gabon and consists of several ecosystems including coastal forest and swamps.

The project operates out of the Yatouga Camp, which has only basic amenities:  no running water, solar power only, etc. (there is not-bad internet and good phone network). All staff (about 17 people) live in the camp and we eat dinner together every night. Everyone must be willing to work together as a team and be willing and interested to live in a multicultural, communal work/living setting. Loango is a lowland forest that contains many swamps (which we walk through nearly daily) and a wide array of wildlife including forest elephants (which we encounter nearly daily). 


The applicant must have at least a BSc in biology, zoology, anthropology or a related discipline. Previous field experience with primates or other animals will be viewed as a great asset. An interest in animal behaviour, botany, and general ecology is helpful. The applicant should demonstrate an ability to handle the living conditions at the site. A minimum knowledge of French is required. A one year commitment is required.


300 euros per month. One round trip airfare to Gabon, basic health insurance that include repatriation (included as part of the stipend), internal travel costs, accommodation (small wooden hut), and basic food are provided. If you want anything special you need to purchase it yourself. You will be required to have basic health insurance that also covers emergency repatriation and liability. You also must have vaccinations for Covid-19, measles, yellow fever, TB, hepatitis A and B, polio, and meningitis (cost of vaccinations are not paid by the project).

Term of Appointment:
1 year, starting sometime around May 15, 2024.

Application Deadline:

March 10, 2024


Interested applicants should send a letter of interest, CV, and names and email addresses of 3 references via email to robbins@ by March 10, 2024; If you do not get a response by March 20, 2024, assume that you are not being considered for the position. Please do not send repeated letters of inquiry or telephone calls. Applications will be reviewed as they come in, so it isn’t the best idea to wait until the last minute to apply.

Contact Information:
Martha Robbins (robbins@
Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Deutscher Platz 6
Leipzig 04013


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