Madagascar Postdoctoral Associate

Madagascar Postdoctoral Fellow July 2017

The San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research is seeking a highly qualified and motivated Postdoctoral Fellow candidate to conduct a study with conservation relevance of Varecia rubra in Madagascar. The proposed research could consist of spatial ecology, behavioral ecology, reproductive biology, and/or aspects of population monitoring and management relevant to long-term conservation. Other areas of scientific inquiry are also encouraged.

A Ph.D. in anthropology, ecology, conservation biology, botany, zoology or related discipline is required. Specific taxonomic experience is not required, but a background in primate ecology is preferred. The primary field research location is Andranobe Forest in Masoala National Park, northeastern Madagascar. This field site is located on the west coast of the Masoala Peninsula in the Bay of Antongil Region. Access to the site is by boat from the town of Maraontsetra, which also serves tourist access to the Park. The site is remote with minimal infrastructure and the terrain consists of low altitude, coastal rain forest with varied elevation. There is an extensive and established trail system throughout the study area. Weather can be challenging during the wet season and therefore experience working in the field, preferably in the tropics, is essential.
Work in the Andranobe Forest will be in collaboration with Professor Natalia Vasey in the Department of Anthropology at Portland State University. On-site training will allow the Postdoctoral Fellow an opportunity to collaborate with Dr. Vasey and colleagues on a decade-long V. rubra demographic study and to build on site data extending back two decades in developing a collaborative research program.

The following skills are essential: outstanding inter-personal skills; ability to adapt to challenging field conditions; prior experience with ecological research methodology; scientific writing skills as demonstrated in peer-reviewed publications; excellent oral communication; teamwork (especially in regard to working with in-country staff) and management capabilities; fluency in English and basic French and/or Malagasy language ability; and strong computer, data management and quantitative/statistical analysis skills.

The successful candidate is expected to build a collaborative research program with San Diego Zoo Institute for Conservation Research scientists (see ), staff members from San Diego Zoo Global (SDZG) Curator’s Department, and the SDZG faculty partner at Portland State University. The successful candidate will design and implement research; oversee research logistics; habituate study animals; collect data and train field team members (mainly comprised of Malagasy nationals) in data collection and scientific techniques; organize, enter and analyze data; share results with relevant partners involved in implementing conservation measures, and at conferences and workshops; prepare manuscripts for scientific and lay publications with collaborators; mentor Malagasy students; contribute to action plans for conservation efforts; become involved in outreach and education activities; and help maintain existing partnerships and cultivating new ones. Funding is available for four years. The Postdoctoral Fellow is expected to write additional grants for project support.
This position will be hired via an independent contractor agreement primarily based in Madagascar, but the expectation is that the Postdoctoral Fellow will spend one month each in San Diego, California and Portland, Oregon per year. Additional time will be spent in the United States to analyze data in the latter years of the program. Preferred time frame for initial field work is fall, 2017. The candidate is requested to submit a resume and detailed cover letter stating why you are interested in this position, outlining a proposed research direction, how your skills and experience make you a suitable candidate, and how you envisage this opportunity influencing your career trajectory as part of the application process.

The position will be for 3 – 4 years in duration.
Start date: August – September 2017

The applicant must meet the qualifications of the essential skills listed and is responsible for obtaining all required travel and work authorizations for the work in Madagascar, as well as travel into the United States. A valid driver license and good driving record are required. Applicants must be at least 18 years of age.

Deadline to submit your application for adventure:
Monday, August 7, 2017

Cover letter and resume must be submitted to Dean Gibson, Curator of Primates, at

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