Submitted: 31 July 2019
Department: Conservation & Wildlife Research
Institution: Bristol Clifton & West of England Zoological Society
Job type: Volunteer
Apply by: 20 August 2019
Application email: [email protected]

Field Assistant:

Ecological monitoring of western lowland gorillas in Monte Alen National Park, Rio Muni, Equatorial Guinea

Role description:

We are looking for a Spanish and English speaking research assistant for our western lowland gorilla conservation project. This project seeks to investigate the distribution and status of gorillas, and their threats, across the Monte Alen National Park; an area of exceptional importance for gorillas. This project is led by the Bristol Zoological Society (BZS) in collaboration with the University of the West of England (UWE Bristol) and the Biodiversity Initiative NGO. You will be accompanied to the field by our Project Leader, Dr Caspian Johnson and supervised by Dr Grainne McCabe (Head of Field Conservation and Science, BZS) and Dr David Fernandez (Senior Lecturer, UWE Bristol). The post will therefore be based full time in Equatorial Guinea.


Together with Dr Caspian Johnson, you will: • Establish a camera trap network across the pristine rainforests of Monte Alen National Park • Lead a survey team to walk multiple line transects in the interior of the park • Engage local communities living on the border of the park • Assist with translations English-Spanish-English


The work will have a strong field work focus with long periods of time to be spent in the forest, deploying cameras and walking transects. During these surveys, the work will be very physical in remote conditions with very basic amenities. There will also be time spent among the communities surrounding the park where interviews may be conducted on crop-raiding. Although multiple languages are spoken in Equatorial Guinea, Spanish is the national language and is the most widely spoken. It is therefore critical that you can speak fluent Spanish and English.

The successful candidate must also have travel medical insurance and all appropriate vaccinations. An American passport, whilst not absolutely necessary, is beneficial as it removes the need for a visa to enter the country.


• Fluency in English • Professional competency in Spanish • A BSc degree in conservation, zoology or relevant field.

You will be at the forefront of great ape conservation. An enthusiasm for wildlife and conservation is therefore at the core of this role. Given the duration and local conditions, you will need to be dynamic and adaptable. No previous experience of wildlife surveys is required; the successful candidate will receive coaching in all necessary survey skills.

In general, applicants should be: • Physically fit and mentally strong • Very good social skills • Have initiative and work well independently and in a team • Be comfortable living in very basic conditions and being far away from friends/family • Be willing to live alongside people from different cultures • Be emotionally mature, friendly, energetic and very patient • Be able to maintain a positive attitude towards hard and tiring work.


Not available, this is a voluntary position. Support (travel, meals, lodging): All costs associated with travel will be reimbursed upon successful completion of the job. Additionally, all lodging and food whilst in-country will also be provided. Term of appointment: A 10 week commitment is required, likely from September 16th to December 13th 2019. However, specific dates are subject to change.

: • You will work closely with the Project Leader who will support your development as a conservation researcher and develop your skills in ecological census techniques • You will gain valuable experience working in remote and challenging conditions • You will contribute directly to the research and conservation of western lowland gorillas.

Application deadline:

Applications will be accepted until the 20th of August.


To apply, email a CV and a cover letter to the address below to Dr Caspian Johnson. In your cover letter you should detail your interest and experience in wildlife conservation, and why you think you would be suitable for this role along with the contact information of two referees.

Feel free to contact us via email if you have any questions.


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