Voluntariado en Perú

Volunteer position:

Research assistant
at the Estación Biológica Quebrada Blanco (EBQB), Peru

For a project on the mating system of saddle-back tamarins, Saguinus nigrifrons, we are offering 1-2 volunteer positions for data collection running from July/August 2012 – June 2013.

The volunteer will be observing groups of wild saddle-back tamarins, Saguinus nigrifrons, (formerly Saguinus fuscicollis nigrifrons) that are well habituated to the presence of humans. You will be trained to identify the individual tamarins, learn their ethogram and how to move around in the forest (EBQB has a trail system with 100 m x 100 m grids that facilitate orientation). Data will be collected by focal animal sampling, instantaneous scan sampling and behaviour sampling. Additionally, faecal samples for hormonal and genetic analyses will be collected. You will collaborate closely with the PhD student running the project, the local field assistants and Peruvian students who participate in the project.

Working conditions, qualifications and requirements

EBQB is a simple and rustic field site with little comfort, and field work in the hot and humid climate is physically demanding. The successful applicant must be able to cope with these conditions. Also, you must have good social skills to live and work together and to interact with field assistants and other students, and with people from the local community. Basic knowledge in Spanish is helpful, but if you are willing and eager to learn rapidly, you can acquire Spanish language skills within a few weeks. Previous experience in animal behaviour (e.g. relevant university courses) is essential, previous experience in the tropics will be beneficial.



No salary can be paid, i.e. volunteers are principally self-funded. However, accommodation at the field site is provided as well as one transport per month between the field site and Iquitos. Students currently living there spend about € 150 per month on consumables (food, gas for cooking, etc.), which volunteers would need to provide themselves, as well as suitable clothing.


Other terms

The volunteer will have a guest contract with the Deutsches Primatenzentrum (German Primate Center). As part of this contract, the volunteer will have a free tropical medicine examination before and after the field period, and will receive necessary vaccinations. Furthermore, s/he will be insured with the Berufsgenossenschaft (“Accident Prevention & Insurance Association”) which covers accidents and diseases acquired during field work.


Start and Term of Appointment:

July/August 2012 (for 12-13 months)


Applications including a cover letter stating previous experience in animal behaviour and/or work in the tropics, a curriculum vitae, and the names and e-mail addresses of two referees should be sent electronically to:

Prof. Dr. Eckhard W. Heymann (Behavioral Ecology & Sociobiology Unit, German Primate Center), e-mail: eheyman@gwdg.de

The positions are open until qualified applicants have been found.