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Methods in Primatology Research Field Course

Reference Primatology   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation, Ecology, GIS
Town/City Pilar
Salary Additional Information Unpaid
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Full Time
Level Voluntary & Interns
Deadline 15/09/2021
Company Name Fundacion Para La Tierra
Contact Name Rebecca Smith
Email rebecca@paralatierra.org
Website Further Details / Applications
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Paraguay is often overlooked in terms of conservation and scientific research. Fundación Para La Tierra (PLT) is a conservation NGO focused on the conservation of Paraguay’s endangered habitats through scientific research, community engagement and environmental education. PLT runs the country’s only long-term primate research projects, and Paraguay’s only intensive primatological field course. The Field Methods in Primatology course is a comprehensive introduction to field primatology with particular focus on the hooded capuchin (Sapajus cay) in the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest and the black-&-gold howler monkey (Alouatta caraya) the humid Chaco and in a city environment. The course offers budding primatologists the perfect opportunity to gain hands-on experience of a range of field techniques in distinct environments.


The course is led by PLT’s primatologist Rebecca Smith. Rebecca is the only professional primatologist in Paraguay and is a PhD candidate with the University of Aberdeen. She has extensive experience working with primates in captive and wild settings in four countries and has studied the hooded capuchin in the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest for the past 8 years. She has published several papers on the behaviour of the hooded capuchin, presented her research at 7 international conferences and completed courses in the use of animals in research and primate rehabilitation.


The course introduces students to primatology through lectures, field exercises, discussion groups, active participation in Paraguay’s only long-term primate field study and independent research. The course is split between San Rafael “National Park” and the city of Pilar (Para La Tierra’s Centro IDEAL base). Students will participate in a series of lectures including primate taxonomy, study design, primatology in Paraguay and Atlantic Forest conservation. They will be introduced to Pilar’s urban howler monkey population and learn a variety of data collection techniques. In the Paraguayan Atlantic Forest of San Rafael, students will participate in the long-term capuchin research project while learning field skills including, but not limited to, camera trapping, VHF telemetry and primate habituation techniques.


The final 10 days will be spent in Pilar and will include lecture and practical work relating to distance sampling and census methods, non-invasive biological sample collection, parasite analysis and social network analysis. During the final four days students will plan and carry out their own study on the urban howler monkeys, collecting at least 20 hours of data before presenting their results to the group. 




This course is perfect for undergraduates who are thinking about a career in primatology, tropical conservation or studying animal behaviour. You must be at least 18 years old.

 For more information and to apply send your CV and a cover letter to Rebecca Smith at rebecca@paralatierra.org. You’ll be notified by email within a week if you’ve been selected for interview.



$2,095 for course tuition, three meals per day and an afternoon snack, lodging at the Centro IDEAL and Atlantic Forest research stations, course materials and expert instruction. Airfares to Paraguay, travel insurance and vaccinations and the hotel on the first night are not included.


Start and End dates:

The course runs from October 17th to November 7th 2021. You must arrive in Asuncion the day before the course starts.



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