Student assistant at the MPI EVA: motor cognition of nut-cracking in Tai chimpanzees

30 June 2014 Volunteer

Hiring Organization:

Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology

Date Posted:

Application Deadline:
until the position is filled.

Position Description:
We are looking for a highly motivated student interested in participating in a project about Physical Cognition in wild chimpanzees.

We want to investigate motor-cognition abilities of chimpanzees emerging in the nut-cracking behavior. Chimpanzees use hammers and anvils to crack open nuts. In order to perform this task efficiently (opening the nut without smashing it) they may be expected to plan the force of each strike along the hammering sequence. 

The successful candidate will code kinematic data (amplitude, velocity, potential energy and kinetic energy) of chimpanzees cracking nuts from videos that were recorded with remote camera traps in the Taï National Park (Ivory Coast). The data will be extracted using software developed by the “Institut für Angewandte Trainingswissenschaft” (IAT, Leipzig).

Motivated, independent and responsible personality

Knowledge of spoken and written English

Background in Biology/Psychology/knowledge in animal behaviour and animal cognition/basic statistical knowledge is preferred but not required

Volunteers are self-funded for the first 3 months. After this period the candidate will be covered for his/her living costs by the Max Planck Institute.

Support provided for internship/volunteer positions (travel, meals, lodging):

Term of Appointment:
Start: as soon as possible; Duration: a minimum of 3 months is required, however a further extension is also possible in order to continue with the second stage of the project (data analysis)

Application: Send a letter of interest together with a CV and email address of at least one referee to Giulia Sirianni

Contact Information:
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Deutscher Platz 6
Leipzig 04103, none

Telephone Number:
+49 341 3550 249


E-mail Address:
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