This is the first research project to investigate special behaviours and ecological conditions necessary to maintain health in wild orangutans. In addition, it is the only on-going and long-term orangutan health research project being conducted in the world at this time. This is partly due to the complexity of self-medicating behaviours of the orangutan and the astonishing variety of flora in the rainforest, as well as geographical and seasonal variations. The primary focus of this research investigates how wild orangutans combat parasitic infections by the use of specific rainforest plant species. Main topics of research are: 1. Orangutan parasite infections, including the effects of certain ecological factors 2. Diversity and host specificity of the Orangutan malaria parasite 3. Anti-parasitic properties of extracts isolated from Indonesian plants and their effect on selected parasitoses.
Qualifications: Candidates are expected to have strong backgrounds in the fields of parasitology and animal population ecology, as well as sufficient English language skills (both spoken and written) to fully understand the study materials. Applicants are required to hold a corresponding degree from a university, and be capable of working both independently and as part of a team. Candidates are expected to have: o Experience with coprological methods o Experience with molecular methods of isolation and PCR Furthermore, the following skills are advantageous: o Experience with parasite culturing techniques o Experience with data analysis in community ecology, statistical analysis of biological data and multivariate statistical methods