Student Assistant (m/f/d) to collect orangutan data

The Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior would like to fill the position ideally by August 1, 2022.

  • Background: The Development and Evolution of Cognition Research Group at the Max Planck Institute of Animal Behavior is looking for two HiWis to support our team with data collection on the behavior of Zoo housed orangutans. Our research is centered around the development, learning, and cognitive performance of wild and captive orangutans. By comparing wild and zoo housed orangutans, we aim to disentangle developmental and genetic factors that affect orangutan development.
  • What we are offering: From August to December 2022, we will collect data on Sumatran orangutans at different German and Swiss Zoos, following an extensive data collection protocol. We will do focal animal sampling with data collected through instantaneous scan sampling as well as all occurrence sampling on specific focus behaviors. The data collection trips include overnight stays in hotels or Airbnb’s for 3 - 4 days each. Over the course of the next 6 months, 5 trips are planned which will take place mostly on weekdays. Payment will be according to the guidelines for Wissenschaftliche Hilfskräfte and accommodation costs will be covered.
  • Who we are looking for: We are looking for observers with a strong interest in animal behavior, an eye for details, and high levels of stamina. Ideally, you also have a background in biology or a related field.
  • If you are interested in the position, please contact: Dr. Caroline Schuppli, Max Planck Research Group Leader, Development and Evolution of Cognition Research Group, Max Planck Institute for Animal Behavior; Email: