African Bat Conservation (ABC) is a non-profit conservation research project based in Malawi, operating under UK Charity Conservation Research Africa (CRA). ABC works in collaboration with the Department of National Parks and Wildlife Malawi (DNPW) to conduct three core activities:
1. Applied research for wildlife conservation management: to determine and monitor bat population trends, assess species threats and provide conservation recommendations; as well as a number of smaller student projects to facilitate and inform long-term conservation management of bat populations and their habitats. Project results are used to update IUCN species status reports and assist Government in long-term population monitoring and management.
2. Education and awareness of bats and biodiversity and related issues through comprehensive community based education programmes, human-wildlife conflict outreach in collaboration with LWT and their Eco-schools programme.
3. Capacity building to increase project effectiveness and long-term success by building capacity in ecological research, biodiversity monitoring and management for DNPW through training courses, attachment programmes and postgraduate research projects at MSc and PhD level.
African Bat Conservation conducts research on bats and insects out of our field research center based in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve in Northern Malawi. We are currently recruiting for a research assistant based at our research center in Vwaza to conduct field research in partnership with our community outreach workers under the supervision of Dr Emma Stone and our Research Manager, Matt Town.
Person Specification Summary:
We are looking for someone with:
Inspirational Leadership skills: You will need to be a great leader, able to inspire and motivate the team.
Organisational skills: We are looking for someone who is highly organised and practical, with an eye for detail.
Management skills: you must have excellent interpersonal and management skills.
Maturity is a must, as well as the ability to work maintain the motivation and research output despite the many daily challenges of working in Malawi.
The position is based in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve, and requires field work at night and in the day. Therefore you will need to be willing to work in the field at night, out of hours. This post offers an excellent opportunity for career development for a researcher who is interested in applied conservation biology, bats and human-wildlife conflict.
The post-holder will:
Work under the supervision of Matt Town and alongside our ABC Community Outreach team
Lead the team and project on behalf of Matt during holidays or when required
Conduct field work at night and in the day including:
I. bat harp trapping and mist netting
II. bat acoustic surveys (AnaBat and SM3 detectors)
III. roost surveys (internal, external and emergence counts)
IV. community site visits and outreach, to educate communities regarding bat conservation and management and install/advise regarding conflict mitigation
V. tagging and radio tracking bats (when required at certain times of year)
VI. vegetation surveys
VII. Insect surveys using light traps
VIII. Insect sampling and pinning
IX. and any other field work as required
May be required to conduct acoustic analysis of bat calls using AnalookW and song scope
Maintain, summarise and store data in a specifically designed Microsoft Access database
Create and edit habitat and roost maps in ArcGIS
Manage volunteers and volunteer schedules
Attend and contribute to project meetings
Be flexible in the hours worked to fluctuating demand
Work closely and co-operatively with other team members and partner organisations
Fulfil all administrative requirements on time and accurately
Maintain accurate records of work activities and data entry
Contribute to project reports, newsletters, bulletins etc as required
Timing: This is an 8 month position commencing asap extendable to 1 year.
Hours: Full time flexible working hours, on average 6 days per week, with night work.
Location: The position is located in Vwaza Marsh Wildlife Reserve with some time spent at our other field sites during survey
The post holder will get the opportunity to train and work with our field teams in our field sites in our field research camps in Lake Malawi, Kasungu, and Nyika National Parks.
Accommodation: The post holder will be based at the ABC research camp in a shared Safari tent with a bed and mattress.
Costs and contract conditions: ABC will cover all work related accommodation and travel costs including airport transfers. The post-holder will be required to cover flights, food, visas, insurance and vaccinations.
BSc in conservation biology, ecology, zoology, biology or related field
Experience of working and living in field based environments, preferably in Africa
Experience of field research, particularly with bats
A confident communicator who is able to relate well to people from diverse backgrounds and cultures
Experience of working with volunteers from diverse backgrounds and ages
Proven experience of working co-operatively as part of a team
Enthusiasm and self motivation for working on applied conservation research
Maturity, and a positive mental attitude, resilient, ability to muck in and get on with it
Ability to work independently under minimal supervision
Experience of data collection under minimal supervision
Hard work ethic, flexible and conscientious approach
Driving licence for manual car
MSc or PhD in ecology, zoology, biology
Experienced in harp trapping and mist netting bats
Experience in dealing with human wildlife conflict
Experience of off road driving with 4x4
Experience of managing own workload and taking responsibility for projects
Experience of ArcGIS mapping, digitising and home range analysis
To apply please send a completed application form and covering letter (outlining why you think you would be suitable for the post) and a CV if you wish, to Oliver Gilkes, Programmes Manager firstname.lastname@example.org
Further project information can be found at: www.africanbatconservation.org