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PhD Research Project: Using threatened, endemic & habitat specialist birds to prioritise conservation action for highland grasslands

5 Oct 2012 - 15:45

Provisional title: Using threatened, endemic & habitat specialist birds to prioritise conservation action for highland grasslands

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Closing date: 09 November 2012

Department: Department of Zoology and Entomology, University of Pretoria
Project level: PhD (or possibly adjusted to MSc) 
Supervision: Prof. Andrew McKechnie (UP & DST/NRF Centre of Excellence at the Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology), Prof. Ray Jansen (TUT) & Dr Ian Little (EWT) 
Qualification requirement: MSc in the biological or natural sciences (or BSc Honours if applying for MSc). 
Bursary: The anticipated running costs and annual bursary (PhD R100 000; MSc R75 000) will be supported in full by the DST/NRF CoE at the PFIAO. Subject to normal application procedures.

Competencies required

  • Understanding of ecological systems and ecological theory;
  • Previously published publication record will be advantageous;
  • Familiarity with grassland birds and bird identification skills will be advantageous;
  • Must be willing to spend extended periods of time in the field with considerable travelling;
  • Must be fit and willing to walk long distances in trying terrain;
  • Must illustrate strong statistical skill set;
  • Proficiency in all Microsoft Office programmes.
  • A working knowledge of spatial analysis (GIS) will be prioritised;
  • Valid SA drivers license, and suitable driving experience;
  • Ability to work both as a team member and independently;
  • High degree of self-motivation, discipline, proactivity, good administrative skills and good organisation skills are required.

This project will be based in the moist highland grasslands of South Africa and will require extensive travel throughout this biome including central Mpumalanga, the north eastern Free State, western KwaZulu-Natal and the northern Eastern Cape.

To apply please e-mail your CV, contact details for at least two referees and a detailed motivation letter to Dr Ian Tchagra Little ianl@ewt.org.za and/or Prof. Andrew McKechnie aemckechnie@zoology.up.ac.za. Applicants who have not been contacted within 14 days of the closing date must assume that their applications were not successful.

All applications will be treated in the strictest confidence.