We are seeking for an MSc student for a 5 to 7 months internship on human-reindeer relationship. The project aims to investigate how familiarity between the reindeer and the herder affects their working relationship. In addition, we also wish to study the abilities of reindeer to understand human cues and to cooperate with humans. Furthermore, we would investigate how individual reindeer differ in their behaviour towards their herders or unknown people. A set of 4 experiments will be run in Lapland next winter with trained sleigh reindeer.
The student will participate in the experiments and be asked to analyse the videos from these experiments using the BORIS observational software, then will conduct bibliographic research and statistical analyses on R to produce a scientific report.
Profile seeking: We are seeking for a student completing a MSc degree in behavioural ecology or ethology with interest for human animal relationship. It is necessary to be able to work with reindeer without fear, and to be able to work in a cold environment (-20 C) with almost constant night for at least 15 days. Good English communication skills are required as the working team is international, and the manuscript should be written in English so all the supervisors can comment and read it. Some basic knowledge of statistical analyses and R programming would be appreciated.
Place and conditions of the internship: The internship will take place at the University of Turku, FINLAND. The fieldwork expenses are covered (15 days accommodation and travel to Lapland) but there is no other financial help provided from our research group during your staying in Finland. You can ask for Erasmus grants and mobility grants (see the modalities with your own university).
The team and the supervision support: The student will be supervised by Océane LIEHRMANN with the support of her supervisor prof. Virpi LUMMAA (Team Leader) and PhD Martin Seltmann (researcher on animal personality and stress). Océane is based at the University of Turku in Finland where she is working within the Lummaa group doing her Ph.D. on the behavioural processes involved in human-animal relationship.
Please, send a CV and a cover letter (1 page max) before the Deadline 17th of October 2021. Interviews will be held the following week.
Selected applicant will gain experience in the field of behavioural research, as well as running experiments with big mammals and work in a highly dynamic international research environment. A unique opportunity!
Contact: Ph.D. candidate Océane Liehrmann, oceane.liehrmann@utu.fi, Lummaa group, Department of biology, University of Turku (FINLAND).

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