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The Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (IZW) in Berlin is Germany’s premier wildlife research institute, one of eight research institutes in the Forschungsverbund Berlin e. V., a member of the Leibniz Association and jointly funded by the German federal and state governments. The IZW focuses on the life histories and mechanisms of evolutionary adaptations of mammals and birds, their limits and their conservation in natural and anthropogenically influenced environments. The institute operates within the fields of evolutionary ecology, ecological dynamics, evolutionary genetics, wildlife diseases, reproduction biology and reproduction management. 

Within the Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Wildlife Diseases and Department of Ecological Dynamics department we offer a

position for a student assistant starting 01.01.2022.

Project title: Parasite infections in free-ranging carnivores

Research group and address: Department of Evolutionary Ecology, Department of Wildlife Diseases and Department of Ecological Dynamics, Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research (Leibniz-IZW), Alfred-Kowalke-Straße 17, 10315, Berlin, Germany

Supervisors: Dr Bettina Wachter, Dr Gábor Czirják, Prof Heribert Hofer, Dr Sarah Benhaiem, Dr Marion East

Contact for further information:

Susana Soares, PhD student (spotted hyenas): and Sarah Bala, PhD student (cheetahs):

Time schedule:

The post offers a position for of student assistant for 40h/month from 1st of January 2022 to 31st of December 2023.

Project description:

The post of student assistant will be based at the Leibniz-IZW, Alfred-Kowalke-Str. 17, 10315 Berlin. The research will focus on key factors influencing parasite infections in wild carnivores and will contribute to on-going long-term research on:

  • Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) on commercial farmland in Namibia
  • Spotted hyenas (Crocuta crocuta) in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania

We are looking for a reliable and motivated student to support laboratory work for these projects. The successful applicant will assist with immunological, physiological and parasitological analyses of samples from both projects, such as parasite egg counts in faeces, screening blood smears for parasites, conducting differential white blood cell counts, isolating peripheral blood mononuclear cells, running enzyme immune assays and conducting PCRs.

We offer state-of-the-art methodology and a stimulating research environment. The post provides the opportunity to: (i) learn advanced immunological methods and assist in validating and troubleshooting these methods; (ii) learn how to manage large sample banks and gain insights into the design and organisation of large datasets and; (iii) obtain practical skills in handling sensitive biological samples. The successful applicant will work in a multi-disciplinary team of experienced and dedicated scientists, students and technicians.

As member of the Leibniz Association, the Leibniz-IZW is an equal opportunity employer, determined to increase the proportion of women in successful scientific careers and particularly encourages women to apply. Preference will be given to disabled applicants with the same qualifications.

We welcome applications, regardless of gender, origin, sexual orientation and religion; all applicants have equal opportunities. Disabled persons are given preferential consideration if they are equally qualified.

For enquiries or further questions please contact Dr.Bettina Wachter (Leibniz IZW) via email:


Registration at a German university at a faculty of biology or similar. Applicants are expected to be highly motivated, reliable and organized, and to have a good knowledge of English as well as an interest in parasitology, eco-immunology, evolution, ecology and life-history theory.

Please upload complete application with a motivation letter, CV, latest marks and one reference contact until the 31th of October 2021 at the latest via the IZW’s ( online job-application facility (button “Apply online”).

We are looking forward to your application!