Internships Primate Communication Peru

Research Assistantship

Research Training Programs in Peru

Discover the biodiversity of the Peruvian Amazon and acquire valuable expertise in the field of primate communication. You will be researching and analysing the phonology of various species of tamarin. You will have experienced scientists by your side to pass on valuable expertise in the fields of telemetry, animal identification, recording calls, sampling and data analysis. You will explore the Peruvian jungle at first hand on full-day and half-day hikes, and benefit from a unique education at the heart of one of the most biodiverse regions on the planet.

Peru’s natural environment is renowned for being diverse and untouched. It is home to a large number of rare and endemic mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insect species. The country’s combination of rainforest and mountain areas makes Peru a unique destination. The Andes are the longest mountain chain in the world and stretch from the north of the country to the south along the Pacific coast before hitting the Amazon River to the east. Travellers and hiking enthusiasts can see a variety of different natural environments in a relatively short space of time.

    Services Our Services


    • Placement in the internship
    • All meals during the internship
    • Assistance with travel arrangements
    • Course-related equipment
    • Assistance with selecting travel insurance
    • Lectures
    • Assistance with booking flights
    • Excursions
    • Pre-departure information pack
    • English-speaking support by long-term experienced staff
    • Airport pick up and drop off
    • Certificate
    • Accommodation during the internship
    • 24/7 support throughout the project

    Not included

    • Flight to/from Puerto Maldonado
    • Meals in Puerto Maldonado
    • Travel insurance
    • Personal expenses and optional excursions
    • Visa fees


    Start DateDurationCostNATUCATE-ID I.PER-002
    6 Weeks 2.725 €

    The prices stated in euros are approximate values. Due to sharp fluctuations in the exchange rate of the Dollar, all prices will be calculated at the time of enquiry.



    All participants are to be at least 18 years of age upon commencement of the programme in addition to them having a good command of the English language. Previous practical experience or research experience is not a requirement but it is an advantage. What is more important is a strong interest in the fields of zoology, biology and anthropology in addition to flexibility, endurance and the readiness to start the day off in the early hours of the morning. The participants should also not be afraid of working in a jungle and the handling of insects and reptiles. As the daily work within the programme is quite strenuous, such as long hikes through the rainforest, all participants need to be adequately fit. Another condition for participating in the programme is the submission of a cover letter describing your motivation for taking part as well as two letters of recommendation. Furthermore we require your CV/résumé and conduct an application interview with you (in English).

    Primate Communication in Peru

    After arriving at Puerto Maldonado International Airport, you will be collected by a member of staff and will be spending the first night in a hostel in the city. On the next day, you continue your journey to the Los Amigos research station that is located at the foot of the Southern Andes in the Amazon rainforest.

    This course concerns itself with an exact study of the signalling system of emperor tamarins and brown-mantled tamarins. This signalling system provides information on the age, sex and sexual maturity of the transmitting animal and can play a fundamental role when it comes to identifying sexual partners and the geographic distribution. In this course, these signalling sounds are compiled in catalogue form in order to test whether it is possible to identify the calls from potential sexual partners. Furthermore, data on the morphology of the scent glands and the marking behaviour of adult animals are collected, these representing other important forms of communication under primates. The participants follow selected primate groups during whole-day and half-day tours, they hereby recording context-related signalling sounds in addition to non-verbal forms of communication.


    Everybody interested in internships abroad should be able to adjust to entirely unfamiliar standards of living in their future host country. Therefore, we would like to point out the importance of being flexible and adaptable regarding the accommodation and sanitary facilities provided by the project. Those are very basic and – depending on the project – cannot be compared to European standards. The equipment and furnishings are limited to a minimum; air conditioning is not available. Depending on your host country occasional power blackouts or water outages are quite common. Please contact us if you have further questions about your accommodation. We are pleased to provide you with comprehensive information since we would like you to feel entirely prepared for your time abroad.


    Those who complete this course will be able to:

    • Comfortably and safely work and move on and off trail systems
    • Conduct half and full-day follows of these miniature primates
    • Learn to identify primates based on individual identification markers
    • Track primates by movement and vocalizations.
    • Become well-versed in scan and focal animal behavior sampling protocols
    • Use radio telemetry systems
    • Operate highpitch audio recording systems
    • Operate audio analyzing software
    • Learn how to collate data collected into a usable database for further analyses
    • Record data ad libitum on several unique behaviors such as mating, aggression, competition and grooming
    • Identify life-stages of the tamarins, and specific behaviors particular to those time stages
    • Learn to collect non-invasive biological samples and store them while under challenging field conditions
    • Process each sample for a variety of uses – genetics, parasite screening, and hormone profiles.
    • Learn how to set up a laboratory in the jungle, where things are quite different than your average city laboratory


    Your Accommodation

    The research station will be your home during the programme. Los Amigos houses a laboratory, a classroom, a library, a dining room and two dormitories, where the programme participants are accommodated. The dormitories have bunk beds and shared bathrooms.

    You will be provided with breakfast, lunch and dinner during your stay in the research station and snacks are also available during your meals. The food supply is relatively balanced, even if fresh vegetables are not always available. Please inform us in advance should you have any special dietary needs (e.g. purely vegetarian meals). It is also possible that you will be staying one night in Puerto Maldonado after you have left the research station. During this stay in the hostel, you will be provided with breakfast but you will have to obtain your lunch and dinner yourself. A good and satisfying meal can be obtained for just a few euros.

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