Tag Archives: Zoo

Research Assistant – University of St Andrews

What were your main roles and responsibilities during the course of your internship?

My role was to assist primarily with the data collection aspect on a project studying working memory in New World monkeys. Every day I tested brown capuchin monkeys on their ability to remember the location of food items in the specialist research facility at Edinburgh Zoo. I also assisted with reliability coding of data already collected for different projects and collected long term, observational data on chimpanzees.

What would you say was your biggest achievement over the course of your internship?

I learnt how to work with capuchin monkeys in close proximity and conduct experimental, cognitive research with them. This is an extremely valuable skill for me and is a very rare opportunity to have. It will aid me immensely with a future career and further education in the field of primate research.

What benefits did your internship bring to your employer?

As I was responsible for the data collection on this project, this allowed the principle investigator (PI) to have more time to carry out other tasks he would otherwise not have had the time to complete. My presence was also beneficial when the PI was unable to carry out data collection himself due to time away from the research site. I also spent a lot of time entering data on another project which no one had time to do before I joined.

What skills were you able to develop through the internship?

Assessing and managing risk, IT, research

What attributes were you able to develop through the internship?

Confidence, initiative, perseverance