The Chair of International Agricultural Economics offers the opportunity for a Master student in Agricultural Economics or related fields to write a master´s thesis on the socio-economic factors influencing biodiversity enrichment in oil palm plantations. The student will be affiliated to the scientific project CRC 990: Ecological and socioeconomic functions of tropical lowland rainforest transformation systems (Sumatra, Indonesia).
The transformation of natural rainforest into large-scale mono-cultural oil palm plantations has led to dramatic losses in biodiversity and in ecological functioning. In many landscapes natural vegetation has been almost entirely converted to oil palm. The ecological and economic processes that may hamper or facilitate re-establishment of diverse habitats are largely unknown. Therefore, the student will examine the socio-economic constraints associated with enrichment plantings based on primary data collection in Jambi province (Sumatra, Indonesia) in Summer 2012 (up to three months field research). The survey will comprise 120 households and collect information on the current use of tree species in oil palm plantations and home gardens and factors that influence current use of fruit and native tree species. The survey instrument will further include a choice experiment to assess farmers’ willingness to enrich their oil palm plantations with tree plantings.
• hold a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Economics or related fields
• have proven interest in quantitative research methods and primary data collection • are able to work under field conditions in the tropics
• are proficient in English
Travel costs, accommodation in Indonesia and field research expenses (translator, transport in the field) will be covered by the project. Data collection will be in close collaboration with a PhD project on incentives for more sustainable land use options in the same research region.
Please send your application containing a cover letter, a curriculum vitae and academic certificates to Miriam Vorlaufer (mvorlau (at) gwdg (point) de,
Applications are accepted until the position is filled.