Research in the heart of the Amazon

We offer the opportunity to conduct research at amaZOOnico, where animals are rehabilitated, or at Selva Viva, the protected forest where animals are released.

Our Research Priorities


  • Development of effective enrichment protocols

  • Prevalence and ecology of parasites

  • Assessment of our environmental education efforts

  • Behavioral assessment of animals living in captivity and assisted freedom

  • Innovative ways of using renewable energies and sustainable materials for the benefit of the center

  • Rehabilitation for release of lowland tapirs and yellow bellied spider monkeys

Selva Viva

  • Abundance, distribution, and habitat use of terrestrial and arboreal mammals

  • Ecology and/or ethology of free living primates

  • Evaluation of forest resource availability for different wildlife species e.g. tapirs, primates, peccaries

  • Evaluation of innovative techniques to detect hunting in the reserve (drones, smartphone monitoring systems, automated recording of sound and/or mage, etc)

  • Seed dispersal potential and effects of gut passage on the germination of seeds ingested by wildlife

  • Effects of the road on wildlife presence, movement, and survival

What are other Researchers Studying?


"The main objectives of my thesis are to contribute to the rehabilitation process of spider monkeys by teaching the monkeys how to behave like wild monkeys and to help them become included in the group and interact with each other. This will be done through the use of environmental enrichment systems"


"The main objectives of my research is to improve the diet in the rehabilitation process of the spider monkeys, contribute to the knowledge about the diet of reintroduced spider monkeys, and this way give them a bigger chance of successful reintroduction in the wild..."


  • Proficiency in English or Spanish

  • Fee of $600 per 4 weeks

  • Have or be working towards an undergraduate or graduate degree

  • Able to withstand environmental conditions of the Amazon Rainforest

  • Cover own travel expenses to and from our field sites

  • Non-residents of Ecuador must be able to obtain an Ecuadorian temporary resident visa if research project will last more than 90 days

How to Apply?

Click "Apply as Researcher", then fill out the form and submit it.

Before completing the form, make sure you have the following documents ready:

  • CV (3 pages maximum)

  • Motivation letter

  • Brief information about your project (title, abstract, objectives, importance, methods)

  • Contact information for two references

Please direct any questions regarding potential research to amaZOOnico's chief scientist, Dr. Scott Ford:

Follow our Nature Sightings!

Our forest guards ensure that Selva Viva remains free of illegal hunting, poaching or logging. Every day, our forest guards walk the forest recording all signs of wildlife. You can see their recordings on the iNaturalist platform below!