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Manakin Hybridization Ecology Field Assistant


University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign


Bocas del Toro, Panama



Last Date to Apply:

15 Dec 2017
Open until filled


Start Date: ~ February 7, 2018
End Date: ~ June 15, 2018


Field assistants wanted to assist graduate student with field activities and data collection on manakin hybridization in Bocas del Toro, Panama. We are investigating the effects of natural selection and sexual selection on a unique hybrid zone between the white-collared manakin (Manacus candei) and the golden-collared manakin (Manacus vitellinus). We will be investigating behavioral, ecological, and genetic differences between the hybrid and parental species.


Activities will include:
-Mistnetting and banding
-Bleeding birds for genetic analysis
-Nest searching and monitoring
-Monitoring of courtship behaviors on leks
-Resighting color banded birds
-Radio telemetry on females and fledglings


Housing and required transportation within Panama will be provided. Assistants will receive a monthly stipend of $400-$500 a month depending on funding. Assistants will have flights to and from Panama covered up to around $600. Applicants from Panama are encouraged to apply along with applicants from North, Central, or South America. Crew of about 4 people will live closely in a field house located in the center of the hybrid zone. Field house has wifi and air conditioning. Applicants with a sense of humor and respectful household habits will have a great time working hard and relaxing with a small crew. This is a great opportunity to work in the tropics in an area rich with avifauna and crew trips to the mountains or local islands can (and should) be arranged.




Applicants should have the ability to work long hours in hot and humid conditions. Mandatory skills and experience in mistnetting and banding. Preferred skills/experience in nest searching. Previous experience with radio telemetry with birds highly preferred. Spanish language skills are helpful and highly preferred. Ability to drive a vehicle with manual transmission preferred.


To apply, send a single pdf document containing 1) cover letter 2) resume 3) contact information for 3 references to Kira Long at kira2 AT illinois.edu. Please use the subject line “Manakin Ecology Field Assistant application.”


Contact Person: Kira Long
Contact email: kira2 AT illinois.edu