Jump to content

Welcome back, Guest

You can post a job without signing in, but signing in has the following benefits:

  • See a list of jobs you've posted
  • Edit jobs you've posted
  • Sign up for email notifications of new jobs.
  • Enjoy all the other benefits of membership

To gain full access to the site, join one of our supporting ornithological organizations . For more information, see our Membership FAQ.

Post a Job
It's easy!


Why is this job posted here?

The Ornithology Exchange features content posted by our members. In some cases announcements have been re-posted from other websites.


Need help, have a question, see something on this job announcement needs to be corrected, or want to have this job removed immediately? Create a support request in our Job Board Support Forum

VOLUNTEER FIELD ASSISTANTS: behavioral ecology of lance-tailed manakins in Panama


Florida State University


Isla Boca Brava, Chiriqui, Panama



Last Date to Apply:

04 Dec 2017
Open until filled


1-2 positions are available 15 Feb to 15 Jun 2018 for an ongoing behavioral study of female mate choice and male display behavior in lance-tailed manakins (Chiroxiphia lanceolata) in Panama. Females of this small, lekking bird “shop” among males that display in cooperative pairs on dispersed display territories. Successful applicants will be involved in work investigating how male experience affects display performance and cooperative behavior, why dominant males tolerate subordinate cooperators, and how indirect genetic benefits affect female mate choice and maternal investment. Responsibilities include resighting color-banded birds, conducting many hour-long behavioral observations at display sites, daily maintenance of a video detection system, nest-searching through dense secondary-growth dry tropical forest, and mistnetting birds for banding and blood sampling, as well as data entry and organizational tasks. Experience in one or more of these areas is strongly preferred. Applicants should have a very strong interest in animal behavior, birds, and field biology. The full field crew includes 4-5 adults and one five-year-old (!) who will live and work on a remote island off of Panama's Pacific coast and share housing with close quarters. The site may have limited internet access and cell phone reception: experience working in isolated field settings and/or shared living situations with little privacy is highly desirable.


Applicants should be enthusiastic, physically fit, and emotionally grounded. Expect to work long days (6am-6pm six days a week), be woken at 4 am by howler monkeys on a regular basis, and see some amazing bird behavior. A sense of humor, ability to work independently, and willingness to accommodate unpredictable changes is especially important (you saw that the research team includes a 5-year-old child, right?). Conversational Spanish ability is strongly preferred for this position. Assistants are also required to complete online animal care and use training shortly after being hired.


Food, housing, and required transportation within Panama will be provided, as well as a $500 honorarium upon completion of the field season to help defray costs of health insurance and personal purchases. Assistants will be reimbursed for round-trip airfare to Panama City, Panama (up to $750) upon completion of the field season, and will need to provide their own snake gaiters. Food, housing, and required transportation within Panama will be provided. For more information on the research, see (URL: http://www.bio.fsu.edu/duval/). Ongoing outreach efforts associated with this work include a live-streaming webcam of manakin activity run in collaboration with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and archived footage from last year can be viewed here: http://cams.allabout...tailed_Manakin/ .


Panamanian citizens are encouraged to apply, and assistants not requiring airfare to reach the Republic of Panama would receive a modestly increased personal honorarium.


To apply, send: 1) coverletter explaining your motivation and suitability to work on this project, 2) resume, and 3) email and phone numbers of three references familiar with your field skills, personality, and motivation to: DR. EMILY DUVAL and ELLIOT SCHUNKE, Florida State University Department of Biological Science, (EM: elliot.schunke AT gmail.com). Please use the subject line “Lance-tailed Manakin field assistant application.” Review of applications will continue until positions are filled.