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  • Bird bander with molecular genetic lab experience sought for avian disease dynamics study in Hawaii

    Eben Paxton
    • Employer: USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center
      Location: Hawaii Island, Hawaii
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 09/29/2023
      Open Until Filled: No

    Bird bander with molecular genetic lab experience sought for avian disease dynamics study in Hawaii. Avian malaria is driving multiple species of Hawaiian forest birds toward extinction and research is needed to understand how birds are affected by the parasite and how the birds are evolving in response. This study seeks to understand the effects of malaria on survival in the Hawaii Amakihi using a mark-recapture approach and evaluating the influence of multiple factors including condition, physiology, genomics, and gut microbiomes. A key goal is to develop strategies for managing disease in wild populations of Hawaiian honeycreepers to prevent extinction. This is a unique opportunity to work in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, contributing to a multi-disciplinary study focused on gathering information important for the conservation of Hawaiian forest birds. Work will include operating mist nets to capture and band Hawaiian forest birds; sampling blood, microbiomes, and other biological material; mosquito trapping; and molecular genetic lab work including DNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, and library prep for genomic sequencing. Experience mist netting for passerines required and experience with genetic lab work or equivalent strongly desired. We are looking for one person with the relevant skills willing to commit to a 6-month period, tentatively scheduled from early November 2023 through April 2024. This is a volunteer position with $1040/month compensation + housing provided at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.  To apply, please send a single PDF including a brief cover letter (1-2 pages) highlighting relevant experience and interests, a resume, and the name, address, phone number, and email address of at least 3 references to Eben Paxton, USGS Pacific Island Ecosystems Research Center, epaxton@usgs.gov. 

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