Agency: University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Location: Bocas del Toro, Panama
Job Category: Temporary/Seasonal Positions
Salary: monthly stipend + housing + transportation (To/from Panama and within Panama)
Start Date: ~ February 2020
End Date: ~ June 2020
Last Date to Apply: December 1st, 2019
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). These manakins are small, colorful, frugivorous birds that form leks, communal breeding grounds, where males perform complex displays for visiting females. We will be investigating behavioral, ecological, and genetic differences between the hybrid and parental species in multiple leks across the Bocas del Toro province.
Duties will include:
-Mistnetting and banding
-Brachial bleeding birds for genetic analysis
-Nest searching, monitoring, and egg candling
-Monitoring of courtship behaviors on leks
-Resighting color banded birds
-Radio telemetry on females and fledglings
-Filming display courts and video analysis
Housing and required transportation within Panama will be provided. Assistants will receive a monthly stipend of $300-$400 a month depending on funding. Assistants will have flights to and from Panama covered. Applicants from Panama and applicants with US passports are encouraged to apply. Crew of about 3 people will live closely in a field house located in the center of the hybrid zone. We work 6 days a week for nearly the entire 5 months. Field house has wifi and air conditioning. The birds are beautiful but the conditions are very hot, very humid, very steep, and very buggy. We spend a lot of time driving as we sample all over the hybrid zone, so expect 1-3 hours of driving per day on a normal work day. The roads are very hilly and with sharp curves. 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.
Mandatory Qualifications: Applicants must have the ability to work long hours in hot and humid conditions 6 days a week. Applicants must be able to see the full spectrum of colors to record color bands. Applicants must have experience in mistnetting, especially extracting and setting up mistnets. Spanish and English language skills will be majorly preferred and a priority. Applicants must know how to drive and have a valid US license.
Preferred skills: Experience in nest searching. Previous experience with radio telemetry. Previous experience resighting color bands. Ability to drive a vehicle with manual transmission preferred. Previous experience either abroad or specifically in the tropics. It is preferred that applicants have a US passport as this makes visas easier to receive on time.
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