Volunteer field assistant(s) with nest searching experience, Melbourne, SE Australia, Sep-Dec 2019
We are looking for a volunteer field assistant to assist with research on social behaviour and heat stress in superb fairy-wrens (Malurus cyaneus). The birds are cooperatively breeding small songbirds, with a lovely character and stunning blue-and-black plumage in males. Our study population is located in Lysterfield Park, Melbourne, Australia, an easy to reach wonderful wild spot with plenty of mammals and birds. Fieldwork will take place during September-December, when most of the birds are breeding. We are seeking a volunteer field assistant to help monitor superb fairy-wren territories in a 5 km square area. Work will involve nest searching, monitoring all breeding attempts, re-sighting colour-banded birds, assisting in field experiments, mist netting and data entry. The field site is located 25 minutes drive from Monash University, Clayton, Melbourne, where the research group is based. This position will allow to develop relevant experience for those wishing to do a PhD or MSc in future.
Volunteer field assistants must be flexible and willing to work long days – we will have 1.5 (1-2) days per week off, but timing may vary depending on weather conditions and breeding activity. Furthermore, field assistants must have full colour-vision, be physically fit, have good interpersonal skills, and be able to work as part of a team and independently in the field. Birds build small, well-hidden, domed nests in vegetation, so previous experience with nest searching under such conditions is essential; experience with bird banding, colour-band re-sighting or behavioural observations is a bonus.
Fieldwork will start in early September 2019 (dates are somewhat flexible) and run for ~4 months. The cost of accommodation and local transport will be covered; (international) flights to and from Melbourne will be partially covered, or for highly experienced candidates may be fully covered. Applications from experienced couples that can share accommodation will also be considered. For local candidates, or those not requiring flights or accommodation, the equivalent remuneration will be offered. For further information and to apply, please send a CV, cover letter and contacts for at least two references that are familiar with your nest searching experience to Anne Peters: firstname.lastname@example.org. Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and we aim to fill the position by 31 May.
To check the sort of research we do check https://sites.google.com/site/petersresearchgroup/ and http://monash.edu/science-stories/story/follow-the-birds/