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  • URGENT: Field assistant(s) required for zebra finch breeding season for 2.5 months in the Australian outback

    Guest Mylene Mariette
    • Employer: Deakin University
      Location: Gammon Ranges National Park
      Country: Australia
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    URGENT: Field assistant(s) required for zebra finch breeding season for 2.5 months in the Australian outback

    We study avian heat adaptation and prenatal acoustic communication. Zebra finch parents produce a special call when it is hot during incubation, which prepares their young for hot weather (video of our original paper: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDg67kUPAcc ).

    Field site: Vulkathunha-Gammon Ranges National Park, North of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia. This is a beautiful part of the Australian outback, with unique wildlife. Check the Arkaroola’s and National Park’s websites for more information.

    Field assistant position & profile: The field assistant will be part of a small team of 3 or 4 people from Deakin University (Geelong, Australia) and Doñana Biological Station (Seville, Spain). Teamwork, communication skills, reliability and good work ethics are essential.  

    This is a great learning opportunity, as the assistant will take part in all research tasks, including breeding monitoring; audio and video recording; bird capture; morphological measurements; blood sampling and processing; behavioural observation of colour-banded individuals with binocular/telescope; data entry and processing, video viewing; etc. Prior experience is appreciated, but not essential, since the assistant will receive training for all tasks. Good organisational and reporting skills will be needed, as well as dexterity to handle small eggs and chicks.  

    We will have a short, but intense field season, from mid-October to before Christmas. The assistant will be required to work 6 days a week, for long days, including under high-heat conditions. Good physical health, enthusiasm and positive attitude – even in hot conditions – are essential.

    We will be in a very remote location, with extremely limited phone and internet connection. The field assistants must be happy to live with a small group of (nice) people, disconnected from the “modern world”. We will do our best to provide them with daily entertainment while we work! 😉 English, French, Spanish or Frenglish lessons will also be available…

    Travel to Australia will not be covered. Within Australia, the assistant can travel to the field with us (at no cost) from Geelong, or meet us in Leigh Creek (SA) if easier. Remuneration will be available depending on experience, and accommodation at the field station will be covered by the project.

    Applicants from Australia and New Zealand are preferred due to visa requirements for paid positions. If from abroad, please check you are able to travel to (and work in) Australia before applying.

    To apply: please send a CV and cover letter, including interests and previous experience, contact for (or letter from) two references, and confirmation of dates of availability (~ 10 October to ~ 21 December) to Mylene Mariette: m.mariette@deakin.edu.au . Please feel free to contact me with any question. If you would consider applying as a volunteer instead, don’t hesitate to get in touch to discuss. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

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