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  • Volunteer field assistants for a study on the behavioral ecology of Variegated fairy-wrens

    Guest Colleen
    • Employer: Cornell University, Durham University and Cambridge University
      Location: Brisbane, QLD
      Country: Australia
      Last Date to Apply: No value
      Open Until Filled: Yes

    VOLUNTEER FIELD ASSISTANTS NEEDED (3-4) – Behavioral ecology of Variegated fairy-wrens - Location: Brisbane, QLD, Australia. Duration: 4 months.

    Job Type: Volunteer. Number of Openings: 3-4

    Description: Volunteer field assistants are needed from ~ Aug 8, 2022 – Dec 8, 2022 (dates are flexible) for a field study of the variegated fairy-wren (Malurus lamberti) and other fairywren species in Queensland, Australia. Research focuses on cooperative breeding, maternal investment, and brood parasitism, and will continue a long-term monitoring project, and conducting behavioral studies managed by graduate students from Cornell University, Durham University and Cambridge University (additional information at www.nbb.cornell.edu/neurobio/websterlab/index.html and http://www.williamefeeney.com).  

    Research focuses on the role cooperative breeding and environmental conditions play in maternal investment strategies. Field assistants will be expected to assist in locating and monitoring nests, observing social behavior, mapping territories, data entry and capturing, bleeding and banding the three local species of fairy-wrens. Previous experience with field research on birds, including mist-netting and bleeding passerines, is preferred but not required.

    During the early portion of the season temperatures range from 30- 65F (-1-18C). Later in the season (late Nov./early Dec) temperatures are much warmer and have reached over 100F (38C). Applicants must be friendly, able to hike rough areas off-trail, willing to stay hydrated, and most importantly maintain a positive and energetic attitude despite long hours. Work schedules and duties will vary, so flexibility is a must, though we generally work six days a week for about 8 hours a day.

    Opportunities to help out with and advise on these projects will be available if desired. Many assistants have publications from independent projects they designed or assisted on in the field (e.g. see Feeney et al. 2018; Poje et al. 2019; Richardson et al. 2019; Carr et al. 2019).

    Assistants will enjoy fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities (Wallabies, platypus, koalas, kookaburra, etc.), proximity to Queensland rainforest and the surrounding area of Brisbane. Check out our instagram: samsonvalebirdproject, to see what we get up to. Food and housing will be provided; however, assistants will need to provide their own airfare to and from Australia. Applications will be accepted until all positions are filled and interviews will likely begin around early April.

    Please Note: Australia requires all persons coming into Australia be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 or meet exemption requirements. (See these links for more information, https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/covid19/# and https://www.qld.gov.au/health/conditions/health-alerts/coronavirus-covid-19/current-status/public-health-directions/travelling-to-queensland)

    To apply, please send a cover letter detailing interests and previous experience as well as dates of availability, CV/Resume, and a list of 3 references to the Cornell/Cambridge Fairy-wren Research Team (EM: cornellfairywrens AT gmail.com). Please feel free to enquire with any questions pertinent to the application process or about the project in general.

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