Volunteer field assistants are needed from ~ May 10, 2018 - Aug 20, 2018 (dates are flexible) for a study of the social and non-breeding behavior and the evolution of sexual signals in the red-backed fairy-wren in Queensland, Australia. Research will focus on continuing a long-term monitoring project and conducting behavioral studies managed by graduate students from Tulane University and Cornell University (additional information at http://karubian.tulane.edu and www.nbb.cornell.edu/neurobio/websterlab/index.html and www.josephwelklin.com).
Research focuses on the role social environment plays in sexual selection through studies of social interactions, circulating carotenoids, and plumage phenotype. Field assistants will be expected to assist in monitoring social behavior including aggressive and courtship behavior, capturing, bleeding and banding red-backed fairy-wrens, mapping territories, and data entry. Previous experience with mist-netting and bleeding passerines is preferred but not required.
Mornings can be cold (high 30's Fahrenheit), and depending on the year, ticks may be quite common, but sun is plentiful and afternoons are quite pleasant, often peaking around 60-70 degrees Fahrenheit. Applicants must be friendly, able to hike rough areas off-trail, be 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, 8-10 hours a day.
Accommodation is shared with six undergraduate students from Cornell, Tulane, and William and Mary who will be conducting independent research projects on the fairy-wrens. Opportunities to help out with and advise on these projects will be available if desired.
Assistants will enjoy fantastic wildlife viewing opportunities (Wallabies, platypus, koalas, kookaburra, etc.), proximity to Queensland rainforest and the surrounding area of Brisbane. 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 late February/Early March.
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/Tulane 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.