You should definitely check this page out if you're keen on joining my lab. I'll post opportunities here as they become available... So watch this space!
William E Feeney is a field biologist based between the University of Cambridge (UK) and the University of Queenlsand (AUS). His research focuses on understanding why animals are the way they are, and do the things they do.
If you are interested in becoming involved (either as a volunteer, student or collaborator), or would like more information about my research, I'd recommend you check out this website, our Instagram (@samsonvalebirdproject) and / or contact me directly: w.feeney [at] uq.edu.au
Volunteer Field Assistants: Cuckoo-host interactions near Brisbane, Australia
Location: near Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Duration: 5 months (mid-August 2017 – mid-January 2018)
Job Type: Volunteer
Number of Openings: 4
Description: Volunteer field assistants required from ~ Aug 10 2017 – 5 Jan 2018 for behavioural / evolutionary ecology research in Queensland, Australia.
Volunteers are sought to assist with a long-term project investigating the interactions between brood parasitic cuckoos and their hosts around Lake Samsonvale, near Brisbane, QLD, Australia. This will be the third year of the project (see our instagram: @samsonvalebirdproject for photos and a general idea of what to expect). This year we will continue to collect long-term monitoring data on multiple species of cuckoo and host, run behavioural experiments, colour-band individuals and collect genetic samples.
The study is led Dr. William Feeney, a research fellow at the University of Queensland (AUS) (for additional information on Dr. Feeney’s work, see http://www.williamefeeney.com), and is run in collaboration with researchers from the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (for additional information, see http://www.nbb.cornell.edu/neurobio/websterlab/index.html). There will be opportunities to assist with both projects if desired (the latter investigating behavioural and evolutionary ecology of fairy-wrens). We encourage volunteers to become involved in the research whenever possible (e.g. last year’s team has recently submitted a paper detailing cuckoo development from hatching to fledging). In addition, there will be opportunities for periodic paper discussion groups, workshops and lectures to help our volunteers develop skills that are useful for graduate school applications or a career in field ecology.
Primary duties include: nest searching and monitoring, mist-netting and colour-banding, collection of blood samples, behavioural observations, territory mapping, and data processing / entry. Any previous experience in these areas is desirable (but not essential). There will be ample opportunities to develop these skills. The study site is rugged, hot, and venomous snakes and ticks are common. Applicants should be confident in their ability to hike rough areas off trail, withstand hot and humid conditions and be able to live and work well with others. A typical working day will begin at dawn and continue on-site until late morning, followed by data entry.
Accommodation is provided in a large house that is shared between the two research groups. Essential costs (accommodation, food, transport and bills) are paid by the project, but we are not able to cover flights to and from Brisbane. These positions will ideally suit recent Biology/Ecology graduates who would like to gain field experience before continuing with post-graduate research.
The site boasts fantastic and varied wildlife (e.g. eBird lists the site within the top ten sites for bird diversity in Australia with over 230 species having been recorded), and iconic species such as Koala, Platypus, Short-beaked Echidna and Swamp Wallaby. Furthermore, the site is in close proximity to rainforests, beaches and Brisbane’s CBD, all of which can be explored on rest days – typically one day per week, but sometimes we venture farther afield and camp for a couple of nights (see the Instagram for photos of what we get up to).
The deadline for applications is Sunday 14th May with interviews held shortly afterwards. Applicants will be notified of the outcome of interviews in early June.
Qualifications: Previous experience with nest searching is highly desired. Mist netting, banding, and experience taking blood samples is also preferred. Applicants must be self-motivated, able to maintain a positive attitude, be interested in field biology/birds and be able to get along well with others. The last few seasons were great fun, and we hope this one will be the same!
To apply, please send a covering letter detailing your interests and any previous experience as well as dates of availability, CV, and contact details of two referees to Dr. William Feeney (Email: samsonvalebirdproject [at] gmail.com).
Please feel free to enquire with any questions pertinent to the application process or on the project in general.
School of Biological Sciences
University of Queensland
St Lucia | Brisbane 4072