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 (2018): Samsonvale Bird Project
Samsonvale Bird Project: Avian evolutionary ecology field research on cuckoo-host interactions, fairy-wren reproductive ecology and nest predation research
Location: near Brisbane, QLD, Australia
Duration: 6 months (mid-July / early-August 2018 – early-January 2019)
Job Type: Volunteer
Number of Openings: 8
Description: Volunteer field assistants required from mid-July/early-August 2018 – 3 Jan 2019 (dates somewhat flexible) for behavioural / evolutionary ecology research in Queensland, Australia.
Volunteers are sought to assist with a long-term field-based research project investigating aspects of the behaviour, ecology and natural history of several colour-banded songbird species around Lake Samsonvale, near Brisbane, QLD, Australia. This work comprises an ongoing collaborative effort by Prof. Mike Webster’s Laboratory at Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology (for more info, see: http://www.nbb.cornell.edu/neurobio/websterlab/index.html) and Dr Will Feeney’s Laboratory at the University of Queensland (for more info, see: http://www.williamefeeney.com). Using colour-banded populations of red-backed fairy-wrens, superb fairy-wrens, variegated fairy-wrens and white-browed scrubwrens, our research primarily focuses on questions regarding cuckoo-host interactions, fairy-wren / scrubwren social and genetic mating systems, as well as nest predation. We encourage volunteers to become involved in the research whenever possible and there will also be opportunities for periodic paper discussions, workshops and lectures to help our volunteers develop skills that are useful for graduate school applications or a career in field ecology. Anybody interested in this project should check out our Instagram (@samsonvalebirdproject) for photos and a general idea of what to expect.
Primary duties include: nest searching and monitoring, mist-netting and colour-banding, collection of blood samples, behavioural observations, territory mapping, camera trapping, 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 at the base of Mt Nebo. 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 (again, see the Instagram for photos of what we get up to – it’s pretty fun).
The deadline for applications is the 15th of May; however, we will start conducting interviews from the 5th of May. 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