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Title

Research Assistant - The impact of land-use change on social structure and dispersal of tropical species

Posted
Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Nature Conservation (Terrestrial Ecology)
Environmental, CSR & Sustainability
Location Panama
Town/City Gamboa
Type Temporary / Contract / Seasonal
Status Part Time / Per Day
Level Voluntary & Interns
Deadline 30/03/2012
Company Name Oxford University
Contact Name Tom Bregman
Email tom.bregman@zoo.ox.ac.uk
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Description

Introduction to the Project

Global climate is changing rapidly (Dansgaard et al. 1993; Ruddiman 2003; Kutzbach et al. 2010) and exponential human population growth is driving extensive habitat destruction and fragmentation (Brook et al. 2003; Giam et al. 2010). These two processes act synergistically, posing serious challenges to biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. The first means that species ranges must move to keep pace with climatic niches; the second means that moving is now far more challenging than during previous phases of climatic change. It has been suggested that the answer to these problems lies in increasing areas of secondary forests providing a refuge for biodiversity and a route to population connectivity (Wright and Muller-Landau 2006; Chazdon et al. 2009). However, although it is clear that human-modified landscapes – e.g. secondary forests, logged forests, and agricultural habitats – will be key to future strategies for biodiversity conservation, very little is known about their influence on meta-community processes.

This study will attempt to develop a better understanding of the impacts of land-use change upon the social structure and dispersal of tropical birds. The study will involve the mist netting of birds, collection of biometric information and the use of radio-telemetry techniques to track the birds through the forest.

The role of the Research Assistant

This Research Assistant position will involve the candidate being based at several biological stations across Panama. Research Assistants will be working alongside a DPhil student from Oxford University. Research Assistants will aid the primary researcher with the study, collecting valuable information on the dispersal ability of tropical birds. This is a fantastic opportunity for prospective students and researchers to gain experience working in tropical environments.

What is expected of the Research Assistant?

All training will be provided upon arrival and there is no requirement for you to have past experience working with animals. All that is needed is enthusiasm for the study!

Research Assistants will be expected to pay for board and lodgings (~$50 per week) and make a contribution to the project fund (all proceeds go directly into the purchase of equipment) which is currently expected to be £100 per week.

The study will run from May through to August 2012 and Research Assistants are expected to be available for at least two weeks during this period.

If you are interested then please contact Tom at tom.bregman@zoo.ox.ac.uk with questions or an up-to-date C.V. along with a half page description of why you think you would perform well in this role. Remember, no past experience working in ecology is required and applications will be judged on your enthusiasm for the study. 

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