Voluntary research assistantship in seabird behaviour & ecology Skomer Island & University of Oxford

We are looking for an enthusiastic, hardworking young biologist to
work as a voluntary Research Assistant to help with our pelagic seabird
research on Skomer Island, Pembrokeshire, Wales, in Spring and Summer
2017. The work will involve several research projects coordinated by
Prof Tim Guilford at Oxford’s Department of Zoology (see the OxNav
website). We utilise state-of-the art tracking technologies (miniature
GPS, geolocators, time-depth recorders, etc) on several species of
seabirds but mainly on Manx shearwaters. Most work will involve assisting
doctoral students with the day-to-day monitoring of breeding birds and
with deploying and retrieving tracking devices. It will also involve
entering data collected in the field into appropriate databases. There
will be a significant amount of nocturnal work, since the primary study
species is the Manx Shearwater, which only arrives at the colony after
dark. The role will also involve monitoring Atlantic puffins tracked
with geolocators and helping with their recapture (with some work to be
carried out at dawn) as part of a project led by Dr Annette Fayet.

Unfortunately we cannot provide a stipend but (shared and basic)
accommodation on Skomer will be provided. However, the project is a great
opportunity to gain valuable experience in modern field ornithology. There
will also be opportunities for the assistant to learn some analytical
techniques applied to animal movement data. Skomer has mobile coverage
and some access to Internet, however movements to and from the mainland
are limited due to unpredictable wind conditions. There is a small
community of wardens, assistants and volunteers, who are involved in the
running and conservation of the Nature Reserve, monitoring the seabird
populations, and managing the daily and over-night visitors. There
might be opportunities to visit other UK island reserves during the
project. There will also be scope for involvement in other conservation
and ecological projects on the island, which is a National Nature Reserve
administered by the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales.

Profile: we are looking for a motivated and hardworking biologist, who
likes working in the field and can cope with difficult working and living
conditions, and who can work with us between April and September 2017
(with some flexibility for the start and end dates). Previous experience
in the field or in harsh conditions is desirable, but not essential. Work
on Skomer requires long hours (with some work at night and at dawn)
spent in a cold and wet environment and considerable manual work. A good
candidate should be able to work independently and have a reasonable level
of fitness. Planning to embark on further research degrees in the future
would be a plus (previous assistants have engaged in doctoral studies
afterwards). It is also important that the assistant feels comfortable
sharing sometimes crowded accommodation with a number of colleagues
over long periods of time, and can cope with the occasional untidiness
inevitably associated with fieldwork. Unfortunately, for administrative
reasons, we can only accept applications from people having permission
to work in the UK (UK and EU citizens, UK residents, or persons with a
UK work permit).

How to apply: If you are interested, please email a CV and a statement
of interest, and arrange for two letters of reference to be emailed
to tim.guilford@zoo.ox.ac.uk (with oliver.padget@zoo.ox.ac.uk,
james.evry@wadh.ox.ac.uk and annette.fayet@zoo.ox.ac.uk in cc). Please
note that providing names of referees is not enough, the candidate needs
to arrange for their referees to email us a reference (unfortunately we
do not have time to contact each referee individually). The deadline
for submitting applications (including reference letters) is the 12th
February 2017. We will interview the best candidates on Skype shortly
after and we expect to make a decision by the end of February.

PDF link: https://goo.gl/V8YKAF

James Evry <james.evry@wadh.ox.ac.uk>

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