Volunteer assistants – sexual selection in fish at the Hydrobiological Station U. D’Ancona in Chioggia (Italy)

Volunteer assistants are welcome to help with projects on sexual selection
in fish at the Hydrobiological Station U. D'Ancona in Chioggia (Italy)
The Hydrobiological Station is a field station of the Department of
Biology of the University of Padova and directly overlooks the Lagoon
of Venice, offering an unique opportunity to easily access and study
this peculiar brackishwater environment and its species.

Two main research lines will be developed by our research group
(http://www.bio.unipd.it/~rasotto/index.htm) during the first (15th
March-31st May) and the second (1st June-15th  August) part of the field
season respectively:

1.post-copulatory sexual selection in the grass goby, Zosterisessor
ophiocephalus. We are particularly interested in the role of sperm and
non-sperm components of male ejaculate and of female ovarian fluid in
determining the outcome of post-copulatory sexual selection in this goby
species with alternative male mating tactics.

2.pre-copulatory female mate choice in the peacock blenny, Salaria
pavo. We will focus on the cognitive mechanisms governing female choice
for multiple male traits in this species in which females have the
opportunity to simultaneously or sequentially evaluate the attractiveness
of many males.

These topics are addressed by means of experiments performed in captivity
during the reproductive season of the species of interest. Animals are
directly collected in their natural environment. Therefore the assistants
are expected to take part in both field and lab work.

Duties: Assistants will help with - experimental set up, including
preparation of laboratories and aquaria - fish sampling in the field
and their maintenance in the lab - gametes, seminal and ovarian fluid
collection and analyses
  (research line 1)
- behavioural observations (research line 2) - data entry and management -
all the other aspects of the projects, including discussions on the
  conceptual frameworks.

The workweek will be typically 6 days long. Shifts will be organised
for animal taking care on Sundays (short task).  Scuba diving licence
is a desired skill for research line 2, although not mandatory.

Assistants can be involved in one of the two research lines (half term)
or both (full term).

Full term assistants: Start: ~15 March, End: ~15 August 2017. (5 months)
1st Half term assistants: Start: ~15 March, End: ~31 May 2017. (~2.5 months)
2nd Half term assistants: Start: ~1 June, End: ~15 August 2017. (~2.5 months)

Accommodation is provided in a comfortable guesthouse next to the
Station, equipped with a lounge and 3 bedrooms for a total of 10
persons. Assistants will have to cover their food expenses, but a
fully-equipped kitchen is provided to prepare meals. Travel expenses
are not covered.

Guesthouse and laboratories are shared with other research groups. This
offer a stimulating research environment, but requires the ability to
get along well with and be respectful of others.

Until positions are filled

Worldwide applicants are supported, although must be fluent in English.
Please send a short motivation letter stating why and for which
period you are interested and your CV via email to Lisa Locatello
(lisa.locatello@unipd.it) Shortlisted applications will be notified by
email, and candidates will be eventually invited for a skype interview.

Lisa Locatello <lisa.locatello@unipd.it>
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