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Volunteer field assistantship for seabird research on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean

Grant RW Humphries, July 24, 2015

The Christmas Island Seabird Project ( is looking for a field assistant to help with research on several seabird species on Christmas Island, Indian Ocean (Australia). In particular, someone with ample experience in logger and Ptt attachment on flying seabirds is needed.

Christmas Island, often referred to as the “Galapagos of the Indian Ocean”, is a unique and fascinating place, famous for its Red Crabs and, of course, for its endemic seabirds, such as the Abbott’s Booby, Christmas Island Frigatebird and the Golden Bosun.

The fieldwork will take place from Aug 25 until Sept 12. The work will focus on deployments of loggers and Ptts on Abbott’s Boobies. Time and weather permitting, we will also work on Brown Boobies and Red-tailed Tropicbirds. Besides bird capture for logger attachment/retrieval, the work will also include: colony surveys, nest search and monitoring, data entry and proofing.

Christmas Island has tropical climate and vegetation. Temperature and humidity are often high and the terrain is sometimes difficult (cliffs and pinnacles on the coast, vines and thick understory in the rainforest) Thus, the fieldwork can be hard sometimes and physical fitness is imperative! The work schedule will be variable, but is likely to include long hours and little free time. Enthusiasm, self-motivation, and a strong work ethic are a must.

Experience in handling seabirds and in attaching data loggers and Ptts using tape is obligatory. A valid driver’s licence is required. Work experience in tropical habitats and skills in tree- or rock climbing and 4WD driving are a plus.

Accommodation will be provided in a research station in the rainforest. The station is fully equipped with a kitchen, showers, dormitories and a communal living room. Travel costs will be covered according to your experiences and skills and to the location from where you will be travelling to CI. Support for living expenses will also be provided.

For more information please contact project leader Janos Hennicke and visit the project’s homepage To apply, please send your CV outlining previous relevant fieldwork experience and names and contact information of three referees to the email address above.

The position will remain open until filled.