NOW HIRING: two research assistants

Research Intern 1: cooperation in vampire bats

Application deadline: Get your application in as soon as possible. Evaluations will begin March 1, 2017 but may continue past that date.

When: May 1 — October 1, 2017. Dates are negotiable.

Where: The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. This plachas many great opportunities if you are interested in a career in organismal or tropical biology. Some of the best ecologists and evolutionary biologists in the world visit throughout the year. You’ll be working for Dr. Gerry Carter, currently a Smithsonian Postdoctoral Fellow.

What: You will be helping with experiments and observations of captive vampire bats April to August, and fieldwork in September. The basic approach and methods are similar to those in the references below. There are opportunities for independent projects and co-authorship on papers.

Main benefits:

  • research experience
  • opportunity to lead projects and help write scientific papers
  • networking with other biologists
  • $1000/month stipend to help cover travel and living expenses

Full-time (40 h/week) responsibilities will include:

  • helping to care for captive vampire bats= 0-3 h/week
  • filming and recording social behaviors= 3-6 h/ week
  • behavioral video analysis = 15 h/week
  • help with or lead a research project = 16-25 h/ week

Traits of ideal candidate:

  • Excellent reading and writing in English. Spanish proficiency is helpful too.
  • Strong academic record and interest in a research career
  • Strong foundation in biology (especially evolution and behavior)
  • Self-motivated, hard-working, and good time-management skills

For undergraduates and graduate students, there are competitive awards from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. See the links in the last sentence.

Feel free to ask me questions. I can send you a complete list of people who have worked with me in Panama if you want to get their opinion of what it’s like working here.

How to apply:

Slide1Send me an email (gerry [‘at’] with the title “Research Position Application” and a single PDF document with the following:

  • explain your research interests, experience, and what you want out of this job (less than 1 page)
  • highlight in bold the time period when you are available and what dates are best for you
  • CV
  • academic transcript with GPA, classes, and grades (informal/screenshot is fine)
  • name, institution, and email of two references

Some recommended reading:

  • Wilkinson. 1984. Reciprocal food sharing in vampire bats. Nature.
  • Wilkinson, G. S. 1990. Food sharing in vampire bats. Scientific American.
  • Carter G, Wilkinson G. 2013. Food sharing in vampire bats: reciprocal help predicts donations more than relatedness or harassment. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 280: 1753. doi: 10.1098/rspb.2012.2573
  • Carter G, Wilkinson G. 2013. Does food sharing in vampire bats demonstrate reciprocity? Communicative & Integrative Biology. 6:e25783.
  • Carter G, Wilkinson G. 2015. Social benefits of non-kin food sharing by female vampire bats. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 282: 20152524.
  • Carter, G. 2014. The reciprocity controversy. Animal Behavior and Cognition. 1(3), 368-386. doi:10.12966/abc.08.11.2014

Research Intern 2: sensory ecology of bats

Application deadline: To be determined

When: June 1 — September 1, 2017 (end date might change)

Details forthcoming. You will be working with Dr. Inga Geipel. You will send your application to her.

Recommended reading:

  • Gomes, D. G., Page, R. A., Geipel, I., Taylor, R. C., Ryan, M. J., & Halfwerk, W. 2016. Bats perceptually weight prey cues across sensory systems when hunting in noise. Science.
  • Geipel, I., Jung, K., & Kalko, E. K. 2013. Perception of silent and motionless prey on vegetation by echolocation in the gleaning bat Micronycteris microtis. Proceedings B.

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