Nick Barton’s group at the Institute of Science and Technology (IST)
Austria is recruiting volunteers to assist with field work on plant
speciation in the Pyrenees (Spain) this coming summer (June-July).

The project: We are studying the evolutionary dynamics underlying
population divergence in wild Antirrhinum majus (snapdragons). We
focus on natural hybrid zones between two subspecies with different
flower colours. Most of the field work is contributing to a long-term
pedigree project aimed at establishing a direct link from genotype
to phenotype to fitness. With tens of thousands of samples collected
over ten years so far, this provides an exciting and powerful system
to examine many outstanding questions about adaptation and quantitative
genetics in wild populations. We are seeking volunteers to assist with
the field work, which involves working in teams mapping the location
of individual plants (GPS), tagging and sampling them for leaves and
flowers, measuring quantitative traits, phenotyping them for flower
pigmentation and processing material for later DNA extraction. There
may also be opportunities to be involved in other projects we are
doing on plant-insect interactions. Most of the work is outdoors,
however we do spend some time indoors processing samples. The work is
highly team orientated, typically in groups of 2-3 in the field and
larger groups processing samples back at the research station. This is
a great opportunity for anybody looking to obtain experience in field
work relating to evolutionary biology, plant ecology and plant-insect

The field site is located near Ripoll in a beautiful part of the Pyrenees
in Catalonia in northeastern Spain. We stay in comfortable apartments
overlooking a picturesque valley, with close access to hiking trails
and small villages. All food, accommodation and travel (within Europe)
are covered. However, we cannot offer any further stipend.

For these positions we are looking for hard working and enthusiastic
biology students/graduates with a strong interest in working outdoors
with plants. You must be meticulous with recording data and also be
comfortable working as part of a team. Experience with field-based
projects and plants is preferred but not essential.

We require assistance between June 1 and July 31. Depending on the year
and the plants, we may extend our time into August. Length of stay is
flexible but a minimum stay of 3 weeks is required.

Please send any questions and your application to To apply, send your CV or resume, with a few
sentences about your background and why you are interested. Please include
the length of time you would be available. Please get in touch by March 18
if youre interested, even if you are still figuring out availability.

Carina BASKETT <>