Paid Internship: Amphibian Ecology and Conservation (Memphis Zoo)

Paid Conservation Research Internship, Summer 2021 – Amphibian Ecology and Conservation
Location: Memphis Zoo (Memphis, TN)

General Description:
Memphis Zoo’s Department of Conservation & Research is offering an internship in conservation biology. The position is available for upper-level undergraduate students and 1-2 year post-graduates. This internship offers a unique research experience in a zoo setting working with scientists conducting cutting edge and frontline projects to save wildlife, and will provide valuable training in laboratory techniques, experimental design, and data analysis for many professional careers in general biology, conservation, ecology, and veterinary sciences.

Specific Project & Internship Description:
Amidst the sixth mass extinction, amphibians are one of the most threatened groups of animals. In light of these threats, captive colonies have been established for insurance and future reintroductions. However, a critical factor that determines the success of these programs is whether captive-released individuals can adapt to natural environments. With this in mind, we will be working on research projects that investigate the reproductive biology, development, morphology, and survivorship of captive-bred amphibians at various life stages in an array of different treatments both in the lab and in the field.

Specifically, the Amphibian Ecology and Conservation Intern will work with Dr. Sinlan Poo (Research Scientist, Department of Conservation and Research). The intern will learn a variety of field and laboratory techniques, including visual encounter surveys, hormone induced spermiation/ovulation, sperm assessment, cryopreservation, captive breeding, in vitro fertilization, amphibian development and morphology assessments, and field monitoring of tadpoles and juveniles. Additionally, the intern will have the opportunity to communicate their research to the public through educational outreaches at the Zoo.

Preferred Qualifications for this Position:
Preference will be given to applicants working towards degrees in biology, zoology, animal science, reproductive physiology, or related fields. Applicants with an interest in pursuing attending graduate school or careers in reproductive sciences and conservation are strongly preferred. Other requirements include the ability to work within a diverse and inclusive team of researchers, follow instruction, and exhibit excellent oral and written skills. The intern may need to travel with their research mentor to additional work sites outside the zoo and may work unconventional hours and on weekends.

Ideal Candidate for Position:
Who should apply? Interns with the following will benefit most from this opportunity:
– A strong interest in applied conservation biology
– A particular interest in amphibian ecology
– Willingness to work long hours in the lab or field
– Ability to engage respectfully with a diverse team of collaborators
– Ability to work independently
– A general curiosity and interest in asking novel questions
– Excellent communication skills, attention to detail, and positive attitude

Additional research experience is a plus, including:
– Experience with working field research in the biological sciences
– Experience with handing amphibians or other delicate animals
– Experience with laboratory techniques
– Experience with data analysis and scientific writing
– A B.S. or at least three years of college level course work in biology or a related field.

Support Provided:
1) A stipend of $9.00/hr, to a maximum stipend of $4320 for a full 12-week course, and 2) Free housing in the Memphis Zoo’s condominium located near the Zoo. The condominium has two bedrooms and houses up to four people, and interns may be required to share a bedroom with a same-sex roommate.

This internship is full-time (40 hrs/week), and appointments are for 12 weeks. Start date is flexible for the position but a start date between May 1st and June 1st is preferred, and applicants must be able to stay for the entire 12-week period.

Materials to Submit:
Visit to apply online. Please make sure to select the correct internship, as there may be several concurrent research internship postings. Materials required in the online application are (1) a cover letter describing research interests, job-related skills and life experiences, (2) CV, (3) unofficial college transcript, and (4) a list of three professional or academic references. Submit these materials as a single PDF file. Applications with incomplete materials will not be considered. Questions regarding the position should be directed to Dr. Sinlan Poo ( with “Amphibian Research Internship” in the subject line.

Application Deadline:
The application deadline is March 15th. However, applications will be considered on a rolling basis and submission window may be closed earlier if candidate is found before that date.

Application Website:
Paid Conservation Research Internship, Summer 2021 – Amphibian Ecology and Conservation