Osa Conservation is accepting applications for our Invertebrate Community
Responses to Experimental Scavenger Exclusion Research Fellowship
at our biological station in Costa Rica’s southern Pacific Ocean.
At Osa Conservation, we reconnect the rainforest, monitor and protect
biodiversity, and work hand-in-hand with the local community to build
climate resilient ecosystems for people and wildlife. Our team works across
Southern Costa Rica, connecting and protecting landscapes and biodiversity
from the ridges of the Talamanca mountain to the coral reefs of the Golfo
Dulce and the Pacific Ocean.
Broadly, the Movement Ecology Program at Osa Conservation aims to develop
and use novel animal tracking technology to increase our understanding of
the movement ecology of scavenger networks, and the predators which drive
them, in south and central America. It involves the capture and deployment
of tracking equipment on *cathartidae* vultures and large cat species,
taking biological samples and implementing a variety of different surveys
to estimate the density and determine the ecological roles of scavenging
Vultures play a vital role in the rapid decomposition of carrion in healthy
functioning ecosystems, reducing the potential for the spread of diseases,
stabilizing food-webs and assisting in nutrient cycling. However, as
vulture populations are declining globally, there is an urgent need to
understand the implications of their absence on decomposition processes.
This program aims to address this fundamental issue through provisioning
animal carcasses on the landscape, then experimentally excluding vultures
from the decomposition process. Invertebrate community composition at the
carcass site (point sampling), behavior (mark recapture using fluorescent
dyes), and carcass decomposition rates will be determined. The *Invertebrate
Community Responses to Experimental Scavenger Exclusion Research Fellowship*
will explore this component and trial innovative methods to understand and
document the invertebrate community in relation to carrion removal in
*Fellow activities, training and experience *
Fellowships are designed to empower and immerse early-career
conservationists in one of the most important neotropical landscapes on
Earth while developing crucial career skills. Come live in a tropical
rainforest and learn, explore and achieve alongside an outstanding
community of conservationists, biologists, media-specialists, educators,
community outreach leaders, and more to fill knowledge gaps and push the
frontier of tropical conservation. This team will provide one-on-one
mentorship, advise on research methods, and equip Fellows with tangible
career skills to solve real-world conservation issues.
*The Invertebrate Research Fellow will: *
– Test innovative invertebrate sampling methods in a tropical rainforest
system; including tracking with fluorescent powders and trapping with
plastic bottle traps for mark-recapture.
– Perform invertebrate sampling at provisioned carcasses with and
without scavenger exclusion to build on the current scavenger research.
– Identify invertebrates collected to the lowest taxonomic-level
possible (e.g species).
– Write a report documenting the species observed and their key
identifiable characteristics and carrion removal rates and prepare results
for scientific publication.
– Support Movement Ecology Team in vulture captures and radio tracking.
– Produce a technical report detailing the invertebrates detected at
– Create a field-guide to aid with future invertebrate identification
efforts in the region.
– Generate a voucher specimen library of the invertebrate species
detected at provisioned carcasses.
– Contribute to a publication of invertebrate community composition in
relation to carrion removal.
*In addition to the invertebrate research fellowship and Movement Ecology
Program activities, Field Fellows will interact with and build skills
alongside Osa Conservation’s wide breadth of programs. You will:*
– Release baby sea turtles, monitor nesting mothers, and relocate
– Plant and monitor native tree restoration efforts.
– Trial new rewilding techniques for tropical rainforest restoration.
– Install and organize data from camera traps, acoustic devices and
citizen science apps for vital wildlife monitoring across the Osa region.
– Practice regenerative farming techniques to grow sustainable produce.
– Develop scientific communication skills and learn to produce cutting-edge stories from one of Earth’s greatest wilderness areas.
*Field Fellowship details: *
This field fellowships will span 6 months from May 15 November 15. May 15
is the required start date. Fellows live alongside the team at the Osa
Conservation Campus (OCC), located at the heart of Osa’s tropical
rainforest. The OCC is home to our top-tier biological station, boasting a
research lab and classroom, regenerative farm, arboretum, restoration
experiment, and over 30 km of trails through old-growth and secondary
forests, mangroves, rivers and pristine coastlines.
During your Fellowship, all food and accommodation will be provided and you
will receive a small stipend. Reasonable transportation costs are included
in the fellowship. At the OCC, you will live in the middle of the
rainforest in basic shared-living accommodation. You will be provided with
one cooked meal a day by our campus kitchen (lunch) and groceries to cook
breakfast and dinner in your living quarters.
*Apply to be an Invertebrate Research Fellow now! *
If you are interested in this unique research opportunity to develop your
scientific and conservation career, please send your CV, cover letter and a
1-minute video explaining why you are the perfect person for this tropical
rainforest research experience to firstname.lastname@example.org with the email
title Invertebrate Research Fellowship by 31st May 2023. We strongly
encourage candidates from Latin America to apply.