Invertebrate Community Research Fellowship

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

tropical rainforests.

*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

   provisioned carcasses.

   – 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

   threatened nests.

   – 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 with the email

title Invertebrate Research Fellowship by 31st May 2023. We strongly

encourage candidates from Latin America to apply.