Internship opportunity: Examining biases when monitoring raptor nests

I seek a student to carry out their internship on monitoring nestlings in raptor nests, especially red kites (Milvus milvus), in Austria, France, Germany, Spain, and/or Switzerland. The aim is to quantify biases associated with counts of nestlings when the observer is on the ground. Based on a pilot study of 10 red kite nests in summer of 2021, some nestlings were hidden when viewed from below before tagging and resulted in undercounting. Particularly unknown is how observation conditions (e.g., density of foliage, nest height, length of observation period) influence the degree of bias. Funds to cover costs for food, travel, and lodging may be available through ERASMUS+. The student will be jointly supervised by Dr. Brady Mattsson and another expert in raptor ecology working outside of BOKU. The additional supervisor depends on the selected study region(s). The field work will take place between early June and early July 2022, and preparation of a scientific report will continue until early August. The internship may be administered as part of the Compulsory Internship Seminar through the Institute of Wildlife Biology and Game Management
(BOKU).

Desired knowledge and expertise
1. Familiarity with literature on raptor nest monitoring
2. Familiarity with the scientific method, including formulating and examining hypotheses
3. Good writing skills, including formulating logical arguments
4. Solid understanding of wildlife ecology
5. Critical thinking
6. Good communication abilities in English, both oral and in writing
7. Generalized linear models, including use of discrete distributions for the response variable

To apply

Email brady.mattsson(at)boku.ac.at your application by 6 May 2022 as a single PDF including:
1) 1-page cover letter summarizing your background and interests along with an explanation for why you are applying for this particular opportunity.
2) Curriculum Vitae
3) Research-oriented (e.g. Bachelor’s thesis) writing sample in English.

Download (PDF)