We are seeking field assistants to help with research social behaviour in the ground nesting sweat bee, Halictus rubicundus for periods of between 2 and 5 months. This could be early April to early June, or late June to late August, or both combined. Start and end dates can be negotiated to some extent within these constraints, but the successful candidate/s must be available for the entire period agreed.
The assistant will be working alongside a Postdoctoral researcher at the Knepp rewilding estate in Sussex, UK. H. rubicundus is a medium sized bee that nests in small colonies (fewer than 10 individuals) in the ground and has an insignificant sting.
Work will involve:
observing foraging behaviour, handling and marking bees, setting up video cameras, uploading video footage and excavating nests from the ground. In warm weather, field assistants will work long days in the field; in bad weather there will be tasks to carry out back at the accommodation/opportunity for time off. Because the work involves recording colour marks on individual animals, the job would not be suitable for someone who is colour-blind. See our research group website for more information about the kind of work we do (https://biosciences.exeter.ac.uk/staff/index.php?web_id=Jeremy_Field).
Experience of working with insects and a Degree (or working towards a Degree) in a Behaviour/Evolution/Ecology-related topic are desired. The successful applicants must have enthusiasm for fieldwork and be prepared to work hard. They will obtain excellent experience of cutting-edge social insect research.
Shared accommodation near Knepp is provided, but assistants are required to pay for their own food/personal expenses. Assistants receive £125 per week to cover costs. At the time of applying, candidates must be able to demonstrate that they have the right to work in the UK.
Dr Rebecca Boulton
Postdoctoral Research Fellow
College of Life and Environmental Sciences University of Exeter Cornwall Campus