Soprano pipistrelle bat


Paid Field Research Assistants Required: Bats and Churches Project

Contact: Dr Emma Stone

Working Conditions:-

Field Based - Each night you will be radio tracking bats from roosts by vehicle and therefore you must be willing and happy to work independently at night (but in close proximity to a second tracker). The work is incredibly demanding - involving night work from dusk till dawn 7 days per week with no breaks during the 8 week period. You will most likely be working alone at night - but will be in radio contact with other team members nearby. We are therefore only looking for people who are committed field workers with an eye for detail and accuracy, who are organized, timely and highly enthusiastic about research with lots of energy and enthusiasm.

Timing:- For a period of approximately 8 weeks beginning around the 15th July 2012.

Location:- The study is based in Norfolk where we will be working at six church roost sites for approximately 10 days per site. There may not be regular email communication and mobile signals are patchy. We have arranged accommodation in central Norfolk at which the entire team (6 field assistants and 2 University staff) will be based for the 8 week duration.


  • Enthusiasm

  • Initiative

  • Eye for detail

  • Hard work ethic, flexible, rigorous and conscientious approach

  • Previous fieldwork experience especially working in small field teams

  • Positive mental attitude, resilient, ability to muck in and get on with it

  • Ability to work independently at night

  • Full UK driving license

  • Access to and willing to use your own vehicle

  • Physical fitness

  • Degree in conservation biology, zoology, biology or related field

  • Desirable:-

  • Radio tracking experience - particularly with bats

  • Salary:-

    The posts are paid at a flat rate of £1,200 per month

    Contract Conditions:- These are paid temporary posts for 8 weeks starting from approximately 15th July 2012. Your accommodation and fuel costs will be covered during the field work, but you will be expected to pay for your own food and other costs. You are required to have your own vehicle.

    Closing date:- 21st June 2012.

    Applicants need to complete the application form downloadable here and send with a covering letter (outlining why you think you would be suitable for the post) to Dr Emma Stone ( to whom informal inquiries should also be made.

    Volunteer GIS Assistant: Roosting ecology of lesser horseshoe bats (Rhinolophus hipposideros)

    Contact: Dr Emma Stone


    We require a volunteer research assistant at the University of Bristol to conduct GIS analysis for a study investigating the roosting ecology of Rhinolophus hipposideros.

    Timing:- Period of approximately 6 weeks starting starting as soon as possible.

    Working conditions:- The volunteer will be based in the Mammal Research Unit in the School of Biological Sciences, Bristol. The post is flexible and can be on a part or full time basis.

    Experience:- Some previous experience of GIS would be an advantage. This is a great opportunity to develop your GIS skills and gain experience in an world leading research department.

    To apply:- Send your CV and cover letter by email to Dr. Emma Stone.

    PhD Opportunity: Territoriality in mammals

    Contact supervisor: Professor Stephen Harris, Jointly supervised by Dr Luca Giuggioli

    Territoriality in mammals has long fascinated both theoretical and field biologists. Whilst most species of mammal are territorial, how territories emerge and why mammals defend territories remain unclear. Recent theoretical work by Dr Giuggioli and Professor Harris working with Jonathan Potts, a current PhD student, has shown that territorial behaviour is a consequence of animal movement patterns whereby they avoid fresh scent marks from neighbouring conspecifics and that scent marks have to be replenished regularly to maintain territorial boundaries. This work has built on an extensive database on the movements and behaviour of urban foxes collected over the last thirty-three years. Both field and theoretical work suggest that the active scent time in foxes is as short as two to four days, and that in the absence of fresh scent marks, neighbours rapidly invade their territory. Earlier work in Professor Harris’ laboratory has shown that fox scents contain a great deal of information about the sex, social status, breeding condition and health of the signaller. Thus foxes can learn a great deal about their neighbours by investigating fresh scent marks, thereby avoiding the necessity of making direct, and potentially agonistic, contact with conspecifics. Thus foxes spend time on the territorial boundaries, in what we have termed the “snoop zone”, keeping an eye on the neighbours. The aim of this project is to advance this work by using field experiments, the long-term database of fox radio-tracking data and theoretical work to answer the following questions: (i) Does time spent in the snoop zone vary with season, sex and the social status of the resident and/or the neighbours? (ii) What is the role of different members of the social group (dominants, subordinates, males, females) in territorial defence and snooping? (iii) How does social group size affect patterns of scent marking? (iv) How does territory size affect patterns of territorial defence, and both the size of and the time spent in the snoop zone? (v) How much time do foxes need to spend on the territorial boundaries at different times of the year to defend their territories? (vi) Is the pattern of scent marking shown by foxes typical of other group-living mammals? The actual balance between the practical and theoretical sides will depend on the particular interests of the successful candidate, but a key aim for the student will be to develop novel techniques for monitoring the fine-scale movements of urban foxes.

    The successful candidate will benefit from working with two supervisors with a history of collaboration. The School of Biological Sciences has an international reputation in the field of behavioural ecology and linking mathematics and biology; Dr Giuggioli’s appointment is joint between the School of Biological Sciences and the Department of Engineering Mathematics. This studentship with strengthen the links between the two departments.

    Funding notes:- We are seeking applications from students with a very strong undergraduate performance and preferably a Masters Degree who are able to develop both the field and theoretical aspects of this project. UK/EU students will be considered for a NERC or University Home Scholarship; overseas students will be considered for a University Overseas Scholarship. These are allocated within the School of Biological Sciences on merit. Self-funded candidates will also be considered.

    Closing date:- Friday 21 January 2011. Applicants need to send a full curriculum vitae and the names and addresses of at least two academic referees to Professor Stephen Harris (, to whom informal inquiries should also be made.

    Urban Ecology Internship

    We are looking for interns to assist in a long term population study of the urban red fox between March 2010 and December 2010. This study has been running since the late 1970s and investigates a wide range of topics such as scent marking, dispersal, reproduction and social behaviour.

    Responsibilities include:

  • Trap baiting and maintenance

  • Locating and managing new trap sites

  • Removal of live animals from traps and release after processing

  • Cub catching and release

  • Assisting in sample collection

  • Additional opportunities include:

  • Training in radio telemetry techniques

  • Learning how to analyse and manipulate tracking data

  • Applicants with experience of animal handling are preferred. All applicants must have a valid clean driving licence. If interested please send a cover letter and CV detailing any relevant experience to



    This is an opportunity to participate in a conservation genetics project for brown bears. Volunteer assistant required to help with the laboratory aspect of the project. Applicants must have laboratory experience in DNA extraction, PCR techniques, plate preparation.

    The position is suited for people who would like to obtain further experience in the lab, yet people who have to produce a thesis for their BSc/MSc course are especially welcome. It is an opportunity to view firsthand how to work with non invasive animal genetics material and the techniques used and to help the conservation of big fury animals. People with time availability and flexibility will be preferred. In the event that the research leads to publication(s) co-authorship will be offered.


    We need the volunteer to:

    Anyone interested or requiring further information can find details on the research page or email Charilaos with their CV and a message.