Employer: University of Florida 

Job Type: Seasonal, Temporary, Internship 

Location Details: Sabah, Malaysia (Borneo) 

Job Description: 

I am seeking 1-2 volunteers to assist on a doctoral research project 
investigating the response of bird communities to forest fragmentation and 
conversion to oil palm plantations. Volunteers will assist with mist-netting 
and banding birds across a land use gradient in lowland Borneo between March 
and June 2018 (start and end dates flexible). Our sites are located in logged 
forests, logged forest fragments, and in oil palm plantations. A normal field 
day consists of waking up very early in the morning to travel to the banding 
site. Banding begins shortly after sunrise and continues for 6 hours. 
Volunteers will be expected to help clear net lanes, set up and take down 
mist-nets, extract birds from nets, as well as band and measure captured birds. 
We normally return to the field station/camp around 1 or 2 pm. Volunteers will 
usually have the remainder of the day free. In addition to training on mist 
netting and bird banding techniques, I am happy to work with volunteers on 
independent research projects and other ways to make the most out of this 
experience. This could be a great opportunity for someone considering graduate 
school to obtain research experience (and possibly publish their work). 


The most essential requirement is the ability to live and work in challenging 
field conditions while maintaining a positive attitude. Volunteers should be in 
good physical condition, as we will be walking anywhere from 1-5 miles per day 
over hilly terrain through dense vegetation. Volunteers should be comfortable 
living and working in very isolated locations. While prior bird banding 
experience is a benefit, it is not necessary. Volunteers should have some 
experience with field work. 


Lowland Borneo is hot, humid, and fairly buggy (mosquitos and leeches). The 
land leeches can be very bad at some banding sites. The terrain is hilly and 
muddy, with dense secondary vegetation to navigate through at many sites. 
Tropical field work is not for everyone, even seasoned field biologists. 

Our time will be split between a research station in the middle of a 
selectively logged forest and at field housing in an oil palm plantation. The 
research station is home to other scientists studying a variety of topics. 
Accommodation is fairly rustic, with cold showers and limited internet. While 
there is a cook at the research station, we will be preparing our own food at 
the oil palm plantation field housing. 

If you can get past the challenges, then this will be a life changing 
experience (hopefully in a good way!). This position is a great opportunity to 
work with some of the most amazing birds in the world. Our regular captures 
include sunbirds, babblers, and bulbuls, with some rarer captures including 
kingfishers, trogons, and pittas. We regularly encounter orangutans, red-leaf 
monkeys, and gibbons, as well as bearded pigs, civets, sambar deer, and mouse 
deer. We even have occasional Asian elephant sightings! The biodiversity and 
wild areas of Borneo are incredible to experience. 

Please feel free to email with any questions!


In this position we cover station fees, food, and transportation to and from 
the field site. Salaries and airfare to Tawau , Malaysia (Sabah Borneo) are not 

How to apply: 

To apply, please email a cover letter and CV outlining your experience with 
field work and bird banding (if any). Please include the contact for 3 
references at the end of your CV and send the requested material to (EM: 


January 25, 2019. Please apply as soon as possible.  

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