Monthly Archives: March 2017

Bank Holidays

Please note, the University will provide limited service provision on the following Bank Holiday dates:

Friday 14 April – Good Friday
Monday 17 April – Easter Monday
Monday 1 May – early May bank holiday
Monday 29 May – Spring bank holiday

The majority of buildings will be closed and locked down during these periods and will re-open the following normal working day at 8am.

Firth Court building and North Campus will be accessible and staffed throughout. The Information Commons and Diamond buildings will be open.

Society for Wildlife Forensic Sciences meeting in June 2017

Interested in applying your science degree to help combat wildlife crime? The Society for Wildlife Forensic Sciences (SWFS) is hosting an International meeting in Edinburgh from the 5th-9th June 2017. From the effects of the illegal wildlife trade on endangered species through to identifying poisons used to kill birds of prey, wildlife forensic techniques can be invaluable to investigators.

At the SWFS meeting there will be presentations from various specialisms, including wildlife DNA forensics, analytical chemistry, morphology and stable-isotope analysis. Workshops include “Introduction to Wildlife Forensics”, “Expert Witness Testimony”, “Field-based Analysis Methods” and “R for Forensic Genetics”. The International Symposium day will be opened by the Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform Roseanna Cunningham MSP, and includes a keynote presentation from Mr John Scanlon, Secretary General for the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).

We have special discounted rates for student registrations for the week, and one-day symposium, and if you were only interested in a half-day “Introduction to Wildlife Forensics” course it would only set you back £50.

If you have some research you would like to present, the abstract deadline is the 17th March 2017. Student scholarship application deadline is the 7th April 2017.

For more information, please visit our website:

If you have any queries, contact the organising committee on

We very much hope that you will consider joining us for the week, the 1-day International Symposium, or even just for a workshop! Spread the word to friends who may be interested in this meeting.

Kind Regards,

Lucy Webster

On behalf of the SWFS 2017 organising committee

Twitter tiny@SWFS3 #SWFS2017

accommodation – LARGE DOUBLE ROOM

LARGE DOUBLE ROOM available immediately for short-term lets (min 3 months) in 2 bed flat Nether Edge. £250 all bills included….Own bathroom, sharing with one other (female, yoga teacher) very spacious, recently redecorated lovely furnished flat. If interested please email Available immediately.

4 PhD positions, Griffith Ecology lab, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia

We  have several PhD positions available in the Griffith Ecology lab at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia.
Please see details below, and at
4 PhD positions in Behavioural and Physiological Ecology
at Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia
We are pleased to announce multiple opportunities available for a start from mid to late 2017
1Adapting to a foreign climate: the reproductive ecology of the house sparrow in Australia
The house sparrow (Passer domesticus) was introduced into Australia in the 1860’s and has since become well established across a broad range of climates in both countries. This project will take advantage of this ‘experimental’ introduction to focus on behavioural and physiological adaptations to different climates through a field-based comparative approach. This research will complement our existing work on related questions in endemic Australian species and will provide insight into the capacity of avian species to adapt to changing climates. This project will involve periods of field-work in Broken Hill, Armidale and Hobart in Australia, along with a range of behavioural, molecular and physiological assays. The project will involve collaboration with other groups in Australia and the US.
2The challenge of growing in a hot climate (in the zebra finch)
In recent years we have characterised the very hot conditions in which zebra finches are raised (with nests often reaching temperatures over 40 degrees Celsius, as well as identifying adverse effects of these conditions on embryonic development, offspring growth, and adult sperm. This project is supported by an ARC funded project and will investigate the adaptations that this iconic and well-studied species has to deal with the extreme climate in which it lives. The project will take a variety of approaches including behavioural work, and assays of metabolism and physiology, and combine fieldwork and laboratory work. The project will be run in collaboration with Dr Christine Cooper (Curtin University, Western Australia), Prof. Pierre Deviche (Arizona State University, US), and Prof. Pat Monaghan (Glasgow, UK).
3: Social structuring and life-history in free-ranging domestic sheep
In this project we will examine the importance of social structure and collective intelligence to life-history trade-offs and productivity in domestic sheep in the rangelands of Australia. The project will use tools from social network theory and spatial ecology to characterise individual and group behaviour and investigate their effect on individual quality and productivity (lambs and wool) in this challenging, but economically important part of Australia. The project will be based at Fowlers Gap (near Broken Hill in the arid zone) and require field work and well-developed analytical skills. This work will be run in collaboration with partners in the pastoral industry and be jointly supervised by Dr Stephan Leu (also at Macquarie University).
4: Parasite transmission dynamics in an Australian lizard
This project will investigate the relationship between host spatial and social behaviour and bacterial transmission. It combines social network theory, spatial ecology and wildlife epidemiology to determine how different bacterial strains are transmitted through the population and how individual behaviour and consequently population social structure changes as a function of infection status. The project combines the analysis of a very comprehensive (already collected) dataset with scope for the student to develop his/her own ideas and conduct fieldwork. The student should be interested in social networks and disease modelling and have strong analytical skills. This project will be jointly supervised by Dr Stephan Leu and A/Prof Martin Whiting (both at Macquarie University). We also have strong relationships with disease modelling colleagues in the US.
The Department of Biological Sciences at Macquarie University is a vibrant environment which offers excellent support to postgraduate students. A Macquarie University Excellence in Research Scholarship has already been assigned to one of these projects, but there are other scholarship opportunities available to suitably competitive candidates. International candidates are welcome to apply for any of the projects listed above.
The 2014 MQRES full-time stipend rate is $26,682 pa tax exempt for 3 years (indexed annually). In addition to external grant support for projects, there is additional internal funding (up to $17,000) available to cover direct research expenses and conference travel.
Applicants should ideally have a research-based MSc in a related discipline (with a minimum 50% research component), and additional relevant research experience, qualifications, and details of awards or prizes. For projects 1, 2, and 4 an ability to work in remote and harsh conditions as well as experience in capturing and handling animals is desirable. A driving licence is required for all projects.
Applications should include 1) your CV, 2) a brief statement of your reasons for applying (max. 500 words) and the project you are applying to work on, 3) contact details of two academic referees, 4) your nationality (for scholarship eligibility purposes). Applications should be submitted electronically as a single PDF file.
Applications for these positions (and any initial enquiries) should be emailed by 7th April 2017 to:
Prof. Simon Griffith, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, Sydney, NSW 2109, Australia

ornithological field technician positions, Univ. of York

We are seeking to recruit three research technicians for a collaborative project (University of York and Natural England), based at the Humberhead Peatlands NNR, near Doncaster.

The project is part of a wider EU LIFE+ funded project called ‘That’s LIFE’, focusing on the restoration of lowland blanket bog through scrub removal and re-wetting. The Humberhead Peatlands is an SPA for its breeding population of nightjars and an SAC for its lowland bog habitat.

The nightjar project fieldwork aims to collect data on any behavioural and population changes that occur as a result of this restoration work. The work involves ringing, tagging and tracking European nightjars, as well as nest finding to investigate breeding productivity and exploring their food resources through moth trapping on the NNR from June to August 2017.

We are able to offer some shared accommodation close to the field sites. Fieldwork involves long hours in the field, primarily overnight, with some afternoon work required. In addition, staff will assist with maintenance of kit and recording of data. The work will be conducted in small teams of employees, students and volunteers.

Position 1: Senior avian research technician

We are seeking an experienced avian field technician (grade 4 ~ £20,624 pro rata dependent on experience). One person required for 8 -10 weeks, on a full-time basis.

The ideal candidate would have:

  • A or C-permit ringing licence
  • Experience of ornithological fieldwork, particularly ringing and breeding surveys
  • Experience of, and enthusiasm for, working outdoors
  • Full, clean driving licence
  • Good physical fitness

Desirable criteria:

  • Experience of fitting or using radio/GPS tags
  • Own transport

Positions 2 & 3: Research technicians (grade 3 ~ £17,898 pro rata dependent on experience). Duration – 6-8 weeks

We are also seeking two field assistants (grade 3) who would have a T or C ringing permit, or at a minimum some experience of handling birds.

This position would additionally require a full clean driver’s licence, some experience of outdoor fieldwork, and the ability to work enthusiastically in small teams for long hours in the field.

All positions would start June 1st (approx.) 2017, and would continue until mid-August.

Position 4/5: Student internship

Starting end of June
Ecology / zoology degree
Fieldwork experience desirable but not essential
Can develop own project for dissertation

Accommodation and small stipend offered

If you are interested in the role please contact Dr Kathryn Arnold, with your CV, references and a short covering letter, detailing previous experience.

For informal enquiries, please contact Lucy Ryan (PhD Student)

Deadline 14th April 2017

Please note that the positions will be offered subject to satisfactory references, check of eligibility to work in the U.K. (verified copy of passport) and proof of qualifications if necessary.

Whilst we will attempt to reply to all candidates, the volume of applications we receive may mean that this is not possible. If you have not heard from us within three weeks of the closing date, you should assume that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Lucy Ryan, PhD Student
Environment Department
Wentworth Way
University of York
York, YO10 5DD

Save Smithy Wood!

Join our peaceful protest on Saturday 18 March, 11.30am, outside Sheffield Town Hall.

We are once again calling on the people of Sheffield and Rotherham to help us save this ancient bluebell woodland from becoming a Motorway Service Area with fast food court, hotel and car park.

A decision will be made by Sheffield City Council on 28 March and we want to ask them loud and clear to refuse this inappropriate, opportunistic planning application that has received an unprecedented 1,023 objections!

How can you help?

1. Come along to the Town Hall on Saturday 18 March from 11.30am-12.30pm and join our peaceful protest! The programme is currently being developed but we can confirm Angela Smith MP will be one of the speakers.

2. Write to your local councillor – they will make the decision! Follow our instructions at

3. Share this post! We need as many local people as possible to come along to our peaceful protest and contact their local councillor.

Let’s see Smithy Wood become a natural, green haven for local people and wildlife rather than tarmacked over to become a car park! You can still make a difference if you act now…

Terry’s group meeting

today at 12.30pm BMS seminar room 4.