Fieldwork and data analysis on Great Tits

Fieldwork and data analysis on Great Tits

Vacancy
Animal Ecology

Note: We have almost enough students for spring 2024. We are still looking for MSc students who are willing to do fieldwork on Vlieland. Also for spring 2025, we need students. 

Do you want to have an interesting internship that involves handling birds and a lot of field work? In that case we are looking for you! Each year the department of Animal Ecology at the NIOO (Netherlands institute of ecology) is looking for students to do their graduation research or internship with us. We have several long term studies on Great Tit research with extensive data sets, some even going back to the 1950’s.

Every year we need help to gather the data from the breeding season (between March and July) at the National park de Hoge Veluwe, the estate of Oosterhout and Westerheide on the Veluwe. Since the Great Tit is a hole breeder it nests in Nestboxes and those need to be checked to monitor the breeding success. We will do so by catching the adults and chicks, measure them and take a small blood sample for molecular data. With this data we try to solve questions around topics as climate change; How is the Great Tit reacting to earlier development of the caterpillars, which is the main food source for their offspring, due to warmer springs? What are the effects of dry summers? Is behavior for coping with climate change learned or genetically in herited?

Together with Prof. Marcel Visser or Prof Kees van Oers you will think of a research question to solve during your time here. You can use our dataset and/or the data you gathered during the breeding season in the field.

If working on Great Tits and analyzing large datasets sounds perfect? Please contact me at m.vandersluijs@nioo.knaw.nl