Prácticas/voluntariado con carnívoros en Polonia ~

1 de diciembre de 2023

Prácticas/voluntariado con carnívoros en Polonia

Nota de Nando: Prácticas sin remuneración, sólo alojamiento. Si te decides, ¡busca financiación o beca alternativa y coméntalo con ellos!

Internship offer – Predation-induced stress effect in the forest ecosystem

General Stress Paradigm project

We are looking for volunteers in the project: “Multilevel effects of predation-induced prey stress on ecosystem functioning in temperate forests”. We cannot offer financial support, however, we could provide help with accommodation.

Duration: 15/01/2024 – 15/05/2024 (can be extended or adjusted)

Project Description: The main objective is to assess the impact of predation risk due to the presence of large carnivores (wolf, lynx) on stoichiometry (C:N) along trophic levels down to the soil through the potentially induced stress response of ungulates (red deer and roe deer). The general hypothesis is that the increased risk of predation resulting from prey detection causes chronic stress in animals, leading to a reallocation of nutrients in the body away from growth and reproductive processes (requiring nitrogen-rich proteins) towards emergency functions (requiring carbon-rich carbohydrates), with different effects on the carbon/nitrogen ratios observed in the lower trophic levels (plants, soil) of the ecosystem. The aim of this study is to assess i) the predator risk gradient in the Bialowieza forest by camera trapping, and ii) the induced effect on physiological (hormone content in feces, N content in urine) and behavioral stress (feeding time and vigilance rates with camera trapping) of deer, but also on deer diet (species composition, plant and fecal CN, fiber, protein). We will deploy camera traps in the Bialowieza forest from late February to early April and check them weekly, we will collect feces in March 2024, and we will perform laboratory analyses from January to May 2024. Urine samples will be collected throughout the winter depending on snow conditions.

Main tasks to develop:

  • Carnivore monitoring: Weekly field check-ups of camera traps deployed in Bialowieza Forest (with a technician or other team member), and data management and video classification (species identification) on the Trapper software (developed at MRI PAS for this purpose).
  • Ungulates’ stress: Field collection of feces and urine samples from red deer and roe deer in areas with different levels of predation risk, extraction of stress hormones in feces, and CN analysis of feces and urine in the laboratory.
  • Ungulates’ diet: Laboratory CN elemental and FT-NIR spectroscopic analyses of plants and feces already collected in the previous summer of 2023 to study the chemical composition of the plant species (leaf samples) present in our study plots and also the deer diet (fecal samples).


Supervisors: Prof. Krzysztof Schmidt & PhD candidate María Losada

For any information, please contact us:

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