Seabird Ecology and Conservation

Project overview:

Shoals Marine Laboratory seeks a motivated undergraduate researcher to investigate questions of seabird ecology and conservation on the Isles of Shoals. Seabirds are valuable indicators of ecosystem processes and ocean health, as they can inform us about a diversity of aspects of the marine environment upon which they rely. Shoals Marine Laboratory is located amidst a diverse community of nesting seabirds (including gulls, terns, and alcids), providing an ideal environment to study seabirds and their interactions with the marine environment. The Seabird Ecology and Conservation Undergraduate Researcher will work closely with Shoals Marine Laboratory and external mentors to conduct field research on questions related to seabird diet, foraging behavior and movement, exposure to environmental contaminants (e.g., plastic), and basic ecology and physiology.

The researcher will gain hands-on experience in field collection and observational methods as well as laboratory techniques, and assist in other ongoing seabird research projects. The researcher will be a part of the larger Shoals Undergraduate Research Group cohort and will participate in weekly discussions and lectures.

Appropriate coursework in wildlife ecology and/or ornithology preferred. Previous experience at SML is preferred, but not required. Relevant SML courses include: Field Ornithology, Field Animal Behavior, and the Shoals Research Apprenticeship.

Project Mentors:
Dr. Liz Craig (Director of Seabird Science, SML)
Dr. Gemma Clucas (Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell University)
Dr. Jennifer Seavey (Executive Director, SML)

Dates: May 25 - July 29, 2022

SML Research Symposium: July 26, 2022

Stipend: $200/week
Includes room & board for 10 weeks, and roundtrip vessel transportation from Portsmouth, NH to Appledore Island. Researchers are responsible for their own transportation to/from Portsmouth, NH at the beginning and end of the internship.

One researcher will be selected.


Photo of SML Seabird Technician, Taylor Ouellette, holding a tern

Tern Conservation Program Overview:

Video of SML's tern conservation research on Seavey Island

To apply:

  • 2022 Application HERE
  • Application Deadline: February, 25th 2022
  • Applicants should be prepared to upload (as separate files): cover letter, resume/CV, and unofficial transcripts.
  • Request two letters of recommendation. At least one letter must be from a professor/faculty member. The second can be from a graduate student TA or employer.
  • Undergraduates in all majors may apply.
  • Priority is given to students who have previous SML experience.

Email Dr. David Buck