Master-Thesis in Citizen Science CC 4.0 Fornoff

Join us to track the first invasive wild bee in Europe 

Team Asiatische Mörtelbiene is looking for a motivated student to join the working group of Prof. Meimberg  at the Institute for Integrative Nature Conservation Research at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna.

 Megachile sculpturalis Smith, 1853 native to East Asia, is the first ever recognized invasive bee in Europe. Introduced species are a serious threat for the native biodiversity and has to be considered as one of the main drivers to a declining entomofauna. Species abundancy studies focusing on introduced species are especially critical. Together with public members we collect distribution records and specimens to investigate its dispersal modalities, trace colonization pathways, analyze its nesting biology and competitive ability.

During the master thesis the student will get firsthand insights in a citizen science project and will collect occurrence as well as ethological data of the invasive bee. Therefore, the work includes public relation work to reach and inform the public (e.g. writing articles for newspapers and monthly newsletters) as well as communicate with participants. During its active season in summer (July and August 2021), the student will work in the field by tracking the invasive bee in Vienna and surroundings. We are looking for a student with a strong interest in wild bees, sufficient communication skills in German and English and with the possibility to join the team during the summer months. Further, we offer the possibility to work in a molecular biology lab to learn DNA isolation techniques, PCRs, gel electrophoresis and DNA library preparation for Illumina sequencing.

Contact: Julia Lanner (PhD student, citizen science project leader)

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Availability: March 2021