Tropical Ichthyology Research Intern
Where the great Paraguay River meets the even larger Parana river, the water rebounds and overflows the banks. The amazing delta system spreads for miles as two rivers converge and the water carves a giant network of underground tunnels, large sandy lakes, and slow flowing streams spread across the country side. The name of this area is the Ñeembucú Wetland Complex. Located in Southwestern Paraguay, this area has been heavily understudied. Home to squirmy eels, tiny minnows, hundreds of cichlids, and giant stingrays, this mosaic habitat is certainly hiding new species for science.
Para La Tierra is searching for talented and hardworking research interns to join our team in Paraguay for 3 to 6 months. Our internship program provides young biologists an opportunity to step out of the classroom and into the field, gaining hands-on experience running a research project of their own design. Before arriving, our interns are challenged to come up with a research topic, review the relevant literature, and create a methodology with the support of our intern-supervisor. Towards the end of the stay, all our interns give a final presentation in which they share the results of their study with the rest of the research team. The internship program is designed to give young scientists the opportunity to take control of every step of a scientific project. From conception to completion, our interns are in the driver seat.
When was the last time that your professor gave you the option to choose what you wanted to study? When was the last time your boss told you to follow your own passion?
At Para La Tierra, we specialize in training young biologists in the skills they need to enter further education or the job market. Based in Paraguay, the ‘heart of South America,’ we are the country’s only year-round research station. Over the past 9 years, we have published over 60 peer-reviewed articles and discovered a few new species for science. Along the way, over 250 interns have helped contribute to the better understanding of Paraguay’s understudied habitats.
Our ichthyology team is focusing on establishing a bio-geographical inventory of species to define just how much the species communities vary by micro-habitat. By comparing the community structure found in the different areas of the delta system we hope to find areas of interest to evolutionary biology. This confluence is a meeting place of many species and the network of temporary floodplains often leads to extended isolation events. Whether you’ve a proven interest in ichthyology or just beginning your career as a conservation biologist, this internship gives you the opportunity to design your own project and execute a methodology of your own design.
Our research base is located in the city of Pilar, a beautiful location in the south of Paraguay, and the gateway to the Ñeembucú Wetland Complex (NWC). The NWC is composed of a mosaic of habitats, including grasslands, marches and humid Chaco. Deep forests lining the rivers and streams running through the area are bursting with wildlife, while river monsters the size of small cars lurk in the murky waters.
Come discover for yourself what Paraguay has to offer.
Our interns finish the program taking away a long list of newly learned skills, a professional reference, and one heck of an experience to share at their next interview. But they also leave behind a great deal. All of our intern projects are directly involved in conserving this threatened habitat. The scientific investigations of the area help raise awareness of the ecological importance of Ñeembucu at both the national and international levels. The most successful projects are published in scientific journals, further raising the profile of Paraguay, and many interns make their way onto the author line for the first time in their early careers through their work with Para La Tierra.
The application period is rolling and there are no start or end dates, so the trip can be organized to suit the project and the person. Interns must be available to stay for a minimum of three months.
Applicants must be over 18 years old and have or be working towards a degree in a biology related subject. Conversational English is required. To apply please email your CV to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Costs – Because the best things in life aren’t free.
$925 per month for the 1st 2 months and $875 for each subsequent month.
Para La Tierra charges interns to cover costs of room and board. The price includes all living costs during their stay with us. Interns receive three meals a day, a bed in shared accommodation with hot showers and access to WiFi. The fee also covers the use of PLT’s scientific equipment, minor administrative costs associated with the stay, and a small contribution to Para La Tierra's conservation and education projects.
Weekly basis pro rata payments are accepted in special cases. There is a 25% discount for South American nationals.