Biological Research Assistants

Because we function primarily as a research station, there are always projects in need of extra help. Generally, if you wish to help out with biological research, it is best to contact us well in advance of your intended stay. This way we can help place you on a project that most closely meets your interests and goals. For example, if you are interested in birds, butterflies, frogs, plants, insects, or any other organism, we would try to put you to work on something involving your favorite organism. No prior experience is necessary. Several ongoing studies are designed for non-biologists or biology students who cannot stay at Yanayacu for very long. Everyone, however, is welcome to help. For more serious biology students, we encourage you to think of areas of interests that could lead to independent or collaborative projects with other students and biologists.

Examples of past and present research projects include:

  • Collecting and raising caterpillars.
  • Locate and monitor bird nests.
  • Study the reproductive habits of frogs.
  • Observe spider colonies to learn what prey the spiders capture.
  • Examine the pollinators that visit certain types of flowers.


Independent Research Projects

We highly encourage everyone who intends to pursue biological studies in the future to develop a research project for which they can take most of the control. This would mean as little or as much guidance from onsite biologists as you need to create a study which fits your own interests. If you have ideas before you arrive, we can help you find appropriate reading material before you come or help suggest directions for your study. Many students also arrive, spend some time working on pre-existing projects, and then spin off onto an idea of their own. We encourage students to take on small projects that can be completed, synthesized, and written up for publication (or close to it) before you leave Yanayacu.

Noctuana haematospila

Examples of completed independent projects include:

Swallow-tailed Nightjar (Uropsalis segmentata)