Job Position: 
Volunteer work
Closing Date: 
Sunday, September 30, 2018

I am a PhD student with the School of Earth of Environmental Science at the University of Queensland working with Parks Australia on Christmas Island. My project is trying to answer the question: Will invasive black rats benefit from cat control on Christmas Island with negative consequences for native birds?

I am looking for volunteers to help with field work on Christmas Island for this field season which will start in June 2018 and will be ongoing until November 2018. I am looking for people who can commit to at least 1 month and up to 3 months during this period of time. Basic accommodation and flights between Christmas Island and Perth will be provided, but the volunteer will need to cover food costs for the duration.

Fieldwork will include monitoring nesting Red-tailed tropicbirds using motion sensing cameras and monitoring rat abundance (using ink card and density estimation methods). There may also be video processing/ data entry work to fill time between field work and on rain days etc. 

As there is a diverse range of research projects currently being carried out on Christmas Island, there will also be opportunities to help other researchers and Parks Australia (if you are interested) i.e. the Parks captive breeding program for extinct in the wild reptile species, a PhD project that is reintroducing reptiles to a soft release site, catching and banding the CI goshawk, feeding seabirds at the seabird rehab centre etc.

Requirements: I am looking for people who are fit and confident in the field (especially off-track and on quite uneven rocky ground) and can work in hot and humid conditions while remaining positive and happy :) The jungle on Christmas Island is no walk in the park, it can be uncomfortable at times (hot, humid, rain, mosquitos) so you will need to be tough. You should also be confident with GPS navigation or at least be confident in your ability to learn.

What to expect: Christmas Island is a unique, isolated island with a small, diverse community. The majority of the island is protected by National Park managed by Parks Australia. Christmas Island has a unique flora and fauna assemblage influenced by both Indomalayan and Australasian biogeography, including of course, the huge biomass of red crabs and robber crabs. Land crabs make field work quite challenging - a unique part of life on Christmas Island.

We will be working ~6-8 hours a day on weekdays. Weekends will mostly be free. Some longer days or weekend work may be required depending on tasks and weather etc, but if/when this happens, rest days will be made up for. For rest days there is swimming and snorkelling, diving, fishing, spearfishing, bushwalking etc. There is also an outdoor cinema, HHH group, roti breakfasts, Wonton Wednesdays and other fun things... See for more information.

Applications: Please email me telling me about your availability from 26th June to early November and any previous experience ASAP (email: You are welcome to send your CV. Again, you will need to be able to commit to at least 1 month but I am interested to have people for up to 3 months - so let me know what you are up for! 

I look forward to hearing from you!

Rosie Willacy

Contact Name: 
Rosie Willacy
Contact Email: 
Job Location: 
Christmas Island