Wildlife Movement Ecologist


Position: Wildlife Movement Ecologist


  • Full-time for 2.5 years.
  •  Split time between Costa Rica and Peru.
  • 3-9 months being spent in one country at one time.
  • 2 weeks annual leave
  • 1 remote week every 8-12 weeks to focus on computer administrative tasks

Salary: Commensurate with Experience

  • Field site accommodation provided. Field site food will be provided – to be cooked by field teams.
  • Travel and Accommodation included to move between field sites.
  • Visa to work in both countries.
  • Work insurance in both countries.


Project Summary

This role will be employed under Osa Conservation’s Movement Ecology Program. Broadly, the project aims to develop and use state of the art animal tracking technology to increase our understanding of the movement ecology of scavenger networks, and the predators which drive them, in south and central America. It involves the capture and deployment of tracking equipment on cathartidae vultures and large cat species, taking biological samples and implementing a variety of different surveys to estimate the density and determine the ecological roles of scavenging communities.


Job Summary

Osa Conservation’s Wildlife Movement Ecologist has a key role in directing the field logistics to implement the project objectives and managing the data streams which the project will generate. Applicants should be comfortable living and working in remote tropical environments (field stations and forest camps in Costa Rica and Peru), have experience handling and manipulating multiple streams of ecological data (e.g. location and acceleration data, camera trap records, biological samples), and be comfortable handling and using new technology (GPS collars, e-obs trackers, camera traps etc.). There will be opportunities to lead-author and co-author scientific research papers associated with this position. This role requires a passionate and motivated individual to work in remote tropical field locations for long periods of time to push scientific and technological boundaries of movement ecology for conservation implications.


Roles and responsibilities

Lead the execution of:

  • Establishing protocols with robust study design and scientific integrity for animal captures, monitoring and ecological experiments.
  • Creating and maintaining all databases for the Movement Ecology Program.
  • Ensuring data collection and database protocols are followed by the team and the databases are created and organized to a high-standard.
  • Designing experiments with the senior scientist to add ecological and behavioral  information to the obtained GPS data.
  • Analyzing data and producing graphs and tables to communicate and represent results.
  • Using R/Movebank/MoveApps to check on the location and status of tracked individuals and creating workflows to generate automatic alerts.
  • Writing scientific publications (some as lead and some as co-author – as determined by the PI and Science Lead).


Work with Field Operations Manager to:

  • Coordinate field work activities on a day-to-day basis with a special focus on data collection and study design for animal captures, monitoring and scientific integrity of experiments.
  • Implement and monitor work plans (including animal captures, camera trap monitoring, in-field animal observations,, and additional experiments) for the field team at the Costa Rican and Peru field site.
  • Execute weekly team meetings incorporating both the Peru and CR team to ensure everyone is updated on work plans and problems can be solved quickly.
  • Execute general movement program activities logistics across both field sites (Peru & CR) as requested.


General Organization Activities: 

  • Execute report and grant writing for new and existing grants.
  • Write bi-weekly/weekly reports and share with the core movement ecology program team.
  • Ensure the creation of good media for the movement ecology program for Osa Conservation’s social media accounts on a monthly basis.
  • Post 3 times a month on a personal social media account showcasing the field of movement ecology and life as a wildlife biologist in remote tropical rainforest stations.
  • Execute activities for visitors, volunteers, collaborators and researchers at the Osa Conservation Campus.
  • Collaborate with other OC programs and projects when necessary.


Skill Requirements

  • Masters level degree in movement ecology or another relevant topic [Essential]
  • Field work experience (tropical experience preferred) [Essential]
  • Experience managing, curating and manipulating large data sets [Essential]
  • Experience using code-based statistical software (e.g. R) and version control (e.g. GitHub) [Essential]
  • Experience using mapping software (e.g ArcGIS) [Essential]
  • Ability to work as part of a diverse field team in remote locations for long-periods of time [Essential]
  • A manual driving license – B1 to be able to travel when needed across the South Pacific of Costa Rica on a variety of roads in 4×4 trucks and quad bikes [Essential]
  • Fluent in English (written and oral); basic conversational Spanish [Essential]
  • Good physical condition and experience working long hours in the field in difficult environments [Essential]
  • Confident in use of google applications, gmail, google drive and google calendar  [Essential]
  • A strategic mind with the determination and ability to generate solutions to problems under pressure [Essential]
  • Experience meeting deadlines and managing field teams [Essential]
  • Hard working, interpersonal skills,  team player, motivated leader, problem solver, positive attitude  and passionate individual [Essential]
  • Knowledge and experience in handling and capturing wild animals in remote locations (tropical experience preferred) [Preferred]
  • Experience publishing scientific manuscripts [Preferred]
  • Experience with the movebank  and/or MoveApps platforms [Preferred]
  • Knowledge and experience in collecting and processing biological samples [Preferred]

How to Apply: To apply please send a CV and single page cover letter to [email protected] with subject line “Wildlife Movement Ecologist” by April 3rd. All applicants who do not follow this guide will not be considered. Only successful applicants continuing to the interview stage will be contacted. Please state in the cover letter why you want this job specifically and what skills you can bring to tackle the outlined duties and responsibilities. We encourage applicants from Latin America to apply.