Organization: Memphis Zoo
Location: Memphis, TN, United States
Job or Internship: Research Internship
Description: The Memphis Zoo Department of Research and Conservation is offering undergraduate-level summer internships in several areas of biology, including reproductive physiology, genetics, behavioral ecology, chemical ecology, endocrinology, and nutrition. This program offers a unique research experience in conservation biology and may qualify for directed independent study or academic credit through the student’s educational institution. Interns will gain experience in a variety of laboratory techniques, with opportunities to tailor the experience to their specific interests. Additionally, interns will learn strategies for communicating their science to broad audiences and will present their research findings in a professional scientific setting. Each intern will receive a final evaluation upon the completion of the internship, and satisfactory performance will be necessary to receive academic credit.
Requirements for this position: Applicants must have completed at least one year of college-level course work in biology or a related field by June 2016. Preference will be given to individuals with leadership ability, strong communication skills, and a demonstrated commitment to wildlife conservation. Some experience with laboratory techniques and data analysis is preferred. Interns must be well organized and able to work well with a team and independently
Benefits: This is an unpaid internship and is offered as either a full-time (40 hr/wk) or part-time (24 hr/wk) position, depending on the applicant’s interest and financial situation. Off-site housing is available. We will strongly support efforts to receive academic credit for a successful internship.
Timeframe: This is a 12-week internship program, from June 1 – Aug 31, 2016. Start and end dates are somewhat flexible.
Materials to submit: Applications must be submitted by February 26, 2016 and should include a letter of interest, CV, unofficial college transcript, and two letters of recommendation. If possible, submit these materials as a single PDF file. Recommendation letters may be emailed separately. All materials should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the applicant’s last name and “Research Internship” in the subject line. The letter of interest should describe the applicant’s interests and experience related to biology/wildlife with more detail than what is provided in the CV. Applications with incomplete materials will not be considered. If you have any questions regarding the program, please email with “Research Internship” in the subject line.
Development of assisted reproductive technologies for endangered amphibians and reptiles.
Successful applicants will be working with model species to test technologies that can be applied to endangered herpetofauna. Technologies such as hormone therapy, semen collection and analysis, cryopreservation, artificial insemination and IVF will be used to increase reproductive output and establish genome resource banks.
Reproductive physiology of endangered or threatened mammals.
The applicant will be optimizing non-invasive techniques (enzyme immunoassays) for measuring and tracking reproductive cycles and seasonality in males and females. In addition the applicant will be assessing the use of novel hormones as biomarkers of pregnancy and parturition for study species such as polar bears, giant panda, or large cats.
Data analysis of bamboo plant physiology and giant panda foraging behavior. The applicant will be using bioinformatics, statistical models and meta-data analysis to examine links between bamboo nutritional content and panda foraging. A large part of this project will involve writing and computer work.
*All of these projects are laboratory based and do not involve interaction with the zoo’s animal collection. If you are interested in animal husbandry internships please see the zoo’s job posting section. When applying for a summer research internship, please indicate your first and second choice project area and why.
Read an example of the great success we've had with this relationship.