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If you don’t mind getting up early once or twice a month, we need volunteers to support important new research into avian influenza or 'bird flu'.

Volunteer 'duckwatchers' monitor the temporary wild bird enclosures and provide information about the research to the public along the River Torrens.

Experience with birds is certainly welcome but not a requirement as the animal handling is only done by the trained University staff.

All volunteers receive a Duckwatch t-shirt and a letter of acknowledgement for their contribution.

  • Volunteer Position Description
    Position Title: Duckwatch Research Support Volunteer 
    University Area: Faculty of Sciences
    Description and purpose of the job: Duckwatch is an 18-month University of Adelaide research project investigating the health of ducks and other waterbirds along the River Torrens. The researchers will be measuring the exposure of the ducks to avian influenza viruses. Volunteers are needed to support this important research to help ensure the safety of the waterbirds while the researchers are sampling, and to help inform the public about the research.
    Responsibilities: Monitoring specially-built temporary traps set up along the River Torrens. Volunteers will report to the lead researcher, advise when there are birds within the aviaries, and act as “aviary ambassadors” with the passing public.
    Specific duties to be undertaken: Monitoring the temporary traps and alerting researchers when birds are in the enclosures by radio or phone.
    Talking to members of the public who may have questions about the activities; information will be provided.
    Qualifications – skills, expertise, experience, knowledge: No specific skills or qualifications are required, but an interest in birds and wildlife will be valued.
    Training provided: Volunteers will be given information about the project and the importance of the research. They will be instructed in information to be given to the public as required.
    Volunteers will receive health, wellbeing and safety information.
    Personal attributes required: Ability to sit outdoors in early mornings
    Willingness to interact with the public
    Time frame and/or attendance requirements: This is an 18-month project which will involve early mornings (around dawn) for three hours once every two to four weeks. The timing of each session will be weather dependent. If the weather is deemed to be unsuitable then the session will be rescheduled. Sessions will predominantly be on Tuesday mornings.
    Location of work: River Torrens in central Adelaide, based at the University of Adelaide. Details of the meeting place will be provided each time.
    Travel involved: Volunteers will be responsible for their own transport to and from the research site.
    Supervision (to whom do volunteers report): Dr Antonia Dalziel – lead researcher
    Benefits to the volunteer: You will be contributing to valuable research on the health of our wildlife and the contribution of volunteers as a group will be acknowledged in the final research report.You will also receive a free Duckwatch t-shirt and a letter of acknowledgement of your contribution. University of Adelaide volunteers are an important part of the University’s community and are invited to volunteer appreciation events. You can find out more about University of Adelaide volunteers at

    Should this Volunteer position interest you please contact:
    Name: Dr Toni Dalziel 
    Telephone: 0497 060 795
    Web Link details:

  • Volunteer Information Session
    Information Session Details
    Date Wednesday 29th April
    Time Start time - 6pm
    Induction Session 7-8pm
    Location Benham Lecture Theatre (G10 Benham Labs)
    North Terrace Campus, Adelaide
    Map (ref D10)
School of Biological Sciences

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