We are offering a MSc thesis opportunity in reproductive fitness of common toads in agricultural and natural landscapes in our Working Group “Community Ecology and Ecotoxicology” at University of Koblenz-Landau, Landau campus.
Amphibians are among the most threatened group of vertebrates, with pesticides being one of the main drivers of global amphibian decline. Amphibians are exposed to pesticides during their breeding season and the aquatic development in pesticide contaminated ponds as well as the annual migration through the agricultural landscape. However, there is little information on the reproductive capacities of amphibian populations inhabiting pesticide polluted landscapes.
In this study, reproductively active common toads (Bufo bufo) will be captured from natural and agricultural habitats. Across four to six ponds, their reproductive fitness will be investigated. Therefore, endpoints including mass of the egg clutch, fertilization rate and offspring viability will be analyzed.
The work will be conducted from March to May 2019 in the area around Landau and at the Campus Geilweilerhof in Siebeldingen. Interested candidates should have a driver’s license, be interested in field work with amphibians, and be willing to work independently and in the evenings.