Food Web Ecology Field Assistant

Employer: Ben Martin(


Spiny water flea (Bythotrephes longimanus) is an invasive zooplankton that’s spread across several Wisconsin lakes and heavily prey upon native zooplankton communities. Spiny water flea have a long caudal spine with several spines that make them difficult to consume, and therefore can be problematic for planktivorous fish and young life stages.

This project is focused on the potential to manage spiny water flea from the top-down through fish predation. To do so, we will be comparing the foraging behavior of various fishes in relation to native prey and spiny water flea.


  • Safe operation of UW boats and vehicles
  • Launching and towing of boats
  • Careful data collection and sample processing
  • Deploying and retrieving fish sampling equipment
  • Collecting, rearing, and dissecting fish
  • Collecting, identifying, and quantifying zooplankton
  • Preparing fish samples for stable isotope analysis
  • Use of digital morphology techniques on fish and zooplankton


  • Eager to learn new fish ecology techniques
  • Willing to spend time in the field and in the lab
  • Willing to work in all safe weather conditions
  • Experience handling fish is preferred
  • Must be able to swim
  • Be able to life and carry a moderate amount (~30 lbs.) of gear over short distances
  • Valid driver’s license which meets UW Risk Management standards is required


  • Number of positions: 1-2
  • Start date: Mid to late May 2019
  • End date: Late August 2019
  • Pay:  $11.00-no experience; $11.25-some experience; $11.50-very experienced

 Location and Housing:

These positions will spend ~2/3 of the summer based at the CFL in Madison, WI where housing will not be provided.  The later 1/3 of the summer will be spent at CFL’s Trout Lake Station in Boulder Junction, WI in northern Wisconsin.   Dormitory style housing (not food) is provided free of charge. Enjoy swimming, hiking, fishing, biking and shoreline campfires while gaining valuable research experience!

 How to apply:

  • Position filled.

The CFL is an equal opportunity employer and is dedicated to an inclusive and positive working environment for all.