[MARMAM] Bottlenose Dolphin Internships - Winter season

Bruno Diaz b_d_r_i at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 12 11:48:57 PDT 2009

Hi everyone,
on behalf of the Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI (www.thebdri.com), I am pleased to announce that our centre is currently accepting internships applications for the Winter term (a minimum of 60 days of participation between February - April) in Sardinia Island, Italy. The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI  carries out field research projects and provide scientific and volunteer support.
BDRI's researchers are engaged in the conduction of a long term study about the ecology and behaviour of wild unrestrained bottlenose dolphins and the potential effects of human activities (fisheries, aquaculture and tourism) in their distribution and behaviour. An internship period with the BDRI offers an invaluable exposure to boat based field work,marine mammals research, intensive training and mentoring in marine biology. Undergraduate and postgraduate students could present their BDRI's personal research project as their Thesis if requested with the application. 

Internships can be used for academic or vocational purposes, but students are solely responsible for making all arrangements for receiving relevant credit(s) as a result of completing the internship.
Interns can expect to participate in and learn a variety of facets of marine mammal research as research assistants in two diverse research projects:
1. Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins societies project: We will take and analyse identification photos, study group structure and composition to refine details of dolphin societies and responses to human activities at sea. Volunteers assist with data collection onboard helping to locate, photograph and keep track of bottlenose dolphin groups. Back at the lab volunteers restock field supplies, analyse photos and transcribe data collected.
2. Mediterranean bottlenose dolphin's repertorie and communication use: Knowledge of how individuals within a population communicate and what they are communicating can generate information ranging from measures of habitat use, social relevance, geographical variation, cultural transmission to genetic fitness that can be applied to conservation. Bottlenose dolphins are extremely vocal mammalian species and vocal communication plays an important role in mediating social interactions. Although many vocalizations have been before described in the literature, their association with specific behaviours linked with human activities provides additional contextual information about their potential use as communication signals.

There is no compensation for these internship positions and successful applicants will be responsible for their own transportation expenses to and from the research camp (Sardinia, Italy). The BDRI covers 60% of the associated costs during the internships period and the selected internships will pay the 40% of the total costs. BDRI will provide housing, training, use of materials, field work, electricity, gas, boat trips, etc.
There is no deadline to apply. However, approved applications are accepted on a first-come, first serve basis. Apply early! Start and end dates are flexible. Positions are open until filled. Successful candidates will be ready and willing to learn, self-motivated, and flexible. Prior field research experience is recommended but not required.

Please download the internships general information at:
and the application from:
Send cover letter or inquiries by email to the Research Chief, Bruno Diaz Lopez, at info at thebdri.com. Please indicate in your cover letter the dates you are available. 
Selected scientific publications by BDRI:
1. Diaz Lopez B. & Shirai, J.A.B., in press. Mediterranean common bottlenose dolphin's repertoire and communication use. In: Dolphins: Anatomy, Behavior, and Threats, F. Columbus (Ed.), Nova Science Publishers, New York.
2. Diaz Lopez B., 2009. The bottlenose dolphin Tursiops truncatus foraging around a fish farm: Effects of prey abundance on dolphins' behaviour. Current Zoology (Acta Zoologica Sinica) 55(4):243-248.
3. Diaz Lopez B., Bunke, M. and Shirai, J.A., 2008. Marine aquaculture off Sardinia Island (Italy): ecosystem effects evaluated through a trophic mass-balance model. Ecological Modelling 212: 292-303.
4. Diaz Lopez, B., Shirai, J.A.; Bilbao Prieto, A. & M?ndez Fern?ndez, P., 2008. Diving activity of a solitary wild free ranging bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus). Journal of Marine Biological Association U.K. 88(6): 1153-1157.
5. Diaz Lopez B. and Shirai, J.A., 2008. Marine aquaculture and bottlenose dolphins social structure. Behavioural Ecology and Sociobiology 62(6): 887-894.
6. Diaz Lopez B. and Shirai, J.A., 2007. "Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) presence and incidental capture in a marine fish farm on the noth-eastern coast of Sardinia (Italy)" Journal of Marine Biological Association U.K, 87, 113-117.
7. Diaz Lopez, B., 2006. "Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) Predation on a Marine Fin Fish Farm: Some Underwater Observations". Aquatic Mammals 32(3): 305 - 310 pp.
8. Diaz Lopez, B., 2006. Interactions between Mediterranean bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) and gillnets off Sardinia. ICES Journal of Marine Science 63:944-951 pp.
9. Diaz Lopez, B., 2005. Interactions between bottlenose dolphins with trammel nets in the Sardinia Island. International Council for Exploration of the Sea Document CM 2005/X 1.
10. Diaz Lopez, B., 2005. Interaction between bottlenose dolphins and fish farms: could there be an economic impact? International Council for Exploration of the Sea Document CM 2005/X 10.
11. Diaz Lopez, B., Marini, L., Polo, F., 2005. The impact of a fish farm on a bottlenose dolphin population in the Mediterranean Sea. Thalassas 2005, 21(2): 53-58.

Bruno Diaz Lopez 
Chief Researcher / Marine Zoologist 
Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI 
V.Armando Diaz Nº4 07020 Golfo Aranci (SS) Italy 
info at thebdri.com  
tel.+ 39 346 081 5414
tel. + 0789 183 1197
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