[MARMAM] BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN RESEARCH ASSISTANTS, needed from now until 20th November 2010, Tursiops sp., based in Bunbury, Western Australia

Valissa Buchanan V.Buchanan at murdoch.edu.au
Thu Sep 23 23:11:23 PDT 2010

I am seeking a research assistant for field work from ASAP until the
20th of November, assistants that can stay and help for the whole period
will be preferred. Assistants will help me in collecting behavioural
data in the field on the bottlenose dolphin population off the southwest
coast of Western Australia. The field work began in June 2009 and will
continue to June 2011. Fieldwork will be based just north of the coastal
town of Bunbury, approximately 2hr drive south of Perth.
PROJECT SUMMARY: The project aims to ascertain the population abundance
of the dolphin population in the Binningup region and determine the
residency/movement patterns of the population. It will hopefully also
identify critical habitats for dolphins for particular behavioural
activity states and possibly determine drivers of these. This area is
zoned for the construction of a desalination plant. This research will
assist in establishing the long-term viability of the population.

 FIELD WORK: All observations and data collection will be conducted from
a 5.9m centre console boat equipped with a 100HP engine. Assistants
should be prepared to work long hours with early starts. Aboard the
research boat assistants will be required to assist in boat handling and
data collection and be expected to participate in the following duties
in the lab: data entry, fin-matching, and database/catalogue
maintenance. Field work is physically and at times mentally demanding
but you will have the opportunity to observe and gain hands-on
experience in relation to survey techniques, photo-identification,
behavioural observations and improve existing skills. This experience
will be most useful to students or anyone hoping to pursue a career in
behavioural ecology or population biology.

1. Be enthusiastic, team oriented, have a positive attitude and good
sense of humour as well as a genuine interest in marine mammal science.
2. Be adaptable and patient as fieldwork is highly weather dependent.
This means office based work during bad weather and long consecutive
days in the field when weather permits and fieldwork will vary between
weekends and weekdays. For every day on the water there are
approximately 3 days in the office data processing. The days you work
are very inflexible as it is weather dependant and having a job while
you are assisting is not recommended unless they are very flexible.
3. Be prepared to work long days in a small vessel in small team of 3
people approximately 40 hours per week.

Regrettably I am unable to provide monetary compensation or living
provisions and research assistants will be responsible for travel to
Perth or Bunbury and their own living expenses. Pickup from Perth may be
possible but is dependent on arrival time. Perth is the closest airport.
We are 2hrs drive south of Perth in Bunbury. There are trains and buses
to Bunbury.  Transport within Bunbury is not provided and is via


If you are interested please email Valissa on v.buchanan at murdoch.edu.au
<mailto:v.buchanan at murdoch.edu.au>  and include the dates you are
available, a copy of your CV and a couple of references.



Valissa Buchanan

Research Assistant - Murdoch University


Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit

447 Koombana Drive Bunbury

WA 6230 Australia


PS For scuba opportunities see www.coastalwaterdive.com.au




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