[MARMAM] Seeking assistants for dolphin research, Australia

Kate Sprogis K.Sprogis at murdoch.edu.au
Tue Apr 19 02:21:48 PDT 2011




Program:          The South West Marine Research Program is a long-term,
multi-faceted project on the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins of South
West Australia. This program is based in Bunbury (south of Perth) and is
a collaboration between Murdoch University and numerous industry and
non-profit partners. The research, of PhD and masters students, focuses
on dolphin population dynamics, abundance, social structure and
behaviour, habitat use, conservation genetics and foraging ecology. 




PhD Outline:   Here, I am seeking research interns to assist on a
project focussing on population dynamics and predictive habitat
modelling of coastal bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) in Bunbury.
Long term data will be used to investigate population dynamics and
habitat use, in order to aid in future conservation and management


Field work is conducted from Busselton to Mandurah but is focused mainly
around Bunbury within a 120km2 area consisting of coastal beaches,
inshore bays, estuarine inlets and a river. Using a rigid sampling
design, this research is conducted year round via standardised line
transect surveys (up to 5nm offshore) from a small research vessel. 


This experience will be most useful to students or anyone hoping to
pursue a career in behavioural ecology, population biology or marine




Supervisors:     Dr Lars Bejder (Murdoch University), Prof. Ken Pollock
(Murdoch University), Dr Halina Kobryn (Murdoch University), Dr Dave
Johnston (Duke University, North Carolina) and Dr Randy Wells (Sarasota
Dolphin Research Program, Florida).


Office:             Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit, South
West Marine Research Program Office based at the Dolphin Discovery
Centre in Bunbury. 




Duties:             Field: spotting wildlife, data collection, boat
driving, photo identification 

Office: Data entry, fin matching, project organisation

Computer programs used for data are: FinBase, ArcGIS, ACDSee, Logger,
Microsoft Access, Excel and Word.


Time Period:   Seeking skilled research assistants to commence in May
2011 or anytime between 2011-2013. Because of the training required,
applicants must be willing to commit to the project fulltime (five days
a week) for a minimum of two months. 


Unfortunately, we are unable to provide monetary compensation or living
provisions and research assistants will be responsible for their own
travel to Western Australia and living expenses. Please note, the
Bunbury backpackers provide good discounts for assistants of the Dolphin
Discovery Centre.


Assistants should:

Be adaptable and patient as fieldwork is highly weather dependent.
Fieldwork will vary between weekdays and weekends. When the weather
permits fieldwork could be long and on consecutive days.


Preferred   skills/traits:PRE

1. Enrolled in or completed a degree in biology, marine science, animal
behaviour or a related field.

2. Previous field experience with wildlife (field data collection,
photo-identification, boat handling skills). 

3. Be enthusiastic, team oriented and have a positive attitude as well
as a genuine interest in wildlife science. 


If you are interested in volunteering or interning, please provide a
short CV and a cover letter to the attention of Kate Sprogis
(k.sprogis at murdoch.edu.au).


Kate Sprogis, BMarSt Hons

PhD Candidate 

Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit

Centre for Fish and Fisheries Research

Faculty of Sustainability, Environmental and Life Sciences

School of Biological Sciences

Murdoch University, Western Australia

Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia








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