Kate Sprogis K.Sprogis at murdoch.edu.au
Mon Dec 12 20:14:01 PST 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 Cetacean Research Unit 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. 



Outline:           Here, I am seeking research volunteers to assist on a
PhD 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 Binningyup within a 520km2
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 Randall 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, ACDSee, Logger, Microsoft
Access, Excel and Word.


Time Period:   Seeking skilled research assistants in the period of
January 2012- March 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 Aquatic Ecosystems Research

School of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology

Faculty of Science and Engineering

Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia


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