[MARMAM] CETACEAN RESEARCH ASSISTANT OPPORTUNITY IN ICELAND

chiara bertulli ciarabertulli at yahoo.it
Wed Jan 19 10:20:11 PST 2011



CETACEAN
RESEARCH ASSISTANT OPPORTUNITY IN ICELAND

 

WHAT:


This is a
joint research project consisting of the two following projects:

 

The first
project is investigating the effects of whale-watching on Minke whales in
Icelandic waters. One volunteer is needed for this project to help collect
track data (movement and respiration data) of Minke whales from whale-watching
boats in Faxaflói Bay, Iceland. The volunteer will assist
the primary researcher with collecting GPS positional data and take notes in
the field, as well as data entry and equipment cleaning and maintenance when
back in port. The behavioural data collected from the whale-watching boats will
be compared to control data collected from a land-based station to quantify the
effects of whale-watching activities on Minke whales in Icelandic waters.

 

Another
volunteer assistant is requested to partake in a second project investigating abundance,
patterns of residency, social structure and health status of Minke whales,
white-beaked dolphins and humpback whales in Faxaflói Bay, Reykjavik, Iceland.
An intensive photo-identification study will be used to estimate number of
individual whales/dolphins and their site fidelity (seasonal and annual) in the
coastal waters of Faxaflói
 Bay during spring, summer
and autumn months (the existing ID-Catalogue already counts 311 Minke whales,
342 white-beaked dolphins and 50 humpback whales). The long-term
photo-identification data will be converted into model of social structure to
define and calculate association indices in the resident population of
white-beaked dolphins. 

 

WHERE:


Faxaflói Bay is a bay
facing Reykjavík city where both whale-watching and whaling is currently taking
place.  Daily whale-watching tours are arranged from Reykjavik to spot feeding Minke whales,
white-beaked dolphins, Humpback whales and harbour porpoises. Reykjavik Whale-watching Company has been
running whale-watching trips since 1998, with special interest in all whales
visiting the bay. The company is member of Green Globe 21 and tries to fulfil
environmental standards as well as certain whale-watching guidelines.

Since
2007, the Company started as well a Research project called ‘Faxaflói Cetacean
Research’ aiming to:

-     
determine the abundance of Minke whales, white-beaked dolphins and humpback
whales in the coastal waters of Faxaflói
 Bay

-     
examining patters of residency using multiple photo-identification efforts

-     
establishing sex ratio estimates via biological sampling 

-    analyse the feeding behaviour of Minke
whales and white-beaked dolphins and data collected on associated bird species

-       determining population structure of the
resident population of white-beaked dolphins occurring in the coastal waters of
Faxaflói Bay 

-     
assess prevalence of cutaneous disorders on Minke whales and white-beaked dolphins during
photo-identification surveys 

 

WHEN:
       

Tracking
project: 10th of June to 31st of August 2011

Photo-ID:
15th April to 15th September 2011

 

 

CONDITIONS:


For the
boat based work, two whale-watching motor vessels will be used as research
platform: Elding and Hafsúlan each approx 30m long. Living space for the boat
based people is located on a former fishing boat in the old harbour, with 3
single rooms, bathroom, kitchen, living room and internet access (25 square metres);
10 min walking distance to the city centre. 

Because of
the training required, applicants must be willing to commit to the project a
minimum of two months. Applicants willing to participate for the whole working
period will be given preference.

Unfortunately,
neither of these positions are paid and the successful candidates must be able
to cover their own travel expenses, travel insurance, food and other personal
expenses. Accommodation will be provided.

 

DUTIES:


Applicants
should be ready to work long hours (07:00 to 17.00 or to 20.00 hours depending
on weather conditions) and be expected to participate in the following duties:

 Tracking
project:

-     
collect Minke whale track data from whale-watching boat

-     
data entry

-     
data processing

 Photo-ID
project:

-     
collect photographic material on whales and dolphins

-     
photo-identification work under the supervision of the PI

-     
recognition of skin marks

-      ID Database entry and use of matching
softwares (Darwin and Europhlukes) 

 

Above
this, cleaning, painting and other maintenance tasks is part of staying at the
fishing boat in the old harbour as a gratitude to the free accommodation
provided by Elding. At the beginning and end of each whale-watching trip, we
also help the boat crew out by assisting passengers with life jackets, warm
blankets etc.

 

QUALIFICATIONS:


-     
have a strong background in Marine biology/Oceanography, with knowledge and
experience of marine mammal behaviour and/or sea birds

-     
have previous wildlife field experience and ability to stand long working days,
sometimes in rough sea conditions (seasick people should not apply for these
positions!)

-     
have previous cetacean photo-identification skills (relevant for the ID
assistant position)

-     
be computer literate with a working knowledge PC operating system and
proficiency with MS Word and MS Excel. Familiarity with software including MS
Access and Photoshop is very helpful. Possibility to bring your own Laptop is
much preferred 

-     
be enthusiastic, hard-working, team oriented, able to share small living space
on board

-     
be adaptable, flexible and patient as fieldwork is highly weather dependent 

-     
have good English language skills

-     
bring your own digital reflex camera and zoom lens (pre-requisite for the ID
assistant position) 

 

HOW
TO APPLY: 

CV or
resume should include the following:

-     
details of your availability

-     
contact details of two referees

-     
a brief description of yourself including your interest in marine mammals and
what you hope to gain from this experience

-     
specify if you have any preference for the “tracking” project or the “photo-ID”
project.

-     
any dietary requirements (i.e. vegetarian, vegan, etc.)

 

 

Send
applications both to Chiara Bertulli and Fredrik Christiansen (see below):

 

Chiara
Bertulli (MSc Student)

University of Iceland

Biology Department

Náttúrfræðahús/Askja

Sturlugata 7

101 Reykjavik

Iceland

E-mail: cgb1 at hi.is
/ ciarabertulli at yahoo.it 

Mobile:
+354-8618307

Skype: chiara.giulia.bertulli

 

Principal
Investigator/Research Coordinator

c/o
Reykjavík Whale-watching Company

Ægisgardur
7

101
Reykjavík

Iceland 

 

and

 

Fredrik Christiansen (PhD Student)

University of Aberdeen

Institute of Biological
Sciences

Tillydrone Ave

Aberdeen
AB24 2TZ

United Kingdom

E-mail: f.christiansen at abdn.ac.uk

Mobile:
+44 78 18725081

and

University of Iceland

Biology Department

 

 

 




      
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