Kate Sprogis K.Sprogis at murdoch.edu.au
Tue Jul 31 20:50:52 PDT 2012

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
(www.mucru.org) 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 specifically seeking ONE research volunteer to
assist (from late August -October 2012) on my 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 efforts.

Field work is conducted from Busselton to Binningup 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




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.


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. 


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.


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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