[MARMAM] HDR Honours opportunity: Burrunan dolphin research, Victoria Australia
Dr Kate Charlton-Robb
kcr at ammcf.org.au
Sun Feb 2 20:45:14 PST 2014
HONOURS OPPORTUNITY with the AUSTRALIAN MARINE MAMMAL CONSERVATION
FOUNDATION (AMMCF) and DEAKIN UNIVERSITY for PROJECT BURRUNAN.
The Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation (AMMCF), in
affiliation with Deakin University, is currently seeking applications
from highly qualified candidates for BSc Honours, mid-year intake 2014
(research-based). Two projects will be offered investigating the
population structure and spatial ecology of the newly described Burrunan
dolphin (Tursiops australis) in Victoria. These projects are a part of
AMMCFs larger research program Project Burrunan led by Dr Kate
BACKGROUND & PROJECT OVERVIEW
A new species of dolphin, the Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops australis),
endemic to southern Australia, has recently been described
(Charlton-Robb et al. 2011). Tursiops australis are currently known to
inhabit inshore regions of Victoria, Tasmania and South Australia.
Previous research shows the species consist of small genetically
distinct populations susceptible to numerous threats and is likely to be
of grave conservation concern. Tursiops australis has also recently been
listed under the Victorian State Flora and Fauna Guarantee Act as
‘threatened’. Gippsland Lakes is one of only two places in Victoria that
T. australis has an established a resident population, as such greater
scientific knowledge underpinning the correct management and
conservation is crucial.
AMMCF, a newly established not-for-profit organisation, has it's
primary mission to “strive to support and work with Australia’s marine
mammal scientists and researchers to establish and advance the
knowledge, conservation and protection of our marine mammals.” Dr Kate
Charlton-Robb, AMMCFs Founding Director and Principal Researcher has
over 14 years’ experience researching the dolphins across southern
Australian and was the primary researcher that formally described and
classified the Burrunan dolphin.
Project Burrunan focuses on using applied research to further
investigate the newly described Burrunan dolphin (Tursiops
australis)(Charlton-Robb et al. 2011). The aims of the project is to
assess the species' distribution and range, gain better estimates of
overall population size, assess the level of gene flow between the
discrete populations and to assess potential migration pathways. This
project will also investigate the presence and habitat use of the
Burrunan across coastal and offshore regions of Victoria.
AMMCF has several Honours projects on offer for 2014 that will be a
part of the wider Project Burrunan supervised by Dr Kate Charlton-Robb.
These projects will be offered in affiliation with Deakin University,
co-supervised by Associate Professor John Arnould.
We are seeking highly motivated, dedicated, high achieving students to
be involved with;
1. Gippsland Lakes Burrunan dolphin population assessment - estimates
of overall population size and structure and levels of residency through
individual dolphin fin identification (combined with genetic analyses
already being undertaken).
2. GIS/habitat mapping – mapping environmental, spatial and dolphin
sighting data to identify areas of significance within the Lakes and
Gippsland coastal region (i.e breeding and feeding grounds).
AMMCFs core and other affiliated projects can been seen on our website
ammcf.org.au. This will allow you to learn more about the Foundation and
its focus on marine mammal research, protection and conservation.
• Bachelor of Science degree, with a minimum of Distinction average.
• Experience in collecting and processing ecological data.
• Proficiency in Microsoft and statistical packages.
• Experience in marine mammal (particularly dolphins) behavioural
observations and photo-identification techniques (for Project 1).
• Experience with GIS software (for Project 2).
• Previous boat handling experience would be considered favourable.
Expressions of interest must be received no later than March 3rd 2014
and must contain the following:
1. A brief covering letter outlining your relevant experience and the
project of interest.
2. Curriculum Vitae
3. Current academic transcript
4. Two relevant referees who are familiar with your academic, research
and ethical record.
Please forward the above to Dr Kate Charlton-Robb kcr at ammcf.org.au.
Applications will be considered and we will contact you with further
information by 24th March 2014.
If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact me.
Dr Kate Charlton-Robb
Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation
PO Box 2046
Hampton East VIC 3188
e: kcr at ammcf.org.au
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