[MARMAM] Seeking experienced field assistants for research on tropical dolphins in north-west Australia

Alexander Brown Alex.Brown at murdoch.edu.au
Mon Feb 10 23:57:29 PST 2014

SEEKING EXPERIENCED FIELD ASSISTANTS for research on tropical dolphins in north-west Australia

Apr-May 2014

Institution: Cetacean Research Unit, Murdoch University - www.mucru.org<file:///C:\Users\jsmith\AppData\Local\Temp\www.mucru.org>

Overview: I require experienced field assistants to fill two roles for either or both of the following independent projects:

1. Photo-ID and biopsy sampling. To assist with boat-based photo-ID and biopsy sampling in Roebuck Bay, north-west Australia, for 5 weeks from 01 April 2014 (2-3 positions). Project leader: Alex Brown<http://mucru.org/our-research/group-members/alex-brown/>.

2. Acoustic monitoring. To assist with acoustic monitoring of snubfin and humpback dolphins in Cygnet Bay, north-west Australia, for approx. 4 weeks in May 2014. Project leader: Dr. Josh Smith<http://mucru.org/our-research/group-members/josh-smith/>.

As these positions are non-overlapping, you may apply for both with a single application. Please indicate which position(s) you are applying for.

These projects aim to collect baseline data on the local abundance, genetic connectivity<http://mucru.org/our-research/research-projects/snubfin-and-humpback-dolphins-in-the-kimberley-region-western-australia/> (project 1), and acoustic repertoire<http://mucru.org/our-research/research-projects/passive-acoustic-monitoring-of-coastal-dolphins/> (project 2) of Australian snubfin (Orcaella heinsohni) and Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis) in northern Western Australia. This is an opportunity to gain experience in field techniques for small cetacean research, while contributing to projects with high conservation and management value.

Location and field conditions:
Photo-ID and biopsy sampling. Based in the town of Broome, on the tropical north coast of Western Australia. While situated in a remote area, this is a small town with plenty of amenities. Accommodation will comprise shared basic rooms or tents, with indoor kitchen and bathroom facilities.

Acoustic monitoring. Meeting in Broome, then based at Cygnet Bay on the adjacent Dampier Peninsula. This is a remote location with a tropical climate and limited amenities. Accommodation will comprise shared tents (2 person), with camp kitchen and bathroom facilities. Food is prepared by the resident cook, so no cooking is required at Cygnet Bay. This project only requires a small team of potentially only 1 person other than the project leader.

Both projects. Searching for dolphins, driving the boat, taking photos, making and recording field observations, equipment cleaning and basic maintenance, data entry, a fair share in communal cooking and housekeeping duties, and generally working hard and having a great time. Expect early starts, hot weather, up to 11 hours on the water for multiple consecutive days, and up to a week between days off.

Photo-ID and biopsy sampling. Experience of working on and driving a small boat around cetaceans (essential); experience of photo-ID survey techniques (essential); no history of debilitating seasickness (essential); be team-oriented, patient, have a good sense of humour, and an enthusiastic attitude to hard work, long hours and collecting data on the natural environment (essential); experience of field research on small cetaceans (highly desirable).
Acoustic monitoring. As above, minus experience of photo-ID techniques, plus experience of acoustic survey techniques (desirable).

Expenses: These are unpaid positions. However, food and accommodation at the field sites are provided at no cost to assistants. Assistants are responsible for their own travel costs to/from Broome (direct flights available from Perth).

Please send a CV, a brief covering letter outlining your relevant experience, the position(s) applied for, and contact details of two relevant referees to alex.brown at murdoch.edu.au by Friday 21 Feb 2014.

Many thanks,


Alex Brown
PhD Candidate
Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU)
Centre for Fish, Fisheries and Aquatic Ecosystem Research
Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia
* Tel +61 (0)89360 6520 |* Mob +61 (0)487399861| * alex.brown at murdoch.edu.au<mailto:L.bejder at murdoch.edu.au>
[mucru-with-murdoch-WHITEBACKGROUND SMALL]<http://www.mucru.org/>

Latest blog post: "Acoustic, genetic and visual sampling combine for exciting fourth season at Cygnet Bay"<http://mucru.org/acoustic-genetic-and-visual-sampling-combine-for-exciting-fourth-season-at-cygnet-bay/>
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