[MARMAM] PhD opportunity in community ecology of inshore dolphins in Western Australia

Guido Parra guido.parra at flinders.edu.au
Sat Jul 19 22:50:25 PDT 2014

Dear MARMAM readers,
The Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL<http://www.cebel.org.au>) at the School of Biological Sciences, Flinders University (South Australia)<http://www.flinders.edu.au/science_engineering/biology/>, is currently seeking applications from highly qualified candidates for a PhD project looking at interspecific interactions between sympatric inshore dolphins in Western Australia. This project is part of a collaborative research program between CEBEL<http://www.cebel.org.au/> and Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit (MUCRU<http://www.mucru.org/>) which is aimed at enhancing our understanding of natural populations of inshore dolphins off the North West Cape, Exmouth, Western Australia and using this knowledge to improve the scientific basis behind their conservation and management.
The PhD position will be available pending final approval of funding for the project and the selected student gaining a PhD scholarship.
The Project
Interspecific interactions among delphinids: chance or biological significance?
Supervisory team: Dr. Guido J. Parra<http://www.cebel.org.au/guido-j-parra/> (Flinders University), Associate Professor Lars Bejder<http://mucru.org/our-research/group-members/lars-bejder/> and Mr Simon Allen<http://mucru.org/our-research/group-members/simon-allen/> (Murdoch University).
Many species of dolphins coexist and form mixed species associations, but little is known about the interspecific interactions among them and how these may influence the structure and function of ecological communities. Preliminary observations off the North West Cape in Western Australia indicate that Australian humpback (Sousa sp.) and Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) frequently interact and occur in mixed species associations. This project will focus on investigating the biological significance of these interspecific interactions and mixed species associations by using an integrative approach involving behavioural observations, mark-recapture data and ecological modelling.
Specific Requirements for the PhD Position:

  *   Applicants should have at least a first or upper second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject, such as ecology, animal behaviour, marine biology, biology, oceanography, or a related field. A relevant MSc or MRes qualification in some aspect of quantitative biology is preferable.
  *   Applicants should have at least one year of experience in collecting and processing ecological data and a strong background in analytical, quantitative and statistical techniques.
  *   Proficiency in Microsoft Excel/Access and familiarity with computer packages such as R, Matlab and ArcGIS will be advantageous.
  *   Previous field experience including boat handling, behavioural observations and photo-identification of dolphins will be looked upon favourably.
  *   Applicants must be willing to relocate to Exmouth, Western Australia, for periods of up to 6 months while doing fieldwork.
  *   An Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) Certificate of Competency as a Coxswain or the willingness to obtain this will be advantageous.

Application Details:
Interested applicants should send expression of interest to Dr. Guido J. Parra (guido.parra at flinders.edu.au<mailto:guido.parra at flinders.edu.au>) no later than 1st of August 2014 (late documents will not be reviewed) containing:

  1.  A letter of intent specifying your interest in the specific Ph.D. Project
  2.  Curriculum vitae
  3.  Two letters of reference, from professors or research supervisors familiar with your research work and work ethics. An email from the referee is sufficient.
  4.  A transcript of subjects taken and grades obtained. An official transcript is not necessary - a copy is sufficient.

We aim to contact shortlisted candidates by 4th August. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to apply for an Australian Postgraduate Award Scholarship (Australian, New Zealand and Australian permanent residents) or Flinders International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (International applicants). Applicants should familiarise themselves with the documentation needed for scholarship application so that they are prepared to meet application deadlines.
For scholarship information, see below:
International student (citizen of any overseas country, except New Zealand) applications for scholarships see: International Postgraduate Research Scholarships (IPRS).<http://www.flinders.edu.au/scholarships-system/index.cfm/scholarships/display/a044e> Closing Date: 15-08-2014
Australian, New Zealand, and Australian permanent residents see Australian Postgraduate Awards (APAs)<http://www.flinders.edu.au/scholarships-system/index.cfm/scholarships/display/a215d> and Faculty of Science and Engineering Research Awards (FSERA)<http://www.flinders.edu.au/scholarships-system/index.cfm/scholarships/display/9d230>: Closing Date: 31-10-2014.
Australian, New Zealand, Australian permanent residents or international students who have completed an honours or equivalent qualification at Flinders University no more than three years prior to the application closing date see: Flinders University Research Scholarships (FURS)<http://www.flinders.edu.au/scholarships-system/index.cfm/scholarships/display/a4792>. Closing Date: 31-10-2014.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.
All the best,

Guido J. Parra, PhD

Research Leader, Cetacean Ecology, Behaviour and Evolution Lab (CEBEL)
School of Biological Sciences
Flinders University
Sturt Road, Bedford Park|South Australia|5042
GPO Box 2100|Adelaide| South Australia|5001
Lab website: www.cebel.org.au<http://www.cebel.org.au/>
My Flinders Staff Page<http://www.flinders.edu.au/people/guido.parra>

Phone: (+61 8) 8201-3565|Mobile: 0437630843|FAX: (+61 8) 8201-3015
CRICOS Registered Provider. The Flinders University of South Australia|CRICOS provider Number: 00114A

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