[MARMAM] HDR Honours opportunity: Geospatial analysis of marine mammal records , Victoria Australia

Kate Charlton-Robb kcr at ammcf.org.au
Fri Oct 23 18:56:10 PDT 2015

Hi All,

We are seeking a full-time Honours candidate to investigate “Geospatial 
analysis of marine mammal records, Victoria, Australia”.
Please find details of the research project and application process 
below. Please also note, due to the nature of an Honours year, we will 
only be able to accept applications from Australian Citizens.

Kind Regards,

Dr Kate Charlton-Robb


*Honours opportunity with the Australian Marine Mammal Conservation 
Foundation (AMMCF), Museum Victoria and Deakin University.
*AMMCF*, in affiliation with *Museum Victoria*, *Zoos Victoria* and 
*Deakin University*, is currently seeking applications from highly 
qualified candidates for BSc Honours 2016. The project will assess the 
stranding and sighting records of marine mammals (whales, dolphins and 
seals) as a part of AMMCFs larger biodiversity assessment research 
program led by Dr Kate Charlton-Robb.

***Background & Project overview*
37% of all marine mammals are at a risk of extinction, with 25% of 
marine mammal species listed as ‘threatened’. Marine mammals in the 
southern ocean face many threats that potentially impact on their 
long-term survival, including habitat degradation, anthropogenic 
activities, over-exploitation of prey species, and oceanic and 
environmental changes. In addition, the loss of top apex predators has 
the potential to seriously impact on lower trophic levels and important 
ecosystem functions. There is a distinct lack of knowledge about which 
cetaceans reside in Victorian waters, making it especially difficult to 
assess potential food-web and ecosystems impacts. Recently, unexpected 
or rarely observed species in this region have been recorded, including 
pigmy sperm whale (/Kogia breviceps/), rough-toothed dolphin (/Steno 
bredanensis/), shepherd’s beaked whale (/Tasmacetus shepherdi/) and 
striped dolphin (/Stenella coeruleoalba/).

This Honours project will collate and assess the stranding 
(live/deceased beach-cast animals) and sightings records from across 
Victoria from numerous sources and use geospatial analyses to 
investigate the potential ecological drivers influencing such events; 
thus providing critical conservation and management knowledge for 
numerous top-order species. In particular, this research will provide a 
comprehensive biodiversity assessment, greatly extending our knowledge 
of marine mammal species in southern Australian waters, and potentially 
identifying rare, unique or endangered species. This Honours project 
will be offered in affiliation with Museum Victoria, co–supervised by Dr 
Karen Rowe and Deakin University, co-supervised by Associate Professor 
John Arnould.

· Bachelor of Science degree, with a minimum of Distinction average.
· Experience in collecting and processing ecological data.
· Proficiency in Microsoft and statistical packages.
· Familiarity with GIS analyses and software and relational databases 
(e.g., Microsoft Access).

*Application Process*
Please send your expressions of interest containing 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 
<mailto:kcr at ammcf.org.au>.

Applications will be considered and we will contact you with further 

*CLOSING DATE 13^th November 2016*

Dr Kate-Charlton-Robb
Principal Researcher
Australian Marine Mammal Conservation Foundation
PO Box 2046
Hampton East VIC 3188
e: kcr at ammcf.org.au
w: ammcf.org.au

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