[MARMAM] RESEARCH ASSISTANT-Shark Bay, Western Australia

Alexis Levengood Alexis.Levengood at research.usc.edu.au
Sat Feb 20 15:32:18 PST 2016

Hi everyone,

I am seeking a dedicated research assistant for the 2016 field season (mid-April through early-July) in Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, Western Australia in conjunction with the Shark Bay Dolphin Project (http://www.monkeymiadolphins.org/) and the Frere lab (http://celinefrerelab.com/).

This research forms part of an ongoing PhD project through the University of the Sunshine Coast, Australia studying social plasticity in female bottlenose dolphins and is part of a long-term study of dolphin behavior, ecology, and genetics.

2.5 months (mid April - 1 July 2016)

Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, Western Australia.

Monkey Mia is approximately 900km north of Perth and is part of the largest World Heritage site in Western Australia. Our field site includes wildlife such as sharks, rays, turtles, dugongs, whales, and of course resident bottlenose dolphins.

This project is part of one of the longest running marine mammal research projects in the world with behavioral, life-history, ecological, and genetic research conducted since the mid 1980's.

Assistance will be required with boat-based behavioral surveys and focal follows, as well as the collection of genetic samples using a remote biopsy system on the resident bottlenose dolphins. Weather permitting, days on the water can be consecutive, long, and tiring in variable environmental conditions. Days on land will require data entry and processing.

This is an unpaid, volunteer position and the successful candidate will need to make his/her own way to Shark Bay. However, food and accommodation will be covered once in Monkey Mia.

            -Searching for and spotting dolphins
-Taking photos
-Collecting survey, focal follow, and photo-ID data
-Assisting in genetic sampling and processing
-Driving the boat
            -Basic maintenance and equipment prep and cleaning
-Entry of dolphin sightings and environmental data

The ideal candidate will be a recent graduate with a science background and a genuine interest in marine mammal science. This position is well suited for recent graduates of marine biology, zoology, ecology, genetics, or similar fields looking to gain additional analytical and in-field experience.

He or she must:
            -Be 18 years or older
-Possess basic computer skills
            -Be detail oriented, flexible, and patient
            -Possess excellent verbal and communication skills
            -Work well both independently and in a team
            -Be fluent in English
            -Be willing to make the full 2.5 month commitment
            -Have prior field research experience
            -Be comfortable on a boat
            -Be prepared to work long, consecutive days, including weekends

As this project involves the collection of small skin/blubber samples using a remote biopsy system you must be comfortable with assisting in genetic sampling. Additionally, we live and work in close quarters so mature and respectful candidates are required.

Please note that given our remote location, it can be very difficult to accommodate strict dietary requirements. Vegetarianism is not a problem.

Application Process:
If interested please email Alexis.Levengood at research.usc.edu.au with the subject line RESEARCH ASSISTANT by Tuesday March 1st 2016.
Please include in the email:

1.     Letter of interest

2.     CV

3.     Email contacts for 2 references

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Alexis Levengood
PhD candidate
University of the Sunshine Coast
Sippy Downs, Australia
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