[MARMAM] RESEARCH ASSISTANTS OPPORTUNITY WITH THE CETACEAN RESEARCH UNIT, WESTERN AUSTRALIA

Valeria Senigaglia valeria.senigaglia at gmail.com
Sun Apr 16 17:35:36 PDT 2017


SEEKING RESEARCH ASSISTANTS FOR THE MURDOCH CETACEAN RESEARCH UNIT, WESTERN
AUSTRALIA



Program: The South West Marine Research Program is a long-term, monitoring
project on the Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins of South West Australia.
The program is based in Bunbury (South of Perth in Western Australia) and
is a collaboration between Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit and
numerous industry and non-profit partners. Previous research focused on
dolphin population dynamics, abundance, social structure, habitat use,
conservation, genetic and foraging ecology
http://mucru.org/research-projects/south-west-marine-researchprogram/



PhD Outline: Here, I am seeking THREE research volunteers assist in
collecting data for my PhD, from the 8th of June till the 17th of September
2017. The project explores the ecological consequences and socio-economic
drivers of a food provisioning program of free-ranging bottlenose dolphins
in Bunbury, Western Australia. The feeding is conducted under a state
license by Dolphin Discovery Center as part of their touristic offer. I
examine both the short- and long-term ecological consequences of food
provisioning at both the individual and population level. Specifically, the
project aims to determine potential effects of food provisioning on dolphin
behavioral budgets, maternal care, home range sizes, reproductive success
and social dynamics. Moreover, the project explores the satisfaction level
and attitude towards food provisioning of staff and visitors. Ecological
and socio-economic consequences of food provisioning will then inform
management planning. Data on dolphin behavior are collected from boat and
from the beach where the food provisioning takes place. Additionally,
questionnaires will be distributed to the visitors and staff of the Dolphin
Discovery Centre. This experience will be most useful to students or anyone
wishing to pursue a career in behavioral ecology, conservation and social
science or marine science.

http://mucru.org/our-research/group-members/valeria-senigaglia/

Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit, South West Marine Research
Program office based at the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury.
http://www.dolphindiscovery.com.au/



Duties:

Field: Behavioural data collection, spotting wildlife, boat driving, social
science, photo identification

Office: Data entry, fin matching, project organization. Computer programs
used for data are: FinBase, ACDSee, Microsoft Access, Excel and Word.

Assistants should be adaptable and patient as fieldwork is highly weather
dependent. Fieldwork will vary between weekdays and weekends and can be
long hours and on consecutive days.

 Preferred skills/traits:

1. Enrolled in or completed a degree in biology, marine science, animal
behaviour or a related field.

2. Previous field experience with wildlife (behavioural field data
collection, photoidentification).

3. Boating experience.

4. Be enthusiastic, team oriented and have a positive attitude as well as a
genuine interest in wildlife science.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide monetary compensation or living
provisions and research assistants will be responsible for their own travel
to Western Australia and living expenses. Please note, the Bunbury
backpackers and the Rosa Hotel provide good discounts for volunteers and
research assistants of the Dolphin Discovery Centre. Moreover, additional
help in finding shared accommodation can be provided.

If you are interested in volunteering or interning, please provide a short
CV and a cover letter to the attention of valeria.senigaglia at gmail.com.

Cheers,

Valeria Senigaglia

PhD Candidate
Murdoch Cetacean Research Unit
Murdoch University
Australia
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