Valeria Senigaglia valeria.senigaglia at gmail.com
Sat Sep 16 05:46:54 PDT 2017


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, genetics and foraging ecology

Here, I am seeking FOUR research volunteers assist in collecting data for
my PhD, from the 1st of December 2017 till the 1st of March 2018.

PhD Outline: The project explores the ecological consequences and
socio-economic drivers of food provisioning 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. 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.


Office: Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit, South West Marine
Research Program office based at the Dolphin Discovery Centre in Bunbury.



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 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.
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