[MARMAM] Research internship: Vocal learning and interactive communication in harbour seal pups

Andrea Ravignani andrea.ravignani at gmail.com
Tue Feb 5 06:23:49 PST 2019

A 3-month Research Intern position is open for application at the Sealcentre Pieterburen, The Netherlands. The successful candidate will join the ‘Seal Sounds’ team and actively perform bioacoustics research with newborn harbour seal pups (usually 1-3 weeks old) under the supervision of Dr. Andrea Ravignani (https://ravignani.wordpress.com). The project will investigate how harbour seal pups time their calls interactively with conspecifics and learn sounds from each other, as part of a larger Belgian/EU project on pinniped communication. The candidate will receive training in pinniped behaviour, bioacoustics, experimental design, etc. Apart from hands-on research with the pups, depending on the interests of the candidate, there will be possibilities to work on other research projects, and help as an assistant seal nurse in the daily care of the pups.

Qualifications: Bachelor or Master degree in any of the following (or related) disciplines: Biology, Psychology, Zoology, Animal Behaviour, Marine Biology, Neurosciences, Psychobiology, Cognitive Sciences, Speech and Language Sciences, Sound engineering, etc.

Necessary skills: Crucially, the candidate must (1) have a working command of English, (2) be enthusiastic about research in animal behavior and communication, and (3) be willing to work hard. Previous experience with animals, audio recordings and/or playback experiments is not needed but appreciated. 

Location & accommodation: The Sealcentre (www.zeehondencentrum.nl) is located in Pieterburen, which is a small town in a natural area of the Netherlands. At any point in time, it hosts tens of international students, young volunteers, and veterinarians, all interested in seals. The university town of Groningen (200,000 inhabitants) is less than an hour away. If needed, cheap onsite accommodation with other students and volunteers can be arranged.

Financial matters: This is an unpaid internship.

Starting date: April, 28th, 2019.
Application deadline: February, 25th, 2019 

How to apply: Applicants should send a brief cover letter (max 500 words explaining their reasons to apply) and a CV combined into a single PDF to Andrea Ravignani (andrea.ravignani at gmail.com) with the subject ‘Research Internship Seal Sounds’.


Andrea Ravignani
Research Dpt., Sealcentre Pieterburen
AI-Lab, Vrije Universiteit Brussel
ravignani.wordpress.com <http://ravignani.wordpress.com/>

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