Davide Ascheri davide.ascheri at gmail.com
Mon Nov 11 01:05:50 PST 2019



Cetacean and Marine Fauna research

The project

The dolphin research project “Delfini del Ponente” is the first project
focused on monitoring bottlenose dolphins in the Western Ligurian Sea. Due
to the morphology of the seafloor, this area is not a usual habitat for
this species and historically, sightings have a been more rare and sporadic
than in the Levantine side of the region. The continental shelf is, in
fact, very short and high depths (around 2000 m) are reached quite close to
the shore making the area suitable for other cetacean species but not for
bottlenose dolphins, which tend to remain in waters with depth not
exceeding 200 m.

Despite this knowledge of the range of the species, an interesting change
has been noted in recent years in the area, where sightings of bottlenose
dolphins have almost tripled, from fisherman, whale watching boats and
other research institute. For this reason, Costa Balenae started in 2018
the project Delfini del Ponente in order to monitor bottlenose dolphins in
the region to understand the extent of this change and what drove it. The
project is structured on an annual basis, in order to obtain data not only
on the distribution during the summer, but also changes during the
different seasons. The project is already providing very interesting
information about bottlenose dolphins  and their distribution in the study
area, and also about the seasonal presence of other marine fauna such as
Mediterranean shearwaters (Puffinus yelkouan), Scopoli’s shearwaters
diomedea), Northern gannets ( Morus bassanus), Sandwich terns( Thalasseus
sandvicensis), sunfish (Mola mola) among others.

Surveys will be made in coastal waters onboard a dedicated zodiac (6 m
inflatable boat) around 10 times per month.  Training will focus on
collecting photo for photo-ID purposes, environmental, marine traffic,
geographical (GPS) and dolphins' behavioural data. Land-based surveys will
be done In Imperia, in 2 different points around 10-12 times/month
collecting data on the presence/absence of dolphins, fishing boats in
activity and marine birds. Fieldwork is a great opportunity to get involved
and improve skills on cetaceans research and marine biodiversity. Surveys
are weather dependent and their number can change each month.

Office work (6 hours per day) includes training and lessons to the interns
and supervision of all the activities ( photo-id work, transcription of
data, data entry, QGIS work etc..)

WHERE: Imperia, Italy

WHEN: 1 March-30 June 2020;  1 September-30 October 2020

Preference will be given to candidates that can stay the whole duration (March
to June or September to October). The intern coordinator will be asked to
join the research team one week earlier than the actual start of the
programme, to gain all the necessary skills and information needed.

The intern coordinator is responsible for:


   Assisting the researchers during all the research activities

   Coordinating the interns and volunteers participating in the project
   with the help of the Project Coordinators

   Be responsible for the cleaning schedule and maintenance of the shared
   apartment with the volunteers

   Assist with the training of the interns both during office work and

   Carry on land-based surveys

   Driving the zodiac and photo-id collection

   Responsible for an own project for future conferences



   Minimum age of 18

   Degree or on-going studies in Biology, Natural Sciences, Veterinary or
   similar (preferred) with strong motivation to work in marine mammals

   Speak, read and write in fluent English

   Be adaptable as fieldwork is weather dependent

   Prior experience in cetaceans or boat-based surveys

   Be prepared to spend many hours on a small zodiac (5-6 m) and under the
   sun, able to swim and work in harsh weather conditions both in nearshore
   and offshore waters

   Be prepared to spend many hours on the office (generally 6 hours per

   Be sociable and with a positive attitude as he/she is expected to live
   and work in an international team

   Boat driving licence or experience in handling small boats (preferred)

   The preferred candidate should have a proven track record as a team
   player as the project will involve working closely with other participants
   but also must be able to supervise small groups of interns. He/she must
   also be self-motivated and eager to work independently and responsibly.

Other Information

This position is unpaid but accommodation is provided. The intern
coordinator will share an apartment with the interns but having an own
bedroom and toilet. Successful applicants will be responsible for
organising and paying for their own travel arrangements to and from Imperia.

Website: http://delfinidelponente.costabalenae.it/

How to apply:

Send your CV and  a cover letter (please indicate the preferred period,
date of arriving and departure, previous experience and skills , and at
least one reference contact) to info at costabalenae.it addressed to Davide
Ascheri and Elena Fontanesi no longer than the 30th of November.

Successful applicants could be contacted for a skype interview.

For any further enquiry and detail, please send an email to
info at costabalenae.it

Elena Fontanesi and Davide Ascheri

Biologist - Costa Balenae Whale and Nature Watching

info at costabalenae.it
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