Davide Ascheri davide.ascheri at gmail.com
Sun May 17 05:28:23 PDT 2020


*Cetacean and Marine Fauna research *

*Delfini del Ponente is currently looking for and accepting interns to join
our research project on bottlenose dolphins in the Western Ligurian Sea,
Imperia (Italy) for the summer/fall period.*

*The project*

The dolphin research project “Delfini del Ponente” is the first project
focused on monitoring bottlenose dolphins (*Tursiops truncatus*) 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 rarer and more 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 a 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. For this reason, we started in 2018 the
project Delfini del Ponente 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, 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 (*Calonectris diomedea*), Northern
gannets (*Morus bassanus*), Sandwich terns ( *Thalasseus sandvicensis*),
sunfish (*Mola mola*) among others.

*WHERE:* Imperia, Italy

*WHEN:* Summer-Fall 2020

Minimum required: 30 days

Number of interns for month: 2


•        boat-based surveys monitoring the presence and distribution of
bottlenose dolphins

•        data collection of other cetaceans, fishes, seabirds, turtles

•        classwork, database updating

•        photo-id matching and analysis

•        land-based surveys /opportunistic surveys

•        lessons and training about cetacean ecology, biology and research


This is a great opportunity to get involved in cetacean research, encounter
marine biodiversity while gaining fieldwork experience, travel and explore
the beautiful Liguria region and support cetacean research and conservation

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 and
marine birds. Surveys are weather dependent, and their number can change
each month.

Office work (6 hours per day) includes training, lessons, photo-id work,
transcription of data, data entry, QGIS work etc.

Interns will be involved 5 days a week, 6-8 hours/day (depending on
fieldwork or lab work)
During free time, interns will have the opportunity to experience all sorts
of activities: swimming, diving, hiking, exploring historical sites, visit
museums, sailing.

*Skills/qualification: *

·         Minimum age of 18

·         Prior experience in cetaceans or boat-based surveys is not
required, but preferred

·         Degree or on-going studies in biology, natural science,
veterinary or similar (preferred)

·         Strong motivation and interest in cetaceans and research

·         Speak, read and write in fluent English

·         Be adaptable as fieldwork is weather dependent

·         Be willing to spend many hours on a small zodiac (5-6 m) and
under the sun

·         Be sociable as they are expected to live and work in an
international team

*Internship fee *

Delfini del Ponente is a self-funded research project, so participation in
this programme requires a tuition fee. Fee includes the accommodation in an
apartment in Imperia, tuition and all associated field costs during the
internship period (use of research vessel, training, use of equipment,
field trips). Transportation expenses to and from Imperia (Italy), own
insurances, and food costs during the stay are not included in the fee.

*How to apply:  *

Send your CV with a letter of interest to delfinidelponente at gmail.com ,

For any further enquiries and details, please send an email to
delfinidelponente at gmail.com

Davide Ascheri and Elena Fontanesi
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