[MARMAM] Research assistant - Intern coordinator: dolphin and otter behaviour project

BDRI information info at thebdri.com
Fri Jan 8 03:19:11 PST 2021

Dear all,

The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (BDRI) <http://www.thebdri.com/>, a marine science centre dedicated to promote the conservation of marine mammal species and their habitat through research and education, is currently accepting applications for the following:


This position is responsible for assisting the BDRI biologists in the running of the research projects focused on the study of the impact of marine vessels on bottlenose dolphin behaviour and on the foraging ecology of the Eurasian otter, and coordinating the interns participating in the projects. The intern coordinator will be responsible for the daily activities of the interns, and contributing to the daily functioning of the institute, participating both to field and lab work. In return the intern coordinator will receive accommodation, equipment and logistics support as well as constant supervision from Dr. Bruno Diaz Lopez, director, chief biologist; Dr. Severine Methion, principal investigator, marine ecologist; and Ms. Olga Mosca, MSc candidate, research staff, marine biologist.

The project is based in O Grove, North-western coast of Spain and offers the chance to work during many steps of the field research and data analysis. The main purpose of this program is to contribute towards a more detailed understanding of the ecology and behaviour of bottlenose dolphins with a focus on the behavioural changes induced by the presence of vessels and on the foraging ecology of the Eurasian otter living in a marine environment.

Start Date: March 1st 2021

End Date: August 31st 2021 (start and end dates could be flexible)

Responsibilities will include (but are not limited to):
- Assisting the BDRI's biologists in all phases of the research and organization.
- Coordinate between the BDRI's biologists and the interns - in charge of the intern shared house.
- Assisting the BDRI's biologists in intern basic training of land-based surveys and lab work (photo-identification analysis, database entry, GIS, and more).
- Responsible of land-based surveys of wild cetaceans and otters.

- An academic background in biology, veterinary or natural science, coupled with motivation, willingness to work hard and interest in marine mammal research make the most qualified individuals. The successful applicant is expected to have a BSc degree (or higher) and able to demonstrate previous experience in marine mammal research.

- 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 people as they will be coordinating up to 10 interns. They must also be self-motivated with the drive and determination to work independently and responsibly.

- Must be of good physical fitness, be able to lift/carry 35lbs (16 kg), walk long distances in difficult terrain, be comfortable on boats in nearshore/offshore waters, able to swim, and work in harsh weather conditions at times.

- The intern coordinator must be able to follow written and oral staff directions and protocols effectively.

- The intern coordinator must be able to spend many hours on shore, and working in the lab. Laboratory work days typically last 6 hours and field days typically exceed 4 hours and occur approximately 2 or 3 times per week. There will be two days off per week. Please keep in mind that field work is weather dependent, unpredictable, and changes seasonally.

- Fluent in English.

This position brings the opportunity to be trained and to undertake a personal research project supervised by the BDRI principal investigators (Dr. Bruno Diaz Lopez and  Dr. Severine Methion) as part of the land-based studies carried out during this period about the impact of vessels on dolphin behaviour and otter foraging behaviour. If the candidate intends to receive academic credit, she/he will be responsible for making all arrangements with her/his educational institution.

This position is unpaid but accommodation in the intern shared house will be covered. Successful applicants will be responsible of their own expenses, including food and travelling to and from the research centre in O Grove (Galicia, Spain).

Interested candidates should submit an application with the following:
- A cover letter including your availability, i.e. preferred time period (1 page only);
- A resume describing training, experience and relevant skills (2 pages only);
- Names and contact information of at least one reference (preferred).

Please send these items as e-mail attachments (PDF preferred) to: info at thebdri.com
Please specify BDRI INTERN COORDINATOR into your subject title.

If they are not European citizens, applicants must be authorized to legally remain in Europe for more than 3 months. International applicants will be considered, but it is the responsibility of the applicant to acquire necessary visas and documentation.

January 30th, 2021

Interviews (via Skype) will be arranged for selected candidates.

For more information about BDRI's research and conservation work, please visit http://www.thebdri.com and our Facebook page (BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN RESEARCH INSTITUTE - BDRI).

Scientific articles recently published by the BDRI (for a full list of publications please visit: <http://www.thebdri.com/research/papers.html>):

- Diaz Lopez B. 2020. When personality matters: personality and social structure in wild bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus. Animal Behaviour 163:73-84.
- Giralt Paradell O, Diaz Lopez B, Methion S. 2020. Food-web interaction in a coastal ecosystem influenced by upwelling and terrestrial runoff off North-West Spain. Marine Environment Research 157:104933.
- Methion S, Diaz Lopez B. 2020. Individual foraging variation drives social organization in bottlenose dolphins. Behavioral Ecology. DOI:10.1093/beheco/arz160
- Methion S, Diaz Lopez B. 2019. First record of atypical pigmentation pattern in fin whale Balaenoptera physalus in the Atlantic Ocean. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 135:121-125.
- Giralt Paradell O, Diaz Lopez B, Methion S. 2019. Modelling common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) coastal distribution and habitat use: insights for conservation. Ocean and Coastal Management 104836
- Methion S, Diaz Lopez B. 2019. Natural and anthropogenic drivers of foraging behaviour in bottlenose dolphins: influence of shellfish aquaculture. Aquatic Conservation Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems. DOI: 10.1002/aqc.3116.
- Diaz Lopez B, Methion S. 2019. Habitat drivers of endangered rorqual whales in a highly impacted upwelling region. Ecological Indicators 103:610?616.
- Diaz Lopez B, Methion S, Giralt Paradell O. 2019. Living on the edge: Overlap between a marine predator?s habitat use and fisheries in the Northeast Atlantic waters (NW Spain). Progress in Oceanography 175:115?223.
- Diaz Lopez B. 2019. "Hot deals at sea": responses of a top predator (Bottlenose dolphin, Tursiops truncatus) to human-induced changes in the coastal ecosystem. Behavioural Ecology DOI: 10.1093/beheco/ary162

Best regards,

Severine Methion, PhD

The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute BDRI
Avenida Beiramar 192, O Grove 36980, Spain
0034 684 248552

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