[MARMAM] VOLUNTEERS REQUIRED FOR A BEHAVIOURAL RESPONSE STUDY ON HUMPBACK WHALES IN AUSTRALIA

Michael Noad m.noad at uq.edu.au
Mon Mar 22 16:47:53 PDT 2021


The Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratories at the University of Queensland are seeking expressions of interest from volunteers for a five week behavioural response study (BRS) on humpback whales from September 12 to October 23 this year (2021).

Due to the COVID epidemic, most Australian international border are closed and likely to remain so until late this year or early 2022. For this reason WE WILL ONLY BE ACCEPTING APPLICATIONS FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE CURRENTLY IN AUSTRALIA OR NEW ZEALAND.

The study will be the first in a series to determine the hearing range of humpback whales by measuring their behavioural response to tones of various frequencies. The study will be conducted at Peregian Beach on the Sunshine Coast, just north of Brisbane, and follows several successful studies of humpback whale vocalisations and behaviour at the same site during the Humpback whale Acoustic Research Collaboration (HARC; 2002 - 2008) and the BRAHSS experiments in 2010 - 2015 (http://www.brahss.org.au/; https://www.ceal.lab.uq.edu.au/ ).

Volunteers are required mainly to conduct land-based observations of the whales as they pass our study site. Approximately 5,000 whales should migrate southwards within 10 km of Peregian Beach during the field period making the site ideal for land-based tracking and observations of behaviour. Some whales will be tagged with Dtags. Although volunteers will be used to help out on the boats, opportunities for volunteers to participate in boat work are limited and most time will be spent doing land-based observations.

Volunteers will receive detailed training at the beginning of the project and therefore successful applicants must be available for the entire duration of the project. A high standard of safety will be maintained throughout the field work and volunteers will be trained in safety procedures.

Peregian Beach is a beautiful area on the Sunshine Coast, and there are plenty of things for volunteers to do during downtime. Favourite activities in previous projects here have included surfing, hanging out at cafes (within walking distance of our field site), diving, walking the Noosa National Park, trips to Fraser Island, etc.

Volunteers must be sociable as they will be expected to work and live as part of teams with shared cooking and cleaning duties. We expect that there will be up to 30 people (researchers, staff and volunteers) at the site. Volunteers must organise and pay for their own transport to the study site (approximately 1.5h from the Brisbane Airport or 30 mins from the Sunshine Coast Airport) but food and accommodation are provided once there. Meals are communal.

This project will suit people with a background in science (including recent graduates and graduate students as well as higher level undergraduate students) keen to gain experience in cetacean survey techniques, acoustics and behavioural response studies. Applicants should also be highly motivated, enthusiastic, sociable, and able to concentrate for several hours at a time. Those with previous survey experience of marine mammals or other taxa will be preferred.

We are also seeking a part-time child carer. This person will be required to care for a 6-year old on a few occasions but will be a regular volunteer on the project for most of the time. Carer duties are likely to be only one or two days a fortnight (daytime only) and applicants must have had previous child care experience (please include details of this on the application). Preference for a volunteer position will be given to the successful applicant for the carer position.

The research project is being funded by the U.S. Navy Living Marine Resources (LMR) applied research program.

Applicants should reply with an email to both Rebecca Dunlop (r.dunlop at uq.edu.au<mailto:r.dunlop at uq.edu.au>) and Michael Noad (mnoad at uq.edu.au<mailto:mnoad at uq.edu.au>) outlining why they would be suitable for this work, why they would like to participate, an outline of previous relevant experience, and any other relevant details. The email should include an attached CV and the names and contact details of two professional referees. The closing date for volunteer applications is 31 April and successful field applicants will be notified in late May.


Dr Rebecca Dunlop
Director of Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratories
Moreton Bay Research Station, University of Queensland
Corner of Flinders Avenue and Fraser Streets
Dunwich, North Stradbroke Island, QLD 4183
Australia

Associate Professor in Animal Behaviour and Physiology
University of Queensland
Australia
r.dunlop at uq.edu.au<mailto:r.dunlop at uq.edu.au>
https://ceal.lab.uq.edu.au/


Dr Michael Noad
BVSc(Hons) Qld    PhD Sydney
Associate Professor
Cetacean Ecology and Acoustic Laboratories (CEAL) Group
Academic Director, Moreton Bay Research Station

School of Veterinary Science
The University of Queensland - Gatton campus
Gatton Qld 4343 Australia

Moreton Bay Research Station
37 Fraser St
Dunwich
North Stradbroke Is. Qld 4183 Australia

M +61 416 270 567
E mnoad at uq.edu.au<mailto:mnoad at uq.edu.au>
W ceal.lab.uq.edu.au<http://www.uq.edu.au>
    https://www.uq.edu.au/moreton-bay-research-station/content/front-page


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