[MARMAM] Sea Watch Foundation: Research Assistant Opportunity

katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Mon Nov 29 06:51:02 PST 2021

Sea Watch Foundation (SWF) are looking for a Research Assistant / Intern 
Coordinator to assist with the running of the “Cardigan Bay Monitoring 

This position is unpaid but (shared) accommodation will be provided free 
of charge.

The project is based in New Quay, West Wales, and supports the 
conservation management of the bottlenose dolphin, harbour porpoise and 
grey seal populations of Cardigan Bay, monitoring their abundance, 
distribution, reproductive success and population structure using a 
combination of vessel-based and land-based surveys. SWF has been 
monitoring these populations on behalf of the Welsh government (through 
funding provided by Natural Resources Wales) for two decades. Cardigan 
Bay contains Britain’s largest coastal population of bottlenose 
dolphins, for which two Special Areas of Conservation have been 
established under the EU Habitats Directive.

Responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
Coordination between the Monitoring Officer and project interns – in 
charge of the intern shared house and the intern weekly office rota.

Assisting New Quay staff in training interns and other volunteers in 
land- and boat based surveys, photo ID studies, database entry, and 

Assisting the Monitoring Officer in all phases of the research.

Liaising closely with the Education Officer and Education Assistant.

Optional opportunity to undertake a personal research project supervised 
by the Monitoring Officer. Research topic will be chosen according to 
Sea Watch Foundation requirements and applicant’s interests.

The successful applicant is expected to have completed a BSc degree (or 
higher) in biology, marine biology, zoology, or related field and able 
to demonstrate previous experience in marine mammal studies. A strong 
interest and knowledge of British cetaceans and experience are 

The applicant should ideally have some experience using DSLR cameras. 
Practical experience of photo-identification (both photography and 
matching) is desirable. Experience with other equipment regularly used 
by Sea Watch Foundation such as hydrophone, polecam, theodolite, 
digiscope and aerial camera drone is advantageous.

The applicant must be proficient with database and word processing 
software and be willing to learn new software applications. Specific 
experience in use of Access and GIS would be advantageous.

The preferred candidate should have a proven track record as a team 
player since the project will involve working closely with other 
researchers, but must also be able to supervise small groups of people 
given that they will be coordinating a team of at least 8 interns. The 
Research Assistant and interns live and work together on a daily basis 
which requires a high degree of interpersonal skills to maintain 
relationships and team morale. Previous experience working successfully 
in similar roles is essential.

Applicants must be self-motivated, with the drive and determination to 
work independently and responsibly without direct supervision. The work 
load is varied and therefore a high degree of organisation, attention to 
detail, and ability to prioritise are essential.

If a personal research project is undertaken, this brings the 
opportunity to submit work for scientific publication, and for 
presentation at the European Cetacean Society Conference.

The Research Assistant is expected to work 5 days a week with office 
hours running from 9AM to 6PM with an hour lunch break although field 
work regularly falls outside of office hours. The Research Assistant is 
also entitled to one week’s holiday during the season, the dates of 
which should be agreed upon at the start of placement if at all 

Currently we anticipate the internship to go ahead as planned. However, 
please note that if new restrictions are imposed in 2022, on-site 
internships may need to be postponed or suspended, although there are 
various opportunities to take on home based volunteering roles should 
this occur.

The Research Assistant will be responsible for their own travel expenses 
to New Quay for the 2022 field season. Due to the touristic background 
of New Quay, part-time paid evening work is generally easy to find if 
required by the applicant. There are also a number of external 
organisations that may offer grants to partially cover living expenses.

International applications are welcome but it is the applicant’s 
responsibility to ensure visa requirements are met and the chosen visa 
option should be highlighted in the application form. 
To apply:
Please send your CV and Research Assistant application form (available 
on Sea Watch Foundation website), and contact details of two referees, 
reporting any relevant experience you have, to Katrin 
Lohrengel- katrin.lohrengel at seawatchfoundation.org.uk
Deadline: 17th January 2022.

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