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

Michael Noad m.noad at uq.edu.au
Sun Mar 5 22:13:18 PST 2023


The Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Group at the University of Queensland are seeking expressions of interest from volunteers for a six-week behavioural response study (BRS) on humpback whales from September 3 to October 15 this year (2023).

The study will be the third 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), the BRAHSS experiments in 2010 - 2015 (http://www.brahss.org.au/; https://www.ceal.lab.uq.edu.au/ ) and years 1 and 2 (2021, 2022) of this project, "Hearing in Humpbacks".

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 Acousonde suction cup tags. 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 6 weeks 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 and Australia Zoo, 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 1.5 h from the Brisbane International 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.

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 Rebecca Dunlop (r.dunlop at uq.edu.au<mailto:r.dunlop at uq.edu.au>), Kelsey Stone (kelsey.stone at uq.edu.au<mailto:kelsey.stone at uq.edu.au>), Riona McNamara (r.mcnamara at uq.net.au<mailto:r.mcnamara at uq.net.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 30 April and successful field applicants will be notified in late May.
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Prof. Michael Noad
BVSc(Hons) Qld    PhD Sydney

Director, Centre for Marine Science
Professor, School of Veterinary Science
The University of Queensland - Gatton campus
Gatton Qld 4343 Australia

M +61 416 270 567
E mnoad at uq.edu.au<mailto:mnoad at uq.edu.au>
W https://marine.uq.edu.au/
    https://www.uq.edu.au/moreton-bay-research-station/

CRICOS 00025B * TEQSA PRV12080

[UQ own unknown w diver banner]


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