[MARMAM] Shark Bay Dolphin Research Project - Aug-Dec 2023 Research Assistant Opportunity for Recent Post-baccalaureates

Meredith MacQueeney mem505 at georgetown.edu
Fri Mar 17 12:54:26 PDT 2023

*Application:*  https://forms.gle/9vHGtYgrXs3csAZG6

*Eligibility: *graduating Seniors (2023 grads) or recent


The Shark Bay Dolphin Research Project (SBDRP) is seeking several dedicated
research assistants for the upcoming field season (late July/early August
through mid-December 2023) in Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, Western Australia. The
SBDRP is a long-term research project run in collaboration between
Georgetown University and the University of Queensland, and is one of the
longest running marine mammal research projects in the world. The SBDRP has
been collecting behavioral, life-history, ecological, and genetic data on
Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins since the mid 1980s. This field season
will focus on continuing our research on maternal investment and social
learning, in addition to our routine long-term population monitoring
efforts. If you are interested in working for the lab long-term,
particularly if you are interested in graduate research at Georgetown with
Dr. Janet Mann please clearly indicate this in your interest statement.

Field work is demanding and requires long hours both on and off the water,
but the dolphin research is both fun and rewarding. Field assistants will
gain valuable research experience and may have the opportunity to
contribute to co-authored publications. We particularly encourage
applications from those interested in pursuing graduate school in
behavioral ecology or marine mammalogy.


~5 months

*Field site:*

Monkey Mia, Shark Bay, Western Australia.

Monkey Mia is approximately 850 km north of Perth and is part of the
largest World Heritage site in Western Australia. Our field site is
beautiful, and includes incredible wildlife such as sharks, rays, turtles,
dugongs, whales, and of course, resident bottlenose dolphins. Monkey Mia is
remote, but we do have amenities including electricity and running water,
reliable cell phone service, and limited internet. Housing will be
provided, and the research team will share cooking responsibilities in a
communal kitchen and other domestic chores.

*Job responsibilities:*

Research assistants will help collect extensive behavioral data from the
boat, including surveys and focal follows on individual dolphins. Boat work
is dependent on weather, but even on windy days we need to be ready to pack
up and quickly get out on the water if the wind drops. Days on the water
can be consecutive, long, and tiring in variable environmental conditions.
Days on land require extensive, and tedious, data entry and processing. If
you are interested in an independent research project, we will work with
you to develop one. It may be helpful to review our recent publications
<https://www.monkeymiadolphins.org/publications-2/> to get a feel for our
lab's work.

*Most of your time will be spent:*

-Searching for and spotting dolphins

-Photographing dolphins

-Driving the boat

-Scribing data during surveys and focal follows

-Entering dolphin sightings and environmental data into the computer

-Doing basic maintenance and equipment prep and cleaning


The ideal candidate will be a graduating senior or post-baccalaureate with
a science background and a genuine interest in marine mammal science and
behavior. This position is well suited for students of marine biology,
animal behavior, zoology, ecology, genetics, or similar fields looking to
gain additional analytical and in-field experience. Applicants must be able
to work closely with a small team (3-6 people). We not only work together,
but also live, cook, and eat together, so maturity, sense of humor, a
positive attitude and a collaborative nature are critical.

*The candidate must:*

-Possess basic computer skills

-Be detail oriented, flexible, level headed, and patient

-Possess excellent verbal and communication skills

-Work well both independently and in a team

-Be fluent in English

-Be comfortable on a boat and working in a remote location

-Be prepared to work long, consecutive days, including weekends

The most essential qualifications are that you are flexible, conscientious,
and hard-working, and are excited about the research.


This is a paid position. All travel and living expenses (flights, visas,
housing and food) will also be covered by the project. We particularly want
to encourage candidates from groups that are underrepresented in STEM
fields to apply.

If interested, please apply through our google form:


The form will be open from March 20th-27th 2023 and will close at 11:59pm
EST on the 27th. Any questions can be directed to mem505 at georgetown.edu.

Meredith MacQueeney (She/Her)
PhD Student, Department of Biology
Georgetown University
3700 O St NW, Washington, DC 20097

*** Please know that I honor and respect boundaries around personal time,
well-being, caretaking, and rest. If this email finds you at a time when
you are engaging in any of the above, please protect your time and wait to
respond until you are next working.***
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