[MARMAM] Job Opening: Research Assistant | QLD, Australia

Stephanie Stack StephanieStack at pacificwhale.org
Mon Jan 8 19:25:11 PST 2024

Pacific Whale Foundation Australia is seeking two Research Assistants to join our team in Hervey Bay, Queensland. This project builds upon the long-term research conducted by PWF in East Australia since 1984. The successful candidates will join two other full-time team members and will assist with collecting data in the field and processing PWF Australia's whale and dolphin photo-ID data.

Location: Hervey Bay, Queensland, Australia
Reporting To: Dr. Barry McGovern, Research Associate at Pacific Whale Foundation
Immediate Start: While there is no fixed start date, we are eager to onboard the right candidates as soon as possible.
Compensation: $34/hr (AUD) at 38 hours per week
Eligibility: Applicants must currently reside in Australia and either hold Australian citizenship or be legally authorised to work in Australia. Relocation costs are not provided.


Fulfill the Mission and Vision of the organization by assisting with scientific research under the direction of the Research Associate and the Chief Research Biologist.
 *   Collect research data (ID photographs, behavioural observations and associated information) in the field aboard a dedicated research vessel.
 *   Follow a detailed protocol and record data in an accurate and consistent manner.
 *   Accurately identify age-classes, behaviours, and individuals during encounters.
 *   Accurately record weather and environmental conditions.
 *   Quality control of data and use photo-ID software to catalogue photos into an existing Access database.
 *   Cataloguing tasks: entering sightings data, verifying quality and distinctiveness of dolphin individuals, and matching of dolphin dorsal fins.
 *   Gather information from a wide variety of sources (e.g., literature searches) and synthesize information and data in the form of graphs, reports, and presentations.
 *   Maintain, clean, and take care of research equipment.
 *   Prepare outreach materials to communicate research findings and/or informative presentations to internal and external audiences.
 *   Further duties may be assigned as necessary according to the needs and requirements of the research programme.


 *   Bachelor of Science degree (or higher).
 *   Relevant work or volunteer experience in the field of marine mammal research.
 *   Strong working knowledge of cetacean photo-identification procedures, methodologies and assumptions.
 *   Experience in cataloguing and/or photo-ID matching of humpback whales and/or dolphins.
 *   Experience using Microsoft Office packages including Excel and Word.
 *   Reliable, detail oriented, and displays a mature attitude towards research.
 *   Physical ability to stand for extended periods and to move about on a vessel at sea.
 *   Adaptability to a varied workload; occasional long hours, weekend events, and alternative hours to accommodate international time zones are required.
 *   Ability to work independently and handle multiple tasks simultaneously in a dynamic work environment with speed, accuracy, and a collegial attitude.
 *   Strong commitment to the mission, goals, and values of Pacific Whale Foundation.
 *   Ability to legally work in Australia.

Desired but not required:

 *   Prior experience participating in line transect surveys for marine mammals.
 *   Prior experience driving small vessels around marine mammals.
 *   Prior experience using drones at sea.
 *   Experience using GIS software.
 *   Hold a Queensland-recognised driver’s licence or the ability to obtain one before commencement of position.
 *   Hold a Queensland-recognised recreational vessel licence or the ability to obtain one before June 2023.

To apply, please send a 1-page cover letter and a resume in PDF format to research at pacificwhale.org and clearly state how you meet the above-stated requirements. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis until both positions are filled. Interviews will occur on a rolling basis, so we encourage applicants to apply without delay. All candidates will be updated on the status of their application once a decision has been made.

NOTE: This post is a full-time (38hrs per week) position based in Hervey Bay, Australia. However, as fieldwork is heavily weather dependent, we often work above the standard 38hrs per week during periods of fieldwork, and time off in lieu is given to account for this.

Stephanie Stack (she/her)

Chief Research Biologist

Pacific Whale Foundation

In Hawai'i: 300 Ma‘alaea Road, Suite 211, Wailuku, HI 96793 USA

In Australia: Shop 2A Hervey Bay Tourist Terminal, Urangan, QLD 4655 Australia


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