We are seeking a PhD student to work on the Hector´s dolphin photo-ID project at Banks Peninsula, New Zealand. The project has been running continuously since 1985, focusing on the conservation biology of Hector´s dolphin using non-invasive research techniques.
The student will be based at the University of Otago´s Marine Mammal Research Group in Dunedin, but will spend much of their first three years in the field at Akaroa on Banks Peninsula.
The successful applicant will be responsible for the day to day running of the project, involving operation of the research vessel, managing the photo-ID catalogue and coordinating volunteer field assistants. The student is expected to be conservation focused and maintain a high level of photo-ID effort, but opportunities exist for other forms of fieldwork including acoustic surveys, aerial surveys and land-based observations.
Previous work has focused on the topics of population size, demographic rates, impacts of fishing, social structure, distribution, acoustics, behaviour, oceanographic processes, movements of individuals and morphometrics, many of which are implicitly linked with conservation management of the population.
The student will be encouraged to seek new directions for the project, but possibilities include evaluating new management options, fine-scale habitat use studies, effects of aquaculture and studies of echolocation behaviour using T-PODs.
- MSc in related field (Marine Biology, Zoology)
- Strong academic record
- Extensive experience skippering small, outboard powered research vessels
- Photo-ID skills
- Strong analytical skills
- Ability to work unsupervised and show initiative
- Team player
- Driver´s license
- Boating qualifications, e.g. skipper´s ticket, VHF operator´s ticket
- SCUBA diving experience
- Good practical skills, e.g. outboard motor maintenance
The successful applicant will be provided with a research vessel, tow vehicle, digital SLR camera and associated equipment for the duration of the project.
Accommodation costs and running costs while in the field at Banks Peninsula will also be covered. The student will be responsible for covering their food costs, all costs while in Dunedin and their tuition fees.
Information on University of Otago scholarships can be found at http://www.otago.ac.nz/study/scholarships/
The student will be expected to help with applying for funding for the project. The successful applicant will be expected to start as soon as is convenient, but by September 2009 at the latest.
Information about PhD study at Otago University can be found at http://www.otago.ac.nz/study/phd/index.html
Please send a letter stating why you are interested in this PhD position and outlining your relevant experience, along with a CV, to firstname.lastname@example.org
Post-doctoral Research Fellow
Marine Science Department
PO Box 56University of Otago
ph. + 64 3 479 5476
mob. + 64 21 488961