Seeking research assistants in Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia, for a
research project to evaluate underwater noise impacts of boats on humpback
The research project aims to investigate the underwater noise impacts of
whale-watching boats on humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae). The
project will conduct boat-based controlled exposure experiments using
unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and digital acoustic recording tags (DTAGs)
to measure behavioural responses of whales to the boat.
We are seeking volunteers for full-time assistance from August 1st-October
31st 2018 (southern migration of humpback whales).
Primary Investigators: Dr Kate R. Sprogis and Prof. Peter T. Madsen.
Location: Exmouth Gulf, Western Australia. Exmouth is a small, remote town
with limited shops that is ~15hrs drive north of Perth. Exmouth is the town
associated with the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park.
Field- behavioural data collection, boat driving, assistance with UAVs
(pending previous experience), assistance with D-tagging, assistance with
the underwater loudspeaker.
Office- Download of DTAG and UAV data, Data entry, UAV video processing,
equipment maintenance, project organisation and logistics.
Preferred skills and traits:
-Completed a degree in biology, marine science, animal behaviour or a
-Previous field experience with cetaceans (e.g. with underwater acoustics,
D-tagging, behavioural field data collection, focal follows, UAV experience).
-Have boating experience.
-Be enthusiastic, team oriented and have a positive, mature attitude as well
as a genuine interest in wildlife science.
Preferred candidates will have experience working well in a small team and
in remote locations, are fluent in English, and have experience using
computer programs (e.g. MATLAB).
Assistants should be adaptable and patient as fieldwork is highly weather
dependent (e.g. any day with <15knt winds, including weekends). When the
weather permits expect boat days to be long and on consecutive days. On
non-field days, data processing will be required.
Costs of housing (in a shared research house with 3-4 others) and food will
be covered for the research season (3 months). Research assistants will be
responsible for their own travel to Exmouth, WA (coach buses and direct
flights from Perth are available). If you are interested in being an
assistant, please provide a short CV (including academic referees) and a
one-page cover letter to kate.spro...@bios.au.dk.
Kate Sprogis, PhD
Marie Skłodowska-Curie Post-doctoral Fellow
Marine Bioacoustics Lab, Dept. of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Denmark
Adjunct, Murdoch University Cetacean Research Unit, Perth, Australia