Saturday, August 22, 2009


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20 Aug, 2009
2 post-graduate research positions (2PhD or 1 PhD/1MSc) are now available at Massey University’s Coastal Marine Research Group under the supervision of Dr. Karen Stockin. Successful applicants will be based at Massey University’s North Shore Campus (Albany) in Auckland, New Zealand
Position 1 – PhD: Fine scale habitat use and distribution of common dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland, New Zealand
We seek a Ph.D candidate to investigate fine scale habitat use and distribution of common dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf, Auckland over the next 3 years, with field research commencing in 1 Nov, 2009.  The position includes a full-time scholarship for 3 years at NZ$22,000 per annum. Logistical support, equipment and an expense budget to cover fuel expenses of field work will also be awarded to the successful candidate. This project will be a vessel-based study focusing on distribution, habitat use and photo-identification of common dolphins in the Hauraki Gulf. The successful candidate will be working independently from a Massey University 5.7 m research vessel operating in Auckland coastal waters. Thus, the successful candidate will need to be a competent skipper of small research vessels, and thus should be able to demonstrate small boat experience in his/her application. Furthermore, the successful candidate should ideally have experience with GIS and statistical software.
Position 2 MSc/PhD: Biology of New Zealand common dolphins
We seek a M.Sc/PhD candidate to investigate the external morphology of New Zealand common dolphins. Growth, allometric relationships and sexual dimorphism will be assessed from specimens found beach cast or incidentally by-caught within New Zealand waters. This project will commence early 2010 and shall primarily be lab-based. However, the successful candidate will be expected to assist in the recovery and sampling of carcasses in the field. Experience in marine mammal necropsies and/or tissue collection would be advantageous, although not essential since training will be provided. Experience in teeth sectioning and aging is also preferred. At PhD level, this project will examine the skull morphology of the New Zealand common dolphin population, using skulls collected by the NZCDP over the past 10 years. Logistical support, equipment and research expenses will be available to the successful candidate. However, he/she will need to apply for a Massey University PhD/MSc scholarship during the Oct 2009 funding round in order to cover stipend/fees(details listed below). Note: At PhD level all international students are charged domestic fees only.
Minimum Qualifications:
1. First or 2.1 Bachelor’s degree with honours in a relevant field. 2. Well demonstrated boat experience (Position 1). 3. Ability to work effectively, both independently and cooperatively, as a member of a research team. 4. Ability to take responsibility as a research leader. 5. Ability to communicate and work effectively, responsibly, and respectfully with all stakeholders. 6. Ability to conduct physically demanding field work at sea (Position 1) and on land (Position 2).
Position 1 - Boating experience, including a minimum of 6 months (750+ hours) working on commercial vessels and/or 2,000+ hours on recreational vessels is essential. Additional Preferred Qualifications: 1. Skipper Certifications: New Zealand MSA Boat Master, Local Launch Operator, Inshore Launch Master, or equivalent. 2. New Zealand Radiotelephone Operator’s Certificate or equivalent 3. Water safety, first aid certifications. 4. Photo-identification experience and/or other high-speed SLR photography experience 5. Experience studying cetaceans from a research vessel.
Preferred Qualifications:
1. Master’s degree in a relevant field (Position 1 + 2 at PhD level)
2. Demonstrated academic excellence  (Positions 1 + 2)
3. Experience with GIS (Position 1)
4. Experience with database and statistical software packages (Positions 1+2)
5. Experience in marine mammal necropsy and/or tissue collection (Position 2)
6. Experience with skull cleaning and morphometric analyses (Position 2)
To apply, send an email with YOUR SURNAME within the subject line and the following attachments to: NZCDP@massey.ac.nz
1. A letter which clearly states which position(s) you are interested in, and summarizes your academic and scientific background, work experience, research interests, and how you meet the qualifications listed above
2. A copy of your CV
3. A list of at least 3 professional references with contact information – preferably an email address
4. Unofficial undergraduate and graduate transcripts and/or a list of university courses taken and grades.
These maybe alternatively posted to:
Dr. Karen Stockin, Director – Coastal Marine Research Group
New Zealand Common Dolphin Project (NZCDP), Massey University, Private Bag 102 904, North Shore MSC, Auckland, New Zealand
1 Sept 2009 - for expressions of interest
Dr Karen A Stockin
Director, Coastal-Marine Research Group
Massey University, New Zealand

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