Tuesday, July 20, 2021

JOB: Vacancy for Modeller at International Whaling Commission

We have an exciting opportunity to work within the Secretariat of the International Whaling Commission

See: https://iwc.int/vacancies


Lead for Modelling and Statistics

This position will oversee the programming and implementation of cetacean population models and the management of related data. An important part of the role is to evaluate the sustainability of aboriginal harvest quotas through computer simulations and involves close collaboration with members of the Scientific Committee and other Commission stakeholders. The post holder will also have line management responsibility for three statistical officers.

We are looking for candidates with substantial programming and analytical experience, skilled in leadership and management, and confident in building effective working relationships with a wide range of stakeholders. The ideal candidate will have good communication skills, including the ability to explain technical material to a non-scientific audience.

Overseas applications are welcomed, noting that the successful applicant will need to be based in Cambridge, UK.

Applications can be made by sending a CV and covering letter setting out how you meet the requirements in the person specification to Julie Creek (Julie.Creek@iwc.int) by 00:00 GMT on Sunday 1st August 2020.

Equal opportunities statement

We are an equal opportunities employer and we welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their sex; religious or similar philosophical belief; political opinion; race; age; sexual orientation; or, whether they are married or are in a civil partnership; or, whether they are disabled; or whether they have undergone, are undergoing or intend to undergo gender reassignment

Dr. Iain Staniland
Head of Science, Conservation and Management

The Red House, 135 Station Road, Impington, Cambridge, CB24 9NP, UK

t. +44 (0) 1223 233971  d. +44 (0) 1223 606128 

Working hours: 9 am – 5 pm, Monday-Friday

PhD available on communicative cognition in whales in Australia

PhD available on animal communicative cognition

The Cetacean Ecology and Acoustics Laboratories (CEAL) group at the University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, is seeking applicants for one PhD position. UQ is routinely listed in the top 50 or so universities in the world and has one of the largest marine science programs in Australia. CEAL has been studying humpback whale vocal communication since 2002. CEAL is situated at the Moreton Bay Research Station at Dunwich on North Stradbroke Is (Minjerribah) near Brisbane. MBRS is a 30 min ferry trip from the mainland (Cleveland, where several of our PhD students live) and about 90 min from the centre of Brisbane, the main St Lucia campus of the University, and the Brisbane international and domestic airports. North Stradbroke Island itself is a beautiful island with good surf beaches, national parks, diving, and camping.

The CEAL group has a primarily focus on cetacean acoustic behaviour and communication, the effects of anthropogenic noise on marine mammals, cetacean physiology, and cetacean population dynamics. We value a team-based approach, where supervisors and researchers work effectively together on various projects. We also value gender equity and cultural diversity within the lab. As part of the lab PhD programme, we offer experience in field data collection, grant and report writing, and statistical data analysis. We are also able to offer students industry placements, where we encourage and support students to gain real-world experience. Our lab would provide a challenging but impactful PhD experience and, as such, we are seeking an enthusiastic and capable student with strong interests in animal acoustic communication and cognition.

This PhD will be part of a larger study on the hearing of humpback whales funded by the Living Marine Resources program, U.S. Navy. Applicants should therefore have a background and general interest in animal communication, behaviour and cognition and should hold an honours degree or masters degree (or equivalent). Successful applications will be put forward for a scholarship to the University which will fully cover tuition and pay a living stipend. Due to current COVID-19 travel restrictions, domestic (Australian and New Zealand) students will be preferred. Please see below for more details.


Humpback whales are renowned for their complex communication repertoire. However, much less is known

VOLUNTEERS: Cascadia Research is seeking volunteers for fall 2021, winter and spring 2022

Cascadia Research Collective in Olympia, Washington is now accepting interns and volunteers for U.S. west coast and Hawaiʻi research for fall 2021 and winter and spring 2022!  

Cascadia Research Collective (CRC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit research and education organization founded in 1979. Most of our research is focused on whale and dolphin populations along the west coast of North America and in Hawaiʻi.  

CRC is currently filling positions for:  

Fall 2021 (September-December); deadline to apply is July 31, 2021 

Winter 2022 (January-March); deadline to apply is November 15, 2021 

Spring 2022 (April-June); deadline to apply is February 15, 2022 


Volunteer positions are unpaid, office-based positions in Olympia, WA and housing is not provided. 

International applicants will also be considered, but it is the responsibility of the applicant to acquire necessary visas and documentation. 

Volunteer Position Details: 

CRC gives priority to juniors or seniors with a science background who are seeking academic credit as well as those enrolled in (or planning to attend) graduate school in a marine science-related field. A full time commitment (40 hours per week) is preferred. Volunteer positions are generally three months in length, although exceptions can be made depending on the academic calendar of the college or university.  

Much of CRC's work involves photo identification, using natural markings unique to each individual to catalog and track individuals over time. This allows us to study association patterns and movements over extended periods of time, revealing information on population structure and social organization. Volunteers will spend a large portion of their time comparing new photographs to those in our existing

JOB: Postdoctoral fellow in Norway

We have an opening for a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in marine mammal spatial ecology. This is a fixed-term 3-year position with Drs Kit M. Kovacs & Christian Lydersen at the Norwegian Polar Institute in Tromsø.

The position is funded by the Norwegian Research Council's ARK project (Arctic marine mammals in a time of climate change: a Kongsfjorden Case Study) and the EU-project "The future of Arctic coastal ecosystems - Identifying transitions in fjord systems and adjacent coastal areas" (FACE-IT - https://www.face-it-project.eu/).

The job will entail:

  • participating in fieldwork deploying biologging instruments on seals in Kongsfjorden, Svalbard
  • performing 3D spatial analyses using data from biologging instruments along with environmental co- variates (temperature, ice cover etc). The analysis will be used to explore habitat use and niche overlap among species in the context of climate change
  • engaging with food-web and ecosystem modelers to integrate marine mammal spatial information into a variety of different models that have been designed to explore ecosystems interactions
  • writing scientific publications arising from the tagging data
  • participating in a variety of public outreach efforts to inform the public about the scientific knowledge accrued in the project.


You must hold a PhD in Biology (or a related field). PhDs from other fields like statistics or

Tuesday, July 06, 2021



BACKGROUND: The Marine Environment Research Association - AIMM, is a non-profit, non-governmental organization focused on the research and conservation of marine species, running an ongoing study of cetaceans in southern Portugal (Algarve). This project aims to obtain baseline information on species occurrence, behavior, and social structure of the local cetacean populations in order to obtain scientific data to support conservation measures and inform marine management policies.

The main species observed are Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis), Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), and Harbour porpoises (Phocoena phocoena), although other species such as Minke whales (Balaenoptera acutorostrata) and Fin whales (Balaenoptera physalus) can also be sighted.

AIMM Interns are young, hard-working individuals who are willing to contribute to the association and support on-going activities, while experiencing fieldwork at sea, learning data collection and processing methodologies, and being a part of AIMM's team of researchers and marine biologists for a period of time. All team members and participants share accommodation, house tasks, knowledge and experience in an environmental friendly and multicultural environment. 

Interns have the additional option to enrich their time with AIMM by beginning or improving their SCUBA skills with a PADI-certified instructor, hiking, kayaking, surf classes and others.


WHERE: Albufeira, Algarve, Portugal


WHEN: The field season lasts from 1st of July to 30st November 2021. The minimum internship attendance is 7 days, preferably starting on a Monday. 


FIELDWORK: The field trips are conducted in AIMM's research vessel, Ketos. Fieldwork is dependent on weather conditions. The field days can be intense, especially in the peak of summer, but are fulfilling and good fun.


The interns will be trained to: 

- Conduct on-board surveys of marine species occurrence; 

- Record effort tracks on a handheld GPS; 

- Access and collect environmental data;

- Collect data on behavior, group size, species, etc.;

- Collect photos to photo-identification, acoustic recording, and underwater videos;

- Measure water visibility with the Secchi disk methodology;

- Help to collect of drone footage from the marine mammals.


DATA ANALYSIS: This will be conducted on a daily basis and will entail entering data into established databases and spreadsheets, photo-identification processing, and preliminary data interpretation. 


INTERNSHIP FEES: AIMM is a non-profit organization that relies on donations from our volunteers, partners, and conservation-minded people like you so that we may continue our important research and education programs in the Algarve. This internship requires a monetary contribution which is used to off-set the cost of accommodation and running a non-profit.

Currently we have a special offer, 20% discount, for any internship program book in May 2021. For more information on internship fees for the 2021 season, please contact: interns@aimmportugal.org 


Included in the fee is:

- Accommodation in the research house; 

- Transportation to/from the marina; 

- Meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner);

- Fieldwork in the research vessel.


Not included in the fee is: 

- Transportation to/from Albufeira;

- Meals in restaurants and snacks;

- Free time activities;

- Personal insurance (all participants should have health and/or travel insurance);

- Personal expenses.



- Be above the age of 16;

- Have a mature attitude towards marine mammal research and environment;

- Be autonomous and flexible;

- Be able to live and work in an international team and mainly outdoors at sea;

- Speak English;

- Participate for minimum 14 days.


Preference will be given to those who have:

- Relevant marine mammal field experience

- Working experience on research vessels

- Experience working from dolphin/whale watching platforms

- Experience in photo-identification

- Professional cameras that can be used for photo-ID

- Availability to stay for longer periods of time




Applicants should fill up the online application at:


Applicants should send an e-mail to: interns@aimmportugal.org, with the subject "DOLPHIN RESEARCH INTERNSHIP". You will receive and e-mail with the availability and all the other details.

Applications will be accepted during all season. However, early application is recommended due to limited vacancies.

Due to COVID-19, we ask ours interns to come with a negative COVID-19 teste with a maximum of 3 days before departing.

The follow links are a shorts videos about the internship in Albufeira.

You get a different perspective and feedback from old participants about it:








Contacts: interns@aimmportugal.org | www.aimmportugal.org |

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

JOB: Second Posting - Postdoctoral fellow position - Ecologically and biologically significant areas for large predators in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence based on 25 years of survey, biologging and environmental data

Second posting - Postdoctoral fellow position - Ecologically and biologically significant areas for large predators in the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence based on 25 years of survey, biologging and environmental data

The Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) is responsible for the conservation and management of marine mammals in Canadian waters. A post-doctoral candidate is sought to develop species distribution models based on a large dataset of observations obtained from aerial and boat surveys conducted during the last 25 years in eastern Canada, in particular in the estuary and the gulf of the St Lawrence. The candidate will help collate relevant environmental data that could be associated with the occurrence of several species including the endangered blue whale, fin whale, right whale and other large predators. He/She will also benefit from information collected from bio-logging devices that were attached to several whale species.  The predictive models will be used to identify important habitats of

WHALES: New publication: WhaleMap: a tool to collate and display whale survey results in near real-time

My co-authors and I have developed an open source software tool called WhaleMap (available at whalemap.org) to collate and display whale survey results in near real-time. It is described in our recent publication in the Journal of Open Source Software:

Johnson H, Morrison D, Taggart C (2021). WhaleMap: a tool to collate and display whale survey results in near real-time. Journal of Open Source Software, 6(62), 3094, https://doi.org/10.21105/joss.03094

WhaleMap has proven a valuable tool for improving conservation outcomes for baleen whales, including the North Atlantic right whale, along the east coast of the US and Canada. It has achieved this by optimizing research activities, facilitating dynamic risk-mitigation measures, and engaging with the ocean industry and the public. It is our hope that this system can be readily adapted to benefit other regions and species facing similar conservation challenges. Please do not hesitate to contact me (hansen.johnson@dal.ca) if you have any questions.

All the best,

Hansen Johnson (he/him/his)
PhD Candidate, Oceanography Department, Dalhousie University
Guest Student, Biology Department, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

RIGHT WHALE: A New publication on possible right whale habitat suitability in 2050

On behalf of my co-authors, I would like to announce a recent peer-reviewed publication on projecting right whale habitat suitability in 2050.

Here is the abstract:

North Atlantic right whales (Eubalaena glacialis) are critically endangered, and recent changes in distribution patterns have been a major management challenge. Understanding the role that environmental conditions play in habitat suitability helps to determine the regions in need of monitoring or protection for conservation of the species, particularly as climate change shifts suitable habitat. This study used three species distribution modeling algorithms, together with historical whale abundance data (1993–2009) and environmental covariate data, to build monthly ensemble models of past E. glacialis habitat suitability in the Gulf of Maine. The model was projected onto the year 2050 for a range of climate scenarios. Specifically, the distribution of the species was modeled using generalized additive models, boosted regression trees, and artificial neural networks, with environmental covariates that included sea surface temperature, bottom water temperature, bathymetry, a modeled Calanus finmarchicus habitat index, and chlorophyll. Year-2050 projections used downscaled climate anomaly fields from Representative Concentration Pathway 4.5 and 8.5. The relative contribution of each covariate changed seasonally, with an increase in the importance of bottom temperature and C. finmarchicus in the summer, when model performance was highest. A negative correlation was observed between model performance and sea surface temperature contribution. The 2050 projections indicated decreased habitat suitability across the Gulf of Maine in the period from July through October,with the exception of narrow bands along the Scotian Shelf.The results suggest that regions outside of the current areas of conservation focus may become increasingly important habitats for E. glacialis under future climate scenarios.

The paper can be found here: https://online.ucpress.edu/elementa/article/9/1/00058/116780/Projecting-regions-of-North-Atlantic-right-whale

Camille Ross
Research Technician, Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences
Oceanography Master's Student, University of Maine, School of Marine Sciences

Sunday, May 16, 2021

U. New Brunswick - PhD studentship in environmental modeling of baleen whale foraging habitat

Open Position:  PhD studentship in environmental modeling of baleen whale foraging habitat to advance endangered species conservation 

Project Description: The Davies Lab at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, Canada, is recruiting a new PhD student into our laboratory.  The candidate will conduct research exploring statistical and numerical modeling approaches to characterizing baleen whale habitat using field data collected from novel autonomous ocean ecosystem monitoring platforms that simultaneously measure the distribution of whales, their prey and other key oceanographic variables.  The student will have the opportunity to engage their modeling research in policy and management processes to advance real-world conservation efforts to save endangered whale species.  While the focus of the project is on computer modeling, the student will have opportunities to engage in sea-going field research and work with lab members to collect data that support their modeling efforts.  The student will also have the opportunity to engage with partners in industry, government, NGO and academic

Saturday, May 08, 2021

JOBS: Ph.D. positions in conservation genomics - HALIFAX

I have three Ph.D. positions starting in September 2021 (preferably), or January 2022 (if necessary). The three positions are as follows:

1. Epigenetic effects of non-lethal entanglements in North Atlantic right whales. Assessing how methylation patterns change throughout the genomes in response to non-lethal entanglements, and how long such changes persist;

2. Using ddRADSeq data to quantify the impact of inbreeding on health, survival, and recovery potential of North Atlantic right whales;

3. Using genomic data to infer historic demography and estimate genetic load in North Atlantic right whales vs southern right whales.

I am located at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. It is a wonderful place to work and live. The right whale community is wonderful as well, and includes the New England Aquarium  the Canadian Whale Institute, and the North Atlantic Right Whale Consortium.

Please contact me (timothy.frasier@smu.ca) if you are interested, and include:
1. Which project you are interested in;
2. Why you are interested in it;
3. Why your background makes you appropriate to work on it; and
4. Your CV

Preference will go to applicants who already have M.Sc. degrees.

Thanks, and I hope to hear from you soon.

Tim Frasier
Timothy R. Frasier
Coordinator - Forensic Sciences Program
Associate Professor - Department of Biology
Saint Mary's University
923 Robie Street
Halifax, NS B3H 3C3, Canada
Email: timothy.frasier@smu.ca
Tel: (902) 491-6382