Are you looking for writing a project in Marine Science?

 

The Bottlenose Dolphin Research Institute (hereafter BDRI) offers a limited number of independent studies to advanced undergraduate and graduate students (bachelor and master students). We do not confer degrees but rather provide a research environment including a fully equipped and staffed laboratory, accommodation, and training in the field under the mentorship of experienced marine scientists.


The BDRI invites applications for thesis projects in a dynamic, international, and competitive research environment (i.e. we use the term “thesis” synonymously with “dissertation” and “report”). The main research topics of the BDRI include marine mammal ecology, ethology, ecological modelling and bioacoustics (on dolphins, porpoises, baleen whales and otters in Atlantic waters), with focus on bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in different parts of the world (Mediterranean and Atlantic waters), as well as marine bird ecology. Highly motivated bachelor and master students in the fields of zoology, marine biology, veterinary and related disciplines are invited to apply for a thesis project at the BDRI.

 

To carry out a project with the BDRI means that our interns will concentrate on and analyse specific data from our already-existing long-term research dataset. Interns will participate in the data collection of our on-going marine mammal and marine bird research program in the Ría de Arousa (Galicia, Spain) and will receive supervision from Bruno Díaz López, PhD (Director and Chief Biologist) and Séverine Methion, MSc (Principal Investigator and Marine Ecologist).


Below you can see a list of the project topics that will be offered in 2019 at BDRI’s headquarters in O Grove, Spain:


CETACEAN ECOLOGY. These projects include spatial analysis and creation of models from distribution data recorded in Atlantic waters (Galicia, Spain) from 2014 to 2018 (bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, and harbour porpoises). Outcomes of these studies will provide more information on the distribution of cetacean species in Galicia, and about the impact of human activities on cetacean distribution. The Galician firths (known as Rías) on the North-western coast of Spain have been identified as an area of year-round presence of bottlenose dolphins and harbour porpoises and are thus a suitable area for exploring the location of possible special areas of conservations (SACs) under the EU Habitats Directive. Applicants should have a strong interest in GIS or modelling.


CETACEAN BEHAVIOUR. These projects include analysis of behavioural data (bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin and harbour porpoise) recorded in Atlantic waters (Galicia, Spain) from 2014 to 2018. Outcomes of these studies will provide important information on individual and group behaviour of these species, as well as information on the impact of human activities on dolphin behaviour. Applicants should have a strong interest in ethology.


BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN COMMUNICATION. These projects include analysis of bio-acoustical and behavioural data recorded from a study area characterized by different levels of anthropogenic impact (Atlantic waters, from 2014 to 2018). These projects will explore the use of social vocalizations in different contexts (feeding, socialising, travelling) looking for geographic and contextual similarities in social sound use. Outcomes of these studies will provide more information on the function of specific social vocalisations and influence of the environment and, in some cases anthropogenic activities. Applicants should have a strong interest in bioacoustics.

 

BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN SOCIETY and MARK-RECAPTURE. These projects include analysis of mark-recapture data recorded in Atlantic waters (Galicia, Spain) from 2014 to 2018. Outcomes of these studies will provide more information about bottlenose dolphin society and, in some cases the impact caused by human activities. Applicants should have a strong interest in photo- identification and social studies.

 

DOLPHIN SKIN PIGMENTATION AND BODY MARKS. These projects include analysis of photographic data recorded in Atlantic waters (Galicia, Spain) from 2014 to 2018 (bottlenose dolphin and common dolphins). Outcomes of these studies will provide more information about cetacean external body conditions, taking into account intra- and inter-specific interactions, infections, diseases and in some cases the impact caused by human activities. Applicants should have a strong interest in photographic analysis.

 

MARINE BIRD ECOLOGY. These projects include spatial analysis and creation of models from data recorded in Atlantic waters (Galicia, Spain) from 2014 to 2018. Outcomes of these studies will provide more information about marine bird distribution (seagulls, cormorant, shag, waders, auks and more) and the impact caused by human activities. Applicants should have a strong interest in GIS or modelling.

 

OTTER DIET. This project include data recorded in Atlantic waters in 2018. Outcomes of these studies will provide more information about European otter (Lutra lutra) feeding ecology by studying the spraints. Applicants should have a strong interest in laboratory analysis.

 

Many other projects can also be developed such as impact of human activities on marine environment, dolphins’ society, ecological modelling and more. Consult with the BDRI to explore the possibilities (info@thebdri.com).

 

WORKING PLACE
The BDRI office is located in a pleasant research centre located in O Grove, Galicia (Spain). The institute and research vessel are equipped with the state-of-the-art technology, and the study area has especially good conditions for bottlenose dolphin research due to the existence of a resident population. The BDRI is a very international environment, and the everyday working language is English.

 

APPLICATION

To apply, read the Internship Information Package and thesis document, and send the application form, a resume, cover letter, and recommendation letters (facultative) by email to: info@thebdri.com

 

Once accepted as an intern, we can discuss potential projects and you will be expected to produce a suitable project proposal prior to your arrival. We look forward to your participation and a successful research experience at the BDRI and we thank you for your interest.

 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION.
Interns writing a thesis project will be undertaking normal intern activities (6 working hours per day / 5 days per week). Any project analysis and thesis writing will be done on their own personal time (lunch time, afternoons, and week-ends). All thesis projects will contribute to one of the ongoing BDRI research projects being carried out by the institute. This allows for simultaneous use of equipment and better supervision and guidance. The BDRI provides all the material, research equipment and supervision when a student comes to write a thesis. The design of data collection is already done and specific topics are proposed to students depending on their background and preferences.

 

BDRI internships are not paid and this training experience requires a tuition fee which is used to off-set the cost of training, use of research equipment, facilities and research vessels, accommodation in an apartment with other participants, and other expenses (access to wifi, kitchen utensils, electricity, taxes, insurances, etc) and a project fee. This fee covers added supervision and guidance, the paperwork associated, as well as the use of BDRI resources. Successful applicants will be responsible for their own transportation expenses to and from the research centre (O Grove, Galicia, Spain). Students carrying out these projects are encouraged to try for extramural or university funding to offset these costs.

 

If the student intends to receive academic credit, he/she will be responsible for making all arrangements with their educational institutions.

 

There is no deadline to apply. However, approved applications are accepted on a first-come, first serve basis. Apply early!  

Feel free to send us an e-mail to: info@thebdri.com for us to provide you further information about the program.

 

A list of the thesis carried out at the BDRI can be consulted here.


Some of our ex-interns shared their BDRI internship experience at: https://youtu.be/UAuO2XasBnw
For more information about BDRI's research projects, please visit Research

 

For regular updates with photos and videos about our programs and research activities feel free to visit our Facebook page.

 

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So, if you want to be a part of this unique experience and are a person who is interested in going abroad and obtaining hands-on experience in dolphins research, boat based field work, intensive training while having fun and meeting people from all over the world, then you should consider to participate in one of our programs.

 

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