Passive acoustic monitoring (PAM) involves detecting and studying animals using the sounds they make. Its use is widespread for cetaceans since they are highly vocal, and are often below the surface. Using sound allows us to detect them even when we cannot see them.
Part of my Masters research project is going to involve using acoustic detections of harbour porpoises. Since I’ve never done any PAM work before this is pretty daunting! On the advice of my supervisor, I decided to attend Seiche Training’s PAM Level 1 course last week in order to get to grips with PAMGuard, one of the most widely used PAM softwares.
Continue reading “Review: PAM Level 1 with Seiche Training”
Where better to be on a cold rainy Saturday in November than at Plymouth University Marine Station, learning all about surveying for whales and dolphins! Clearly I’m not the only person who thought so anyway, as the room was packed with marine mammal surveyors to-be.
Continue reading “Review: ORCA Marine Mammal Surveyor Course”
I spent ten weeks as a research assistant for Latin American Sea Turtles (LAST) on their Osa In-Water Project. This is one of very few projects that aims to study sea turtles in their foraging environment rather than on nesting beaches (which only make up 2% of the life cycle, and where you can only study adult females and hatchlings). I worked with hawksbill, green and Pacific green turtles. The project also has a mangrove reforestation element, and aims to work with and within the local community.
Continue reading “Review: Research Assistant for Latin American Sea Turtles”
Last week I had the great pleasure of attending the ASAB (Association for the Study of Animal Behaviour) Easter Conference at Plymouth University. It was a welcome break from job hunting and a chance to meet some really interesting people who are shaping the field of behavioural research.
Continue reading “My First Conference! ASAB Easter 2018”
I spent 3 and a half months from December 2017 to March 2018 volunteering on the Seal Care Team at Zeehondencentrum Pieterburen, a rehabilitation centre in the Netherlands. If you want to know more you can read my weekly posts, or get in touch.
Continue reading “Review: Seal Care Volunteer in the Netherlands”
In 2016 I joined the Limpopo Dwarf Mongoose Project as a Research Assistant. This is a long term behavioural study. Mongoosers (an informal title) work 6 days a week collecting data and carrying out experiments. The work is with habituated mongoose groups so you can really observe them closely. Dwarf mongooses are cooperatively breeding social mammals with loads of interesting behaviours and complex group structures.
For the sake of ease I have formatted this in the same way as previous reviews of volunteer experiences, but it was more like a job (without the payment aspect, I suppose).
Continue reading “Review: Research Assistant at the Limpopo Dwarf Mongoose Project”
In June 2015 I joined the Ionian Dolphin Project (IDP) run by the Tethys Research Institute for a week. This is a long-term research project on the bottlenose dolphins in the Ambravikos Gulf and other dolphins and marine mammals in the waters around Kalamos.
(All photos by Joan Gonzalves of the IDP)
Continue reading “Review: Ionian Dolphin Project”
Yesterday I finally attended a course that’s been on my to-do list for quite a while – The British Diver’s Marine Life Rescue (BDMLR) Marine Mammal Medic Course.
(Photos from British Diver’s Marine Life Rescue)
Continue reading “Review: Marine Mammal Medic Course”
Six years later, I might finally have the distance, age and experience to reflect on the turtle conservation project I joined for a month when I was 16. It’s safe to say I learned a lot, and equally safe to say not much of it was about turtles. It had the excellent effect of persuading me to study Zoology, but aside from that I think I would call it valuable for all the wrong reasons.
Disclaimer: A quick glance at the website suggests some major changes to this programme in the past 6 years, and my experience may not be at all reflective of the experiences of volunteers there today.
Continue reading “Review: Turtle Conservation in Mexico with Projects Abroad”