PhD Stipends in Marine Bioacoustics at CMST - Curtin MAURITIUS
The Centre for Marine Science and Technology at Curtin University has 4 PhD stipends on offer in marine bioacoustics.
These stipends are part of a 4-year research project entitled “The Quieter Western Indian Ocean” (QWIO), funded by the Fonds Français pour l'Environnement Mondial (FFEM).
The project is a partnership of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), the African Aquatic Conservation Fund, Armateurs de France, Bureau Veritas, Centre d’Etude et de Découverte des Tortues, Curtin University, The French Biodiversity Agency, Globice, Kelonia,
The Marine Megafauna Foundation, Quiet Oceans, and The University of St Andrews.
The aims of the QWIO project are two-fold: 1) to study and assess underwater noise from shipping and maritime services and its potential effects on targeted species among
large cetaceans (baleen whales and sperm whales), sharks, and sea turtles in the South-Western Indian Ocean, and 2) in consultation with regional governments, ship owners, ports, and relevant international authorities, to identify and initiate concrete and
practical measures to reduce the risks of noise impacts and collisions.
The 4 PhD theses will comprise (depending on student interest and skills) any of the following: underwater ship noise (measurement, modelling, mapping, management,
minimisation, mitigation), marine soundscapes (characterisation, quantification, sources, sound budgets, geographic and temporal variability, trends, modelling, prediction), and large whale bioacoustics (species diversity, vocal behaviour of humpback whales,
blue whales, and/or sperm whales, passive acoustic monitoring, sound production, song structure, song variability, dialects, spatial and temporal distribution, migration, relative abundance, acoustic ecology, risk of ship strike, effects of noise). The intention
is to fill two of the four PhD stipends with a project focused more on physical acoustics and ocean noise/soundscapes, and the other two focused more on organismal biology and bioacoustics, looking at the possible impacts of noise on species ecology. The composition
of the above topics in the theses will therefore vary among the students. There will be the need to fulfil specific QWIO objectives during the course of the PhD program (as guided by the supervisors), but the theses will not necessarily be restricted to those
Students will be enrolled at Curtin University Australia. However, they will be based at Curtin Mauritius (Moka, Mauritius). Opportunities for fieldwork exist
from Mauritius, to Reunion, Madagascar, and eastern Africa.
Students will be supervised by Prof Christine Erbe (Centre for Marine Science and Technology, Curtin University), Dr Salvatore Cerchio (African Aquatic Conservation
Fund), Dr Violaine Dulau (Globice), and Tim Collins (WCS)—depending on the PhD topics.
Each stipend includes an international tuition fee scholarship for 3.5 years. In addition, we are offering an annual living cost stipend of EUR 9,000, for
3.5 years (total EUR 31,500).
As a preference of the funder, students would ideally be citizens of one of the Nairobi Convention signatory states: Comoros, France, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius,
Mozambique, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, or South Africa. However, applicants from the broader Indian Ocean will be considered.
Students must obtain a student visa for Mauritius.
Given the focus on underwater acoustics and bioacoustics, and depending on the chosen thesis project, students would ideally have a degree (Honours or Masters) in Physics, Engineering,
Computer Science, Data Science, or a related field, or a degree in Biological Sciences with experience in Organismal Biology, Bioacoustics, Acoustic Ecology, or a related field. Students with experience in both disciplines may be strongly favoured.
Strong command of English is required. Students will have to pass an IELTS prior to enrolment, with a minimum grade of 6.5 overall and a minimum of 6 for any of its components
(i.e., speaking, writing, reading, and listening).
Experience programming in MATLAB or R.
Prior experience in acoustics is desired but not essential.
Prior experience in marine science is valuable.
Prior experience in offshore fieldwork is valuable.
How to apply:
Please email your _expression_ of interest, including CV, summary of research skills and experience, reason you are interested in this project, and choice (focus)
of project (e.g., ship noise, soundscape, whale ecology) to Christine Erbe:
m("cmst.curtin.edu.au","info");">, subject: QWIO Stipend.
Applications close 31 January 2023. Theses would ideally commence by April 2023.
Christine Erbe, Ph.D.
Director | Centre for Marine Science & Technology (CMST)
John Curtin Distinguished Professor | School of Earth & Planetary Sciences
Perth, Western Australia 6845