The regular visits of the Neptune Islands by cage-diving operators (several times per week) provide the opportunity to take photographs and use photo ID techniques to quantify the number of white sharks and to improve our understanding of the population dynamics of the sharks visiting the Neptune Islands. Photographic identification (photo ID) has been used to estimate white shark population size, as well as forming the basis for studies of population ecology, site fidelity, short- and long-distance movement patterns, and spatio-temporal differences in sex ratio in this species worldwide. RFSE visits the Neptune Islands Marine Reserve and has accumulated a large data set of photos of great white sharks visiting the area. Together with The Southern Shark Ecology Group (SSEG), these photos are used for identification of individual sharks, population dynamics, and residency patterns of the great white sharks frequenting the cage-diving sites.
The Southern Shark Ecology Group (SSEG) at Flinders University and SARDI Aquatic Sciences conducts research that directly supports the conservation and management of elasmobranch populations and their ecosystems in the Indo-Pacific and Southern Ocean regions. Research projects focus on aspects of the ecology, physiology and biology of a range of highly migratory, neritic, and coastal shark species whose populations are being assessed in terms of their risks of overexploitation and/or extinction. Another key focus is improving public perception and general understanding of Australia’s unique coastal and pelagic shark and ray fauna. SSEG values collaboration with other researchers and those who share and work in the environments of these animals.
The primary objective of the internship will be to assist with data management, both on-board the Rodney Fox vessel and at Flinders University. The internship will begin at Flinders University to obtain an overall foundation of the entire data management process and how the data provided from the research vessel is used. Once on the research vessel, the intern will be responsible for data refinement and security, as well as preparation for database entry. Additional tasks include assisting with cage diving activities, general housekeeping and customer service on Rodney Fox Shark Expeditions.
Interns must be 21 - 26 years old at the time the internship is awarded and be a resident of Australia or New Zealand.