This is a fantastic opportunity to join a group of scientists and students to develop analytical skills, conduct projects or theses and experience real research. Based in Muizenberg, Cape Town in South Africa, research mainly focuses on the cetacean species and offers the chance to get involved with data processing and analysis, photo identification of animals and shore-based tracking of animals.
Doing this marine mammal research internship was the best experience I’ve ever had! I’ve never seen so many passionate researchers in one place, always happy, helpful and full of knowledge about cetaceans to share! During my time I worked on a research project on the prevalence of skin diseases, parasites, shark bites, entanglement and deformities of Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins around the South African coast.
Why do Photo IDs?
Interns are involved in photo-identification, which is the practice of identifying animals from their natural marks (fin shapes, scars, injuries, colouration etc) from photographs of them. Important for photo-ID of whales and dolphins are shots of the dorsal fin from both left and right sides and for humpback whales, the underside of tail fluke, which has individually distinctive black and white patterning.
Work alongside scientists and students with a strong academic background in the area of marine mammal science to develop your career in this field. Take part in exciting humpback whale, killer whale, humpback dolphin, dwarf sperm whale, common dolphin and other cetacean species research. Live and work in one of the most beautiful cities in the world – Cape Town!
False Bay, in the south west of South Africa, is known for its natural beauty and scenic landscapes. The southern peninsula and surrounds are known for its surfing, kite boarding, hiking, colourful seaside villages, museums, art galleries and picturesque wine lands. Part of the project study area is the Table Mountain National Park which is a natural world heritage site and one of the 7 new wonders of the world.
There is so much to do and see in Cape Town and surrounding areas. You can go for scenic walks, visit Table Mountain, Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned, Boulders Beach to see the penguins, or head out to Cape Point or just relax in Muizenburg and take some surfing lessons in the town considered to be the birthplace of surfing in South Africa!