Post-doctoral opportunity at Bedford Institute of Oceanography, Canada (Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories Program) – Assessing the temporal and spatial overlap of cumulative noise, endangered predators and conservation areas in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean

 

The Northwest Atlantic Ocean is a productive ecosystem, supporting vital breeding, feeding, and migratory habitats for a diverse assemblage of marine life. In addition, it is an important area for numerous offshore human activities, such as hydrocarbon exploration and production, shipping, and fishing. These human activities generate underwater noise that can impact marine life (Richardson et al. 1995, Weilgart 2007, Gomez et al. 2016). Despite the widespread and increasing presence of noise-generating human activities, there is no measure of the cumulative levels of noise and its overlap with the distribution of endangered predators in the Northwest Atlantic. This information is fundamental to the marine spatial planning process, as it can be used to recommend potential mitigation measures (Wright 2014, Wright and Kyhn 2014, Nowacek et al. 2015). Without this data, it is impossible to ascertain the potential impacts of cumulative noise during environmental impact assessments. This project will address gaps in information by conducting the first evaluation of baseline cumulative noise in the in the Northwest Atlantic, as well as its overlap with conservation areas (e.g., current and proposed marine protected areas), and habitats that may be suitable for endangered predators.

 

This is planned as 2 year project.

Year 1: Based on sound transmission models, maps of the acoustic footprint of these noise sources will be generated (Erbe et al. 2012), and used to build species-specific spatial cumulative threat models for selected marine predators (e.g. Coll et al. 2012).

Year 2: To evaluate the congruence between conservation areas, suitable habitat for endangered predators, and acoustic noise footprint in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean.

 

Eligibility: candidates currently located in Canada (Citizens, work visa or permanent-residents).

The selected candidate must meet the requirements of the NSERC Visiting Fellowships in Canadian Government Laboratories Program.

 

Qualifications:

  • PhD (marine ecology, marine spatial planning, oceanography,  marine biology, or environmental science)
  • Significant experience in spatial planning, ideally with knowledge on impacts of noise on marine life.
  • Experience and knowledge of underwater acoustics and sound propagation modelling. Experience in writing computer language programs or scripts, e.g., R, SQL, C++, Matlab

 

Send applications, including CV and statement of interest, including expertise and the names and contact details of three referees to Angelia Vanderlaan (angelia.vanderlaan@dfo-mpo.gc.ca) by 01 April 2017.   Applications will be processed as received.

 

Cheers,

Angelia Vanderlaan

Ocean Ecosystem Science Division

Fisheries and Oceans Canada Bedford Institute of Oceanography

PO Box 1006, Dartmouth, NS B2Y 4A2, Canada.

 

Literature Cited:

 

Coll, M. Piroddi, C., Albouy, C., Ben Rais Lasram, F., Cheung, W.W.L., Christensen, V., Karpouzi, V., Guilhaumon, F., Mouillot, D., Paleczny, M., Palomares, M.L., Steenbeek, J., Trujillo, P., Watson, R., and Pauly, D. The Mediterranean Sea under siege: spatial overlap between marine biodiversity, cumulative threats and marine reserves. 2012. Global Ecol. Biogeog., 21:465-480.

Erbe, C., MacGillivray, A,O, and Williams, R. 2012. Mapping cumulative noise from shipping to inform marine spatial planning. J. Acoust. Soc. Amer., 132:EL 423–428.

Gomez, C., Lawson, J.W., Wright, A.J., Buren, A.D., Tollit, D. and Lesage, V., 2016. A systematic review on the behavioural responses of wild marine mammals to noise: the disparity between science and policy. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 94(12), pp.801-819.

Nowacek, D.P., Clark, C.W. , Mann, D., Miller, P.J.O,  Rosenbaum, H.C. , Golden, J.S. and Southall, B.L. 2015. Marine seismic surveys and ocean noise: Time for coordinated and prudent planning. Front Ecol Environ 13:378–386.

Richardson, W., C. Greene, C. Malme, D. Thomson. 1995. Marine mammals and noise. Edited by J.W. Richardson, C.R. Greene, C. Malme, and D. Thomson. Academic Press Limited, San Diego, CA.

Weilgart, L.S., 2007. The impacts of anthropogenic ocean noise on cetaceans and implications for management. Canadian Journal of Zoology, 85(11), pp.1091-1116.

Wright, A.J. 2014. Reducing Impacts of Human Ocean Noise on Cetaceans: Knowledge Gap Analysis and Recommendations. WWF International, Gland, Switzerland. Retrieved from http://www.wwf.de/fileadmin/fm-wwf/Publikationen-PDF/Report-Reducing-Impacts-of-Noise-from-Human-Activities-on-Cetaceans.pdf. (accessed on 8 June 2016)

Wright, A.J. and  Kyhn, L.A.. 2014. Practical management of cumulative anthropogenic impacts with working marine examples. Conserv Biol 29:333–340.

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