Apply now for: Applications considered on a rolling and case-by-case basis
Time commitment: 2-3 full days per week (includes on- and off-site work)

Summary

The Marine Fish Stress and Health research program is seeking a Research Intern to assist with several fisheries-based projects that investigate the impact of various human-induced stressors on the health and survival of (primarily marine) fishes.  Although we investigate various stressors, our program primarily evaluates the consequences of fishing capture and handling on the health/stress levels and mortality of fish caught incidentally as “bycatch” (while we have the most expertise related to sharks, rays and skates, we have active projects on a range of fish species).  The ideal candidate will be a highly-motivated individual looking to expand research experiences in areas related to fisheries biology, and/or the use of biochemistry/physiology to address ocean conservation issues. As an example, many past interns in this program are transitioning from undergraduate to graduate studies, are aiming to bolster their research experience, and have a particular interest in this field.

This position will report to Dr. John Mandelman (research scientist) and Emily Jones (assistant scientist) and will be joining a dynamic team of scientists, interns and graduate students from the New England Aquarium as well as several other regional and distant government, academic and non-profit institutions that closely collaborate on various grant funded projects. 

Duties/Responsibilities include, but not limited to:

-Accompany and assist research team during field investigations.

-Assist with the mining, exploring and analyzing of data sets.

-Organize and maintain data.

-Correspond with collaborators at various institutions.

-Assist with the organization, maintenance and ordering of supplies.

-Perform relevant literature and background searches.

Skills/Qualifications:

-Requires minimum of 3 years of completed undergraduate study, completion of undergraduate degree preferred.

-Interest in wildlife veterinary/animal health, fisheries biology and/or applied fish physiology.

-Strong academic background in biology, marine biology, fisheries or vertebrate zoology/physiology required; previous statistical coursework preferred.

-Marine-oriented research experience strongly preferred.

-Comfort working in the field environment, including on recreational and commercial fishing vessels.

-Excellent interpersonal, organizational and communication skills.

-Must be highly self-motivated with the ability to work independently and as part of a team.

-Experience with basic Microsoft Office platforms, especially Excel, required. Experience with statistical and/or other more advanced software desirable.

Commitment:

Determined on a case-by-case basis.  While we do accept applicants for shorter stints (i.e. 3 months over the summer), we prefer applicants who can offer a longer commitment (i.e. at least 5-6 months), even if schedule and availability is subject to vary over that time.

Organizational Description:

The New England Aquarium’s mission is to protect the blue planet through hands-on programs, live animal and interactive exhibits, public lectures and forums, and research and conservation projects.

This mission is fulfilled through exhibits, and through education, conservation and research programs. Exhibits showcase the diversity, importance and beauty of aquatic life and habitats, and highlight critical aquatic conservation issues. Programs emphasize species, habitats and issues critical to New England. The Aquarium is also a pioneer in marine animal rescue, and a leading ocean conservation organization with research scientists working around the globe.

The New England Aquarium serves as a responsive community resource that attracts and involves the broadest possible audience; seeks a culturally diverse staff and governing board that reflect our community; adheres to the highest standards of animal stewardship; and is committed to delivering the highest quality visitor experience in a welcoming and enjoyable manner that evokes wonder, curiosity, understanding, caring and action.

Program Description:

Humans pose many threats to health and balance of our oceans, including direct effects on ocean dwelling species. This research program studies how marine fishes respond to those “anthropogenic” disturbances that exceed magnitude, duration and/or variety encountered during their normal daily lives. Through the use of variety of field and laboratory based tools (physiological, behavioral, tracking/ monitoring survival, etc.), this program aims to reveal differences in how species cope with and recover from acute and chronic stressors, and establish methods to reduce that stress and enhance survival of these fish species. Generally, all of the studies under this program have goals that aid the conservation and/or management of vulnerable fish species.

While this program focuses on a variety of stressors and species, the principle area of study involves fisheries related questions, such as how fishing capture/handling affects various fish species, particularly sharks, stingrays and skates. The overriding goal of this work is to first establish mortality rates, and then reduce stress and injury levels in fish captured accidentally and later discarded as “bycatch”, or fish captured and released for sport. For those species most vulnerable, some of the work also tests strategies to avoid these fish and therefore reduce catch rates in the first place.

Interns in this program will partake in grant funded studies related to the topics above, or lead smaller scale independent projects grounded in this same theme.