Bolsa de Investigação: ARDITI-OOM/2017/008

Job: Cetaceans and turtles Line-transect visual shipboard survey coordinator for project Mistic Seas II;

Job/Fellowship Reference: ARDITI-OOM/2017/008;

Main research field: Biological sciences;

Sub research field: n/a;

Job summary:

In the context of Project MISTIC SEAS II, OOM-ARDITI is looking for one researcher with experience in line-transect distance sampling surveys (preferably MRDS – Mark-Recapture Distance Sampling) of cetacean and/or sea turtles.

Job description:

“MISTIC SEAS II – Applying a subregional coherent and coordinated approach to the monitoring and assessment of marine biodiversity in Macaronesia for the second cycle of the MSFD“, is a project financed by the DG ENV, European Commission (No. 11.0661/2017/750679/SUB/ENV.C2). The project aims at implementing the common monitoring programs designed in MISTIC SEAS project and reinforce regionally coherent, coordinated and consistent updates to the determination of GES, as well as to prepare the next steps of the 2nd cycle of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive - MSFD (2008/56/EC), including the revision of the initial assessments and the definition of environmental targets by July 2018, in accordance with Article 17(2a and 2b), Article 5(2) and Article 3(5) of the MSFD.

This is a survey’s coordinator position for a pilot line-transect visual shipboard survey (Distance sampling) in Madeira archipelago coastal waters for both “Abundance of oceanic cetaceans” and “Loggerhead census” sub-programs. These sub-programmes aim to estimate the number of individuals of the selected species and gather information on their distribution.

In the context of Project MISTIC SEAS II, OOM-ARDITI is looking for one researcher with experience in line-transect distance sampling surveys (preferably MRDS – Mark-Recapture Distance Sampling) of cetacean and/or sea turtles. The successful candidate should have field experience in carrying out and/or coordinating surveys, in organising, validating and processing data and finally in analysis of data to estimate abundances and generate surface density distribution maps, with General Addictive Models (GAMs), using Distance software and/or R specific package software. The selected applicants will temporarily integrate the cetaceans team of OOM - Oceanic Observatory of Madeira, headed by Luís Freitas, scientist with decades of experience in the study of cetaceans in Madeira archipelago.


For the applicant to be considered for this position it is required to have at least a Master degree, but preferably a PhD, experience in line-transect shipboard surveys, and be fluent in English, both written and spoken.


The duties of the coordinator include, among others:
  • Participate in the workshop “MISTIC SEAS II” to define the Line-transect surveys sampling strategy to estimate oceanic cetaceans’ species and marine turtles’ abundance, following the Distance Sampling methodology;
  • Participate actively in the theoretical and field training as a preparation for the surveys’ coordination role;
  • Participate, as the survey leader, in the line-transect shipboard visual surveys in the coastal waters of Madeira archipelago in many campaigns of several days at sea;
  • As a cetaceans’ observer and surveys’ leader, insure that the whole team (observers and crew) implement and follow the sampling protocol established for the line-transect surveys, including a systematic and proficient data collection at sea and an efficient coordination of tasks among all members participating in the same campaigns, in coordination with Sub-program advisor;
  • Supervise, promote and participate in the compilation, organization and validation of all data collected after each survey in Madeira;
  • Collaborate in other navigational and logistical tasks on board while at sea;
  • Coordinate, follow-up and give assistance to the line-transect surveys’ teams in Azores and Canaries to insure the joint implementation of the sampling strategy and protocol established in the above- mentioned workshop, in coordination with Sub-program advisor;
  • Coordinate with the surveys’ leaders of Azores and the Canaries teams, the local compilation, organization and validation of all data collected in each archipelago;
  • Organize, process and validate the data collected in the three archipelagos (Azores, Canaries and Madeira) to be properly set for analysis, following Conventional Distance Sampling (CDS) and Mark-Recapture Distance Sampling (MRDS) methodologies and spatial modelling;
  • Carry out the analysis of Madeira surveys’ data of the cetacean species for which there is enough data and assist, whenever necessary, the analyst which is going to analyse jointly the data from the two common target species in the three archipelagos, Stenella frontalis and Caretta caretta;
  • Collaborate in writing-up the project’s follow-up reports and technical reports related with the line-transect surveys work and others of Work package 1 (WP1) of the MISTIC SEAS II project;
  • Participate in the relevant project meetings to discuss the implementation of the pilot surveys and any other issues relevant to the project related to WP1;
  • Collaborate with other tasks of Project MISTIC SEAS II sub-programs that are being implemented in Madeira archipelago;
Scientific guidance and workplace

The work will be carried out at the Science Unit of the Madeira Whale Museum, Caniçal, Madeira Island, under the coordination of Luís Freitas


15 months


Master degree - 980€/month tax free, PhD degree - 1495.00€/month tax free - ARDITI (BI) monthly maintenance stipend and regulations are determined by ‘FCT-Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia’ (

Evaluation criteria

The evaluation criteria will be the following:
FS = QA + EP + ML
FS – Final Scores
QA – Qualifications
EP – Experience
ML – Motivation

  • 2 points – PhD in marine Biology or Ecology;
  • 2 points – Thesis related with abundance and distribution of cetaceans, marine turtles and/or other marine animals, using Distance sampling methodology and/or spatial modelling;
  • 3 points - Experience in the field as observer and/or survey leader in transect-line visual shipboard surveys (preferably of cetaceans’ and/or marine turtles’), applying the Distance sampling methodology;
  • 3 points - Experience in organizing, validating and processing effort, sightings (including data related with distance sampling methodology) and covariates data, to compile datasets in the proper format for Distance sampling analysis (using Distance software and/or Distance R software package) and spatial modelling (GAMs) of cetaceans (and/or marine turtles) distribution, using Distance software and/or R software;
  • 2 points – Experience in carrying out Distance sampling analysis of cetaceans (and/or marine turtles) data on Distance and/or R software and interpreting the results;
  • 2 points – Experience in carrying out spatial modelling (GAMs) of cetaceans’ distribution data on Distance and/or R software, and interpreting the results, to estimate animals’ absolute abundance and surface distribution maps;
  • 1 point – Experience in using ArcGIS software (or other GIS software) to process spatial data, namely effort and sightings;
  • 1 point – Experience in using R software to carry out statistical analysis and/or process spatial data, namely effort and sightings;
  • 1 point – Good knowledge of Portuguese and/or Spanish, spoken and written;
  • 3 points – Motivation;

The jury may decide to conduct an interview to the three best graded candidates in the qualifications, experience and motivation evaluation, and that interview with contribute to 40% of the final scores of these candidates (i.e., the joint score of the CV evaluation and motivation letter will be 60% of the final score).

Selection panel
  • Luís Freitas
  • Cláudia Ribeiro
  • Nuno Nunes
Application contents
  • Motivation letter (highlighting the candidate’s motivation and adequacy to work, but not repeating the CV)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Relevant qualification certificates (e.g. Master certificate; PhD certificate; and/or letter confirming the completion of the degree (Master or PhD) + digital copy of the corresponding thesis)
  • Thesis (Master and/or PhD), if relevant for the evaluation of the application (see evaluation criteria)
Announcement of the results

Via e-mail.

Application submission and deadline

The application is to be submitted by email to Este endereço de email está protegido contra piratas. Necessita ativar o JavaScript para o visualizar. until the 19th May 2017

Vacant posts: 1
Type of contract: Temporary
Job country: Portugal
Job city: Caniçal
Job company/institute: ARDITI


european commission MSII

Subscreva a newsletter


Copyright © 2023 ARDITI
We use cookies

We use cookies on our website. Some of them are essential for the operation of the site, while others help us to improve this site and the user experience (tracking cookies). You can decide for yourself whether you want to allow cookies or not. Please note that if you reject them, you may not be able to use all the functionalities of the site.