Marine Mammal Science Job Openings


Job Category: Internship Opportunities (unpaid)
Date Posted:

Delfini del Ponente is currently looking for and accepting interns to join our research project on bottlenose dolphins and other marine fauna in the Western Ligurian Sea, Imperia (Italy) from March to October.


The dolphin research project “Delfini del Ponente”, started in 2018, is the first project focused on monitoring bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) occurrence and distribution in the Western Ligurian Sea. The project is structured on an annual basis, to obtain data not only on the distribution during the Summer, but also changes during the different seasons. The study is already providing very interesting information about this community inside the study area, especially about its social organization, abundance of individuals, distribution, and movements also outside the region. Moreover, our dataset includes data on several cetacean species and also about other marine fauna such as Mediterranean shearwaters (Puffinus yelkouan), Scopoli’s shearwaters (Calonectris diomedea), Northern gannets (Morus bassanus), Sandwich terns (Thalasseus sandvicensis), sunfish (Mola mola) among others.

Surveys are carried out in coastal waters onboard a dedicated zodiac (6 m inflatable boat) around 10 times per month. Training will focus on collecting photos for photo-ID purposes, environmental, marine traffic, geographical (GPS) and dolphins' behavioural data. Land-based surveys take place in Imperia, in 2 different locations with the aim of collecting data on the presence/absence of dolphins, fishing boats in activity and marine birds. Fieldwork is a great opportunity to get involved and improve skills on cetaceans’ and marine biodiversity’s research. Both land-based and zodiac surveys are weather-dependent, and their number can change each month.

Office work (6 hours per day) includes training and lessons to the interns and supervision of all the activities (photo-id work, transcription of data, data entry, QGIS work, etc…)

Where: Imperia, Italy

When: 1 March-30 October 2022 (minimum 30 days)

Number of interns for month: 2 /3


• boat-based surveys monitoring the presence and distribution of
bottlenose dolphins

• data collection of other cetaceans, fishes, seabirds, turtles

• classwork, database updating

• photo-id matching and analysis

• land-based surveys /opportunistic surveys

• lessons and training about cetacean ecology, biology and research

This is a great opportunity to get involved in cetacean research, encounter marine biodiversity while gaining fieldwork experience, travel and explore the beautiful Liguria region and support cetacean research and conservation.

Interns will be involved 5 days a week, 6-8 hours/day (depending on fieldwork or lab work)
During free time, interns will have the opportunity to experience all sorts of activities: swimming, diving, hiking, exploring historical sites, visiting museums, sailing.


· Minimum age of 18

· Prior experience in cetaceans or boat-based surveys is not required

· Degree or on-going studies in biology, natural science, veterinary or similar (preferred)

· Strong motivation and interest in cetaceans and research

· Speak, read and write in fluent English

· Be adaptable as fieldwork is weather dependent

· Be prepared to spend many hours on a small zodiac (5-6 m) and under the sun, be able to swim and work in harsh weather conditions both in nearshore and offshore waters

· Be prepared to spend many hours in the office (generally 6 hours/day)

· Be sociable and with a positive attitude as he/she is expected to live and work in an international team


Delfini del Ponente is a self-funded research project, so participation in this program requires a tuition fee. Fee includes the accommodation in an apartment in Imperia, tuition and all associated field costs during the internship period (use of research vessel, training, use of equipment, field trips, insurance). Transportation expenses to and from Imperia (Italy) and food costs during the stay are not included in the fee.


Send your CV with a letter of interest to

For any further inquiries and details, please send an email to