My name is Margarida, I am from Portugal. I am currently doing an international master program – IMBRSea (International Master of Science in Marine Biological Resources). From April 21st to June 16th , 2020 I did my master’s Professional Practice on Marine Mammal Research and Conservation with “Archipelagos – Institute of Marine Conservation”. Due to the world situation and the existent travel restrictions imposed in different countries the Professional Practice occurred remotely. When I applied for this topic in November, I would never have imagined in the end the original Professional Practice plan would have to change and be adapted to a remote version. The more practical part of the Professional Practice, as field surveys and data collection, was not possible to occur, instead, there was a higher focus on data analysis and scientific writing. Working with Archipelagos – Institute of Marine Conservation was a unique experience. Not being physically present in the institute created some challenges in terms of communication, organization, teamwork within others, however, this was not an obstacle to achieve personal objectives and improve many skills.

During my placement, another IMBRSea student was doing the Professional Practice on the same topic. We had  weekly meetings with our supervisor for the whole duration of the internship. Even though we were working on different research projects, this was very positive since giving us a sense of teamwork, making the remote work easier and more dynamic. During the first two weeks our supervisor gave us the change to do bibliographic research. Considering the projects being developed and the type of data being collected in Archipelagos each of us came up with a research topic to develop during the following weeks. We agreed I would focus on  preliminarily start analysing and working on the social organization and site fidelity of the Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) population in the study area. Besides working on this research topic, I analysed photoID data and behaviour videos to contribute to the monitoring of the marine mammals’ species in the region and develop my data analysis skills.

One of the most useful parts of this experience was without a doubt practising and analysing so much data. I believe this can be something very valuable and useful that I can use in future professional experiences or work.

In the Marine research area, every experience is valuable, and having the opportunity to work with a big Institute I believe it was very important for personal development and that undoubtedly, contributed to increase my knowledge and experience on marine mammals monitoring and different research areas. Considering the circumstances, I consider that the Professional Practice went very well; everyone involved gave its maximum to make it the best possible.

You can learn more about my project in my blog page at the following link:

Margarida Rolim
International Master of Science Student in Marine Biological Resources
Remote intern at Archipelagos’ Marine Mammal Research and Conservation Team