The projects of DMAD’s interns: Bettie

Ever wondered what sort of project our interns get up to? Bettie shares her experiences.

Hi all! My name is Bettie and I study agro- and biotechnology (animal care) in Ghent. As I’m currently in my third-year bachelor I’m writing a thesis. For my thesis I’m investigating the effect of marine traffic on the bottlenose dolphin before COVID and during COVID-19. Which means I need to collect more data for the part during COVID. So, this week we were on an extra land-survey at Rose and like always the surveys require patience. Suddenly, we saw some dolphins splashing at the surface and it gave us a boost of energy, which was good, because they were playing around with us and we followed them at least for 2 hours! Thus, it was not one of the most relaxing and easy surveys we had before, but it was more than worth it because we learnt a lot!

Later that week, the weather was beautiful so we went on our third boat survey. When we entered the Kotor bay the Beaufort state turned into 4 which made the boat surfing like dolphins on the waves including ourselves! When the sea came to its sense, we put the hydrophone in the water and even though we didn’t see dolphins it was breathtaking to hear the voices of the sea.
Doing this interesting research and working here as an intern really convinced me to study a master’s degree in conservation, environmental sciences or even marine biology. I would like to thank everyone of the DMAD-team to be part of such an incredible and enthusiastic team and having the opportunity to learn more about marine mammals and working in the research field!