Marine Biologist / Zoological Field Assistant

The Marine Biologist / Zoological Field Assistant are normally employed for 15 to 27 months (with 2-3 months in the UK prior to departure) at King Edward Point research station.

About the role

The marine biologist/zoological field assistant to work at the applied fisheries research laboratory at King Edward Point (KEP) on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.

The successful candidate will assist with the laboratory and field-based research programme undertaken by BAS on behalf of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI).

You will be required to carry out fieldwork in support of a monitoring programme close to King Edward Point focusing on the monitoring of colonies of Antarctic fur seals and gentoo penguins. The post requires the candidate to spend periods at sea on fishing vessels in order to carry out at-sea observations on vertebrate predator distribution and to collect samples and data from the commercial fishery. To be eligible, candidates must be proficient in handling wild animals (preferably penguins or seals) appropriate to the work described. Advanced animal handling training will be provided. The jobholder should be aware that fur seals, when breeding at South Georgia, are numerous and territorial (aggressive). In addition to fieldwork the successful candidate will be expected to carry out laboratory based studies. These will include analysing by catch specimens and data from the commercial krill fishery in addition to carrying out dietary analyses of fur seals. It will also be a requirement to assist with the collection of diet, reproductive, growth and distribution data collected from research cruises and the near-shore sampling programme conducted by the marine fisheries assistant at KEP. The applied fisheries research laboratory at King Edward Point, South Georgia opened in March 2001 following the departure of the military garrison from the island. The station boasts well-equipped analytical and wet laboratories, a scientific library, modern computer facilities linked to the BAS headquarters in Cambridge. A high quality, accommodation block provides comfortable living conditions for the personnel on station. Over winter the station has a BAS complement of eight: – two scientists and five support staff including a doctor. The station personnel also provide logistical support for the GSGSSI Marine Officer and the South Georgia Museum located at the abandoned whaling station at Grytviken.

Duties

  • Conduct field work in order to collect data for an established monitoring programme for Gentoo penguins. Monitoring a small gentoo penguin colony at Maiviken, South Georgia. Monitoring population size and reproductive success in the colony. Using transmitting devices to examine at-sea behaviour when appropriate.
  • Conduct field work in order to collect data for an established monitoring programme for fur seals.
  • Monitoring a population of fur seals, sampling for diet, weighing pups (to estimate growth rates) and measuring at-sea behaviour using transmitting instruments (when necessary).
  • To work on commercial fishing vessels collecting data on catch and bycatch especially in the fishery for krill, Euphausia superb, at South Georgia.
  • Supporting the marine fisheries research assistant with biological sampling of adult and larval fish from South Georgia. Research is focussed on diet, reproduction, distribution and growth.
  • Participate on ship-based fisheries research surveys as required.
  • To prepare data and reports as required and produce scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals where appropriate.
  • Assist with the maintenance and update of the scientific database.
  • To undertake other duties as requested by the director of BAS.

Who can apply?

A minimum of a science degree in a relevant subject.

Applications

You can find the full job description and skills specification for this role here: Marine Biologist/Zoological Field Assistant – Antarctica

Vacancies are advertised from January to March.  Check out latest vacancies.

Register your interest with Human Resources.