Bird Island Science Manager

Job reference:
BAS 21/124
Contract type:
Full Time
Open-Ended Assignment.
£39,748- £50,790 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
Ecosystems team
Closing date:
7 November, 2021 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey are looking for a Bird Island Science Manager.

Who we are

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its skilled science and support staff based in Cambridge, Antarctica and the Arctic,work together to deliver research that uses the Polar Regions to advance our understanding of Earth as a sustainable planet. Through its extensive logistic capability and know-how BAS facilitates access for the British and international science community to the UK polar research operation. Numerous national and international collaborations, combined with an excellent infrastructure help sustain a world-leading position for the UK in Antarctic affairs.

British Antarctic Survey is a component of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as to keep the lights on, feed the research and support teams, and keep everyone safe! If you are looking for an opportunity to work with amazing people in amazing places, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


To manage the long-term monitoring and targeted research projects on higher predators (seals, albatrosses, penguins and petrels) at Bird Island. This includes: management of Bird Island, including infrastructure, databases, purchasing, equipment, development of new technologies, public outreach, permits, risk assessment, liaison with Operations, Corporate Services, Science etc.; recruiting, directing and supporting the 6 zoological field assistants; managing the bird ringing and tracking programmes; managing and developing the long-term monitoring and demography databases; personal scientific research as lead and in support of other members of Ecosystems and external collaborators; applying for external grants as PI or Co-I; publishing papers as lead or co-author in peer-reviewed journals. The post holder may also be required to provide specialist support across the Ecosystems Team and other science teams in BAS.



Good first degree or Masters in biological or environmental sciences. PhD in biology, ecology, marine science or related field.


Bird Island Science Management

  • Manage the science infrastructure at Bird Island.
  • Equipment purchases.
  • BAS management committees and meetings relating to Bird Island
  •  Permit applications and reports (South Georgia Govt., animal welfare)
  • Risk assessments.
  • Lead annual recruitment of new Bird Island Zoological Field Assistants.
  •  Manage training of the Bird Island Zoological Field Assistants.
  •  Manage the Bird Island Zoological Field Assistants in the field.
  • Manage the bird ringing programmes.
  •  Manage and develop the predator demography databases and data-entry systems.
  • Ecosystems representative on NPRAM.
  • Public outreach (including web pages) for the long-term predator monitoring programmes.

Scientific Research

  • Lead targeted research projects generating primary science outputs in seabird and marine mammal research
  • Deliver a key piece of software or key dataset, or publish on average at least one first-author paper per year in a high-quality journal.
  •  Contribute on average to two or more papers as co-author per year
  •  Develop grant applications (including NERC standard grants or equivalent as PI or Co-I) to undertake innovative predator research, with a strong focus on Bird Island.
  •  Generate proposals for development of innovative technical systems and capital equipment bids for predator research.
  •  Code bespoke extracts from the long-term demography and tracking databases for BAS and external collaborators.
  •  Manage the Predators Argos tracking programs.
  •  Provide specialist IT, data science, analysis and support to the Predators team, PhD students and Polar Data Centre.
  •  Maintain/build web pages and associated data feeds for tracking studies.

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 21/124
Publication date: 12 October 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 07 November 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 30 November 2021

At BAS, our vision is to be a world-leading centre for polar science and operations. Making our vision a reality depends on the excellence and diversity of our staff. We are committed to creating a workplace where all our staff can flourish and succeed. BAS is a Disability Confident employer, we are proud to hold a bronze Athena Swan award and we are a member of enei, the EmployersNetwork for Equality & Inclusion.

We appreciate the importance of achieving work-life balance and support this with a number of family and carer-friendly policies. Plus a flexible working policy for those who may wish to amend their working pattern or arrangement.

Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)

Communication skills - a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Good oral and written skills. - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Proficient in R, MS Office. - Essential
  • Knowledge of SQL or other programming languages; ARGOS data management; web page development; GIS. - Desirable [2]

Decision Making

  • Ability to make effective decisions both independently and by consensus. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Demonstrable ability to work cooperatively as part of a team. - Essential
  • Good interpersonal skills required for engagement with scientists, collaborators, operations, public and other stakeholders. - Essential
  • Experience of working with multiple stakeholders. - Desirable [2]

Managerial ability

  • Experience of managing staff, and of planning and management of research programmes and budgets. - Essential
  • Experience of recruiting staff; remote management of staff. - Desirable [1]


  • The post holder must be medically fit, passing a BAS Medical. - Essential

Numerical ability

  • Proven experience of managing and querying relational databases. - Essential
  • Demonstrable ability to report, analyse and interpret ecological data. - Essential
  • Experience of analysing tracking data. - Desirable [1]

Other Factors

  • British Trust for Ornithology ringing permit (C or full A). - Essential


  • Good first degree or Masters in biological or environmental sciences. - Essential
  • PhD in biology, ecology, marine science or related field. - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Experience of research on ecology of birds or mammals; experience of publishing in high-quality academic journals; knowledge of marine ecosystems. - Essential
  • Expertise on higher predators or predator-prey interactions in marine ecosystems. - Desirable [1]
  • Experience of securing funding for research or associated infrastructure. - Desirable [1]

In order to apply, please complete and upload all the application forms listed below. If you experience any issues in uploading your Application Form, please email us your complete application, making reference to the job reference and title.

If you are an EU, EEA or Swiss citizen, please visit this website before applying.

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Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Recruitment team is working remotely and cannot access the building. If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, please contact us: [email protected]

If you need more information

[email protected]
+44 (0)1223 221400
+44 (0)1223 362616

The information you provide during the application process will only be used for the purpose of progressing your application, to fulfil legal or regulatory requirements where necessary or, in the case of the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire, to help BAS meet its equal opportunities policy.

The British Antarctic Survey will not share the information you provide with any third parties, and the information will be held securely by the British Antarctic Survey whether the information is in electronic or physical format. Please note that the Equal Opportunities Monitoring Questionnaire will be detached from your application prior to the short-listing of candidates for interview.

Unsuccessful applications will be securely destroyed 6 months after the end of the recruitment process (or 1 year after the end of the recruitment process in the case of Marine Staff and AEP. The applications of successful applicants will be retained as part of their personnel file.

Further information can be found in the information notice of NERC, our parent body.