Marine Biologist – South Georgia
Marine Biologist – South Georgia
- Job reference:
- BAS 21/27
- Contract type:
- Antarctic Contract
- Fixed term appointment of either 15 or 27 months. For the 27-month post, a period of leave and Cambridge based work will be scheduled after roughly 6 months on base.
- £24,685 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a bonus of up to 10%.
- We offer generous benefits
- Antarctic employment pool team
- Antarctica (South Georgia)
- Closing date:
- 31 March, 2021 11:59 pm
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.
British Antarctic Survey (BAS), part of the Natural Environment Research Council, aims to undertake a world-class programme of scientific research, and to sustain for the UK an active and influential regional presence and a leadership role in Antarctic affairs.
There are currently vacancies for two marine biologists to work at the research laboratory at King Edward Point (KEP) on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia. The successful candidates will assist with the laboratory and field-based research programme undertaken by BAS on behalf of the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI). The research undertaken at KEP is science in support of the conservation and management of the South Georgia & South Sandwich Islands Marine Protected Area, including science underpinning the management of the krill, toothfish and icefish fisheries. Successful candidates will be expected to undertake field, seagoing and laboratory work to support all areas of KEP science.
Populations of land-breeding marine predators (e.g. penguins and seals) are monitored to understand the impacts of climate change, fisheries and the recovery of the island’s ecosystems from historical exploitation. The team at KEP undertake monitoring of population size and reproductive success of species such as Antarctic fur seals, Southern elephant seals, giant petrels and gentoo penguins. This work will involve regular trips to study beaches close to the station for population monitoring throughout the breeding seasons. Some specific data collection includes animal handling, for this reason animal handling experience is highly desirable. Some of the survey work will be undertaken by UAVs, so any previous experience with UAVs would be valuable.
The scientific programme at KEP also includes regular biological sampling of the inshore waters of South Georgia using plankton nets and a CTD from the South Georgia patrol vessel, Pharos SG. Laboratory work will include the analysis of specimens from the inshore sampling programme and the commercial fisheries. The work will be focused on the commercially important Patagonian toothfish, Antarctic Krill and mackerel icefish but will include research on a range of other associated species and bycatch. Feeding ecology, distribution, growth and reproductive ecology are the main research areas where you will be expected to provide data that help to underpin the sustainable management of fish resources at South Georgia. You will be required to participate in ship-based surveys of the commercially important species of South Georgia and could be asked to spend time at sea on commercial fishing vessels acting as a scientific observer. The day-to-day management of the laboratory facilities is an important element of the post, including hosting visiting scientists. You will help to prepare data and reports as required and produce scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals where appropriate.
The 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 and 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 six support staff including a doctor. The station personnel also provide logistical support for the GSGSSI Government Officers and the South Georgia Museum located at the abandoned whaling station at Grytviken.
The post is based at South Georgia and is a fixed term appointment of either 15 or 27 months. For the 27-month post, a period of leave and Cambridge based work will be scheduled after roughly 6 months on base. The two marine biologists will work in tandem at KEP and report to the fisheries ecologist and science manager at BAS, Cambridge. You will also be responsible for the implementation of Health and Safety regulations on the station and in the field.
These two positions offer a fantastic opportunity for highly motivated and disciplined individuals with relevant fieldwork skills and a keen interest in wildlife, who will adapt well to small island living in a challenging sub-Antarctic environment.
Who we are
British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Our 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 our 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 www.ukri.org
We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science as well as keep the 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 one of the most unique places in the world, then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.
• We have a responsibility to do everything that we can to ensure that BAS Ships and Stations remain COVID free and that staff are deployed safely and responsibly. Our medical screening for this season will therefore take account of the recognised factors that increase your risk of an adverse reaction to the coronavirus (Primarily this is BMI at or above 30, age over 60 years old, or a history of smoking). The assessment is done confidentially by our Medical Unit and the criteria might be subject to change.
• You might be required to quarantine two weeks prior to your deployment, and you might sail to Antarctica on our polar ship.
All applications will be checked at point of application by BAS staff and those without the right to work in the UK or without a realistic prospect of being able to acquire the right to work in the UK will not progress.
Please read the Applicants guide here before submitting your application.
To assist with all aspects of the laboratory and field-based research programme undertaken by BAS on behalf of the Government of South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands. To undertake biological sampling of the inshore waters of South Georgia using a variety of techniques and to analyse samples in the laboratory.
• Must have been awarded an honours degree in marine biology (or similar) by the interview date
• The postholder may be required to work at sea on fishing vessels as a UK observer and must be a UK passport holder
• To assist with all aspects of the implementation of the research programme at King Edward Point, South Georgia.
• To undertake monitoring of key populations of marine predators as part of established long term monitoring efforts.
• To undertake both laboratory and field research and participate in ship-based scientific surveys.
• To prepare data and reports as required and produce scientific papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals where appropriate.
• To assist with the update of the scientific database.
Please quote reference: BAS 21/27
Publication date: 8 January 2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 10 June 2021
As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome.
Skills are listed as either Essential or Desirable. Desirable skills importance rating in parenthesis (1 is high, 5 is low)
- Fluent in written and spoken English language - Essential
- Accurate reporting to deadlines - Essential
- Report writing skills - Essential
- Presentation skills – e.g presentations to cruise ship passengers - Essential
- Scientific report/paper writing - Desirable 
Computer / IT skills
- Degree standard computing and IT - Essential
- Experience of statistical, database and/or GIS software applications (e.g. R, ArcGIS) - Desirable 
- Ability to mix positively with others in an isolated work place - Essential
- Ability to work remotely with minimum supervision as part of a small isolated team - Essential
- Self-motivated and can work unsupervised - Essential
- Must be fit and physically fit and able to undertake field work in rugged terrain and work at sea on research surveys - Essential
- Knowledge of first aid - Desirable 
- Must have been awarded an honours degree in marine biology (or similar) by the interview date - Essential
- The postholder may be required to work at sea on fishing vessels as a UK observer and must be a UK passport holder - Essential
- A masters degree in marine biology - Desirable 
Skills / Experience
- Marine Biology background. Interest in seabird or marine mammal biology and/or fisheries related science - Essential
- Basic laboratory management - Desirable 
- Awareness of risk management - Desirable 
- Experience of marine mammal/seabird research. - Desirable 
- Animal handling experience - Desirable 
- Experience of fisheries science or resource management. - Desirable 
- At-sea Fieldwork experience - Desirable 
- Experience of UAV use. - Desirable 
You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.
Apply by post:
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.