Marine Biologist/Zoological Field Assistant – Antarctica

Job reference:
BAS 22/19
Contract type:
Antarctic Contract
Antarctic Winter (Approx. 15 Months with possible extension to 27 Months).
£23,937 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a 10% bonus on your Antarctic Service.
We offer generous benefits
Antarctic employment pool team
Antarctica, with 2-3 months in UK prior to deployment.
Closing date:
31 March, 2019 11:59 pm


The British Antarctic Survey (BAS) has a vacancy for a 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.


A minimum of a science degree in a relevant subject.


- 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 required by the Director of BAS.

On-line application forms and further information are available on our website at

These are also available from the Human Resources Section, British Antarctic Survey, High Cross, Madingley Road, Cambridge, CB3 0ET. Tel: (01223) 221508.

Please quote reference: BAS 22/19

Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31st March 2019
Interview date: 24th June 2019
Proposed start date: Summer 2019

BAS is an Equal Opportunity employer. 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. We operate a guaranteed interview scheme for disabled candidates who meet the minimum criteria for the job. We are open to a range of flexible working options including part-time or full-time employment as well as flexible hours due to caring or other commitments.

You will need to be physically capable and medically fit to work in Antarctic conditions.

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

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language. - Essential
  • Accurate reporting to deadlines. - Essential
  • Instructions to co-workers and feedback to managers must be clear and unambiguous. - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Degree standard computing and IT. - Essential
  • ACCESS or ORACLE GIS software experience. - Desirable [3]

Interpersonal skills

  • 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

Managerial ability

  • Must be able to manage own time effectively. - Essential
  • Basic laboratory management. - Desirable [3]
  • Awareness of risk management. - Desirable [2]

Other Factors

  • Must be fit and physically able to work at sea on research surveys. - Essential
  • Must be physically capable and medically fit to work safely with wild animals (including aggressive seals) in sub-Antarctic conditions. - Essential
  • Ability to attach transmitters and loggers to animals. - Desirable [3]
  • Previous experience in sampling and analysing diet. - Desirable [3]


  • Science degree in Marine Biology or Zoology (or equivalent). - Essential

Resource Management ability

  • Ability to effectively train new staff as required. - Desirable [4]

Skills / Experience

  • Wild animal handling skills (Must be relevant). - Essential
  • Experience in fisheries science research. - Desirable [3]
  • At-sea marine mammal observation. - Desirable [2]
  • Experience of UAV piloting and associated qualification (e.g. RUAS RPQ-S). - Desirable [3]

You can apply for this job online or you can print off the application forms, fill them out by hand and mail them.

Apply Online:

Apply by post:

If you would like to apply for this job but cannot apply online, you can print the application form(s) and post it back to us.

Please ensure you complete all required sections of the application form(s) and include a Cover Letter and a copy of your CV.

When posting your application, ensure there is sufficient postage.

These forms are in an OpenDocument format and may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. An accessible format may be requested by contacting us.

Send your completed application forms to:
Human Resources Team
British Antarctic Survey
High Cross, Madingley Road
United Kingdom

If you need more information

Email: [email protected]
Telephone: +44 (0)1223 221400
Facsimile: +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.