Marine Environmental Ecologist

Job reference:
BAS 21/68
Contract type:
Full Time
Fixed Term Appointment (2.5 years)
Starting from £31,931 to £39,915 per annum.
We offer generous benefits
Ecosystems team
BAS Cambridge
Closing date:
25 April, 2021 11:59 pm

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, please note there may be delays to our recruitment timeline.


We are looking for a PDRA Marine Environmental Ecologist to join the Marine Ecosystems department. The successful candidate will be joining a multi-national team with the task of understanding the impact of marine microplastic pollution on the ability of the ocean to export carbon from the surface to the deep ocean with a focus on zooplankton-plastic debris interaction.

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


The post-holder will be in the frame of CUPIDO (UKRI, UK Research Innovation funded project) as part of Future Leader Fellowship programme. The successful candidate will be joining a multi-national team with the task of understanding the impact of marine microplastic pollution on the ability of the ocean to export carbon from the surface to the deep ocean with a focus on zooplankton-plastic debris interaction. The post holder will develop a 1-dimensional (depth resolved) model to predict how the flux of plastics and C alters through the year in different regions characterised by high and low plastic debris input model (i.e. Southern Ocean and Mediterranean Sea). The model will simulate the potential plastic accumulation in specific water layers, and identify changes in residence time of C through the water column as a function of the ratio of particulate plastics to particulate C. A specific focus will be to describe the change in zooplankton faecal pellets composition when incorporating microplastics as faecal pellets sink through the water column. The successful candidate should have a PhD in a relevant discipline. Demonstrable experience of numerical and computer programming skills is essential.


PhD in environmental marine ecology or equivalent experience.


Contribute to the preparation and planning of CUPIDO research activities
Lead and publish high quality peer-reviewed research related to the CUPIDO objectives.
Form and maintain national and international relationships and collaborations for scientific research.
Travel to national and international meetings to present research findings
Synthesis of key datasets for model parameterisations
Development and implementation of a 1-dimension (deph resolved) carbon-plastic interaction export model.
Documentation of data set for curation in appropriate data centres (e.g. PDC, BODC)
Support fieldwork planning in terms of data collection
Achieve timely and relevant scientific paper outputs
Proactively pursue and contribute to future research grant opportunities
Document of parametrization data sets and model for curation in appropriate data centres (e.g. PDC, BODC)
Engage with the Antarctic and Mediterranean research community as well as with the general public for outreach

Please quote reference: BAS 21/68
Publication date: 19/03/2021
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 25th April 2021
Interviews are scheduled to be held: 13th May 2021

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 and will provide necessary adaptations for the interview. We are open to a range of flexible working options, including job sharing, to support childcare and other caring responsibilities.

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

  • Proficient in written and spoken English language. - Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Strong IT skills. - Essential

Decision Making

  • Ability to work independently, but also to keep seniors informed. - Essential

Interpersonal skills

  • Must be able to work as part of a team and represent the project to others - Essential

Managerial ability

  • Evidence of time-management skills - Essential
  • Experience of managing projects - Desirable [3]

Numerical ability

  • Strong numerical ability with a high degree of statistical literacy and mathematical modelling - Essential

Other Factors

  • Self-motivated, with confidence to present complex pieces of work in an understandable way to a range of audiences - Essential


  • PhD in environmental marine ecology or equivalent experience. - Essential
  • A good publication record, some post-doctoral experience. - Desirable [1]

Resource Management ability

  • Ability to manage a budget. - Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Experience in ecosystem/biogeochemical modelling. Knowledge in carbon cycle and/or plastic pollution. - Essential
  • Familiarity with zooplankton dynamic - 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.

Apply Online:

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.