Marine Biologist/Zoological Field Assistant

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) (www.antarctica.ac.uk/Living/Stations/South_Georgia.html) 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) (www.sgisland.org). He/she will be required to carry out fieldwork in support of a recently established monitoring programme close to KEP focussing on the monitoring of colonies of Antarctic furseals 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 bycatch 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 and a controlled temperature facility for holding live specimens. 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.

Qualifications: Qualifications: A minimum of a science degree in a relevant subject, experience of remote, unsupervised fieldwork and appropriate animal handling skills (i.e. of wild animals in their natural habitat) are essential requirements. Applicants must also be confident entering, managing, analysing and reporting data (and posses some basic awareness of databases). Good time management, attention to detail, effective communication and the ability to learn quickly are all important skills. Candidates should also be able to mix well in a small and remote yet enthusiastic and vibrant science community. Previous experience of small-boat handling, working at sea and an interest in fisheries management is desirable. Candidates should be physically capable and medically fit to work at sea in Antarctic conditions.

Duration: The post is based at South Georgia and is a fixed term appointment of 15 -27 months (with 2-3 months in the UK prior to departure in November 2014 (approx.). You will work closely with the marine fisheries assistant at KEP and report to the science manager at BAS, Cambridge. The post offers a challenging opportunity for a highly self-motivated individual to work in an isolated environment in the sub Antarctic. But it is important candidates recognise that there is no provision for “shore leave” until the end of the contract. However communications with the outside world are excellent (by e-mail) whilst postal delivery is facilitated by regular ship visits.

The post is for UK passport holders only due to the UKFCO/CCAMLR requirements for marine observers.

Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 1st June 2014

Please see also: http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/employment/vacancies/job.php?JobID=976

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