Open Position: Marine Assistant- Rothera – Deadline 31 March 2022


We are looking to appoint a marine assistant to run the ongoing biological and oceanography time series, which includes leading the tasks of aquaria and chemistry lab maintenance, CTD profiling, seawater sampling, sediment trapping, iceberg scouring, ice observations and biological monitoring and collections together with supporting other sampling and diving activities.

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

We employ experts from many different professions to carry out our Science and 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.

All applications will be checked 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.


The main role of the marine assistant is to run the ongoing biological and oceanography time series, which includes leading the tasks of aquaria and chemistry lab maintenance, CTD profiling, seawater sampling, iceberg scouring, sediment trapping, ice observations and biological collections together with supporting other sampling and diving activities.


  • HSE IV/Advanced European Scientific Diver or sport equivalent (3 star CMAS)
  • HNC/HND/BSc (or equivalent)


  • Maintenance of aquaria.
    Small flow-through aquaria enabling holding of live specimens. These need regular repair, back-flushing, logging of temperatures and prevention of excess ice build up.
  • Seawater sampling.
    Regular seawater samples will be taken from a site close to the research station as part of a long running programme looking at seasonal patterns and year to year variation in temperature, chlorophyll and nutrient concentration. Samples are taken by water bottle from a small workboat in summer, and through holes cut in the fast-ice in winter. They are analysed in a small chemistry lab on base. In addition, there is a regular profile taken with a CTD (conductivity, temperature, depth) probe to 500 metres. These data are important for detecting changes and feedbacks in the physical and biological oceanographic systems. This will also support work by visiting scientists who take extra water samples for specific projects.
  • Iceberg scouring.
    Annual survey of a series of markers from 5-25 m depth adjacent to the station in South Cove. Recording identity of markers hit by icebergs and replacing these with new markers. Period photography of each grid square (enclosed by markers) in support of projects. Monitoring, maintenance and switch over of memory cards on remote camera at Badger Butress (which photographs calving and iceberg transits around Sheldon glacier).
  • Ice observations.
    Regular measurements are taken of the extent, thickness and type of ice and are essential for interpreting the data from the water sampling and sediment trapping programmes. As with the related programmes continuation of this long term data set is of great importance.
  • Support of marine biology programmes.
    The main role of the assistant marine biologist is to run the routine programmes. Occasionally, however, the other marine biologists at Rothera require assistance either within the laboratory or for field work.
  • Collection of material for UK scientists.
    Every year BAS receives a number of requests for both living and preserved biological material for research. Specimens are to be collected whenever possible while diving or from the shore, though usually live material is collected at the end of summer. We have a simple but effective system for transporting living material to the UK, and a refrigerated aquarium for holding material at Cambridge. You will be expected to accompany the live material to the UK on the ship at the end of your stay in Antarctica, which means a diversion through South America on the way home is not possible with this post.
  • Biological monitoring.
    Together with the marine biologist you will undertake a comprehensive programme of biological monitoring through SCUBA diving. This includes serial documentation of settlement onto experimental slate panels and reproductive activity.
  • Seabird and marine mammal work.
    A small amount of regular observation and census work on seabirds and marine mammals will be required.
  • Personal projects.
    It is anticipated there will be some time available for a small individual research project to be undertaken. This will necessarily match the overall programme of research at Rothera, but will not be of sufficient size to be suitable for a higher degree.

Communication skills – a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Proficient in written and spoken English language. – Essential
  • Ability to get on in a small, tightly-knit team for extended periods. – Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Word processing – Desirable [2]
  • Spreadsheet use – Desirable [2]

Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to live and work within a small team at Rothera which integrates within a larger team in Cambridge – Essential


  • BSc 2:1, minimum – Essential
  • Experienced SCUBA diver (CMAS 3* equivalent, minimum 80 logged dives. Including 40 cold water dives (<12oC) / 25 drysuit dives). – Essential
  • HSE SCUBA (part IV) or equivalent – Desirable [1]
  • Advanced European Scientific Diver – Desirable [1]
  • 100+ logged dives, including 50 cold water dives (<12°C) / 25 drysuit dives – Desirable [1]
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2 or above – Desirable [1]

Resource Management ability

  • Management of finite lab consumables and resources – Essential
  • Flexible approach to problem solving – Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Small boat handling – Essential
  • Water chemistry – Desirable [3]
  • Aquarium/animal husbandry – Desirable [2]

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 22/21
Publication date: 1 January 2022
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2022
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: TBC

For further information, please follow this link.

via BAS
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