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


We are looking for a Marine Biologist to conduct investigations into the auto ecology of soft sediment animal assemblages in the Antarctic.

The position involves extensive SCUBA diving to study assemblage structure and quantify the ecological parameters: density, patchiness, growth and age at reproduction. We also want to further investigate the impact of iceberg disturbance on soft substratum assemblages. The project requires extensive use of light microscopy and laboratory techniques to identify species and gather the ecological information that will feed into ecosystem models of shallow water communities. This is a 10 year repeat sample with the aim of comparing assemblages through time, to identify any shift in ecological parameters, investigating drivers of this change. The post involves a minimum of 1.5 years at the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station, Antarctica and is expected to result in a number of high quality scientific publications.

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.


  • Within the Biodiversity, Evolution and Adaptations team, this project will investigate the dynamics of sediment communities.
  • To devise and conduct a sampling program, that will collect data for comparison with similar studies from 10 years ago. An air lift powered by compressed air cylinders will be developed to collect samples. The sampling will be designed to compare density, patchiness, growth, age at reproduction and the impact of iceberg disturbance on soft sediment assemblages in two local coves.
  • Samples will be sorted from sediment, identified using light microscopy and carbon content of assemblages will be calculated.
  • Sediment grain size and organic content will be measured through the sediment profile.
  • A grid will be setup to investigate the impact of iceberg disturbance and recovery on soft sediment assemblages.
  • Dissection of the size range of selected species will be used to investigate the size (and if possible age) at first reproduction.
  • Data analysis and modelling will be used to investigate any differences between decades and identify potential drivers of any difference

This position provides the opportunity to work with experienced members of the team to direct the scope of investigations. The position involves year round SCUBA diving from small boats and through sea ice, use of a range of laboratory techniques to identify species and gather the ecological information that will feed into long term studies of shallow water communities in this region. The post involves a minimum of 1.5 years (that can be extended to 2.5 years) at the British Antarctic Survey’s Rothera Research Station, Antarctica and is expected to result in high quality scientific publications. The post holder will be expected to play a role in planning, organisation, and implementation of this research programme whilst also supporting a diverse range of other marine science projects, and station activities, particularly during the summer months. In addition, as a member of a small wintering team (~20 personnel) you will be expected to take a share of station duties (cooking, cleaning, night watch etc).


  • BSc 2:1, minimum
  • Experienced SCUBA diver (CMAS 3* equivalent, minimum 80 logged dives. Including 40 cold water dives (<12oC) / 25 drysuit dives).


To organise and implement the proposed research programme, which be selected from the following research areas depending on the logistics and the successful candidate’s expertise:

  • Year-round SCUBA surveys of soft sediment assemblages
  • Knowledge of encrusting fauna, macroalgae and benthic communities
  • Stereo light-microscopy and use of keys to identify species
  • Good laboratory skills to measure and preserve individuals for taxonomy and measure carbon content
  • Animal husbandry and photography skills to add to the library of ID photos
  • Analyse data and prepare for publication
  • Help to prepare manuscripts for publication

To play an active role as a member of the marine team, supporting a diverse range of marine projects.

  • This will include recompression chamber, boating, diving and search and recovery duties.

Due to the remote location in the Antarctic strong organisational and interpersonal skills are required for this post

Communication skills – a) oral skills b) written skills

  • Fluent in written and spoken English language – Essential

Computer / IT skills

  • Data visualisation and statistical knowledge – Essential
  • Ecological modelling – Desirable [3]

Decision Making

  • Self management within the requirements of the wider team – Essential
  • Peer reviewed publication or report writing – Desirable [3]

Interpersonal skills

  • Ability to live and work within a small team at Rothera which integrates within a larger team in Cambridge – Essential
  • Enthusiasm to regularly report progress to wider team – Essential

Managerial ability

  • Self manage within the framework of a dynamic team – Essential

Numerical ability

  • Ability to handle complex data sets – 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]

Resource Management ability

  • Ability to plan up to a year ahead to fit with schedules – Essential
  • Flexible approach to problem solving – Essential

Skills / Experience

  • Marine Biology (use of keys for identification), microscope and laboratory skills – Essential
  • Small boat handling experience – Desirable [3]
  • Use of ROV – Desirable [3]
  • Underwater photography – Desirable [3]
  • Aquarium husbandry experience – Desirable [3]

Please quote reference for any queries: BAS 22/26
Publication date: 1 January 2022
Closing date for receipt of application forms is: 31 March 2022
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: w/c 23 May 2022

For further information, please follow this link.

via BAS
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