Research Marine Assistant – Antarctica

Location: Antarctica
Salary: £23,937 per annum initially. Additionally, upon completion of a successful tour, you will receive a 10% bonus.
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Contract / Temporary
Placed on: 27th January 2017
Closes: 2nd April 2017
Job Ref: BAS 03/17

The main role of the marine assistant is to run the routine biological and oceanography programmes, which include the tasks of aquaria and chemistry lab maintenance, seawater sampling, sediment trapping, ice observations and biological monitoring.


HSE IV/Advanced European Scientific Diver or sport equivalent (3 star CMAS).


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.
Sea water 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 interpreting large scale oceanographic patterns in the Southern Ocean. This will also support work by visiting scientists who take extra water samples for specific projects.
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, reproductive activity and iceberg impact frequencies.
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

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