Sea-going Research Technician vacancy

The Marine Biological Association (MBA) carries out leading-edge research in fundamental and strategic areas of marine biology with a focus on coastal and shelf ecosystems. We are seeking to appoint a Sea-Going Research Technician to participate in the MBA’s long-term monitoring programme at sea and to support general sea-going research activities of the scientific staff.

The MBA maintains time series of biological observations first started in the late 19th Century and continuing to the present. To help the MBA progress this nationally important programme we are particularly keen to hear from highly motivated early career scientists with a strong interest and aptitude for marine biology and sea-going fieldwork. The postholder will be responsible for overseeing sampling at long-term monitoring areas offPlymouth and maintaining the monitoring databases. Close cooperation with scientific staff and the crew of the research vessels will be essential.

Applicants must have a minimum qualification of a second class Honours degree in marine biology or a relevant biological science. The successful applicant will have demonstrable practical experience of marine survey techniques including research trawling and benthic sampling in addition to experience with management of electronic databases.

The appointment will be for one year in the first instance. Salary will be in the range £20,559 to £23,121 per annum.

Application details and further information can be found on the MBA website (www.mba.ac.uk). Informal enquiries can be made to Professor David Sims (Tel: 01752 633227. E-mail: dws@mba.ac.uk).

Applications should be addressed to the MBA Director and sent via email to the Director’s Secretary (E-mail: sec@mba.ac.uk). Closing date for applications is the 30th April 2012.

Application details

Application for the post should be by cover letter and a detailed up-to-date curriculum vitae including the names, postal and email addresses of two Referees that we may approach for personal references. The cover letter should summarise your experience and expertise specifically relevant to the post and should include a personal statement giving reasons why you feel you are best suited to the position. In addition, please provide reasons why you wish to work at the Citadel Hill Laboratory of the Marine Biological Association (MBA) inPlymouth.

Further Information – Job description

Role within MBA

The role of the Sea-going Research Technician (SRT) is to assist in maintaining the MBA’s long-term monitoring research programme at sea and to support the MBA’s general research activities at sea. This is undertaken by working with scientific staff and through close cooperation with the crew of the research vessels MBA Sepia and Plymouth Quest.

Description of duties

1. As part of the MBA’s contribution to NERC-funded National Capability in the Western Channel Observatory, the SRT will be responsible for overseeing sampling of plankton (weekly), and undertaking the sampling of demersal fish (weekly) and benthos (twice monthly at one station, annually at other stations) at long-term monitoring stations/areas off Plymouth, UK. Specific activities include:

(i) Liaison with the Ship’s Manager and crew regarding timing of research activities

(ii) Sample collection at sea with the support of the ship’s crew

(iii) Data recording at sea and in the Citadel Hill Laboratory

(iv) Archiving appropriate biological samples for further analysis

(v) Data entry and maintenance of the long-term monitoring electronic databases.

2. The SRT will support where appropriate the sea-going research activities of scientific staff, including for example support given to the MBA’s fish tagging programmes both at sea and in the laboratory. This will also require liaison with the MBA Seawater Hall aquarists and the Named Animal Care and Welfare Officer (NACWO). In this respect, the SRT will, through sampling activities at sea, provide to the aquarists the supply of food to animals in the Seawater Hall.

3. The SRT will assist the Laboratory Steward where necessary including collection of equipment, transfer to stores, and helping to set up for the MBA Advanced Workshops. In turn, the Laboratory Steward will support the SRT by helping with some research activities at sea.

4. The SRT will be encouraged to contribute to MBA knowledge exchange activities to communicate the objectives and results of the long-term monitoring and research programmes to the wider public, for example during open days and national science week.

5. There is the potential for the SRT to undertake their own research in collaboration with an MBA scientist by drawing on the long-term monitoring data for addressing scientific questions in the broad area of biological responses to environmental change.

Line Management

The SRT will be managed by Professor David Sims (Deputy Director Research/Senior Fellow), who is also the coordinator of the MBA long-term monitoring programme, the Seawater Hall and its team, and acts as the Ship’s liaison officer.