Marine Biologist

British Antarctic Survey

Antarctica – Rothera
24,272 pa

Paid • Full Time • Fixed Term Contract

Reference: BAS 20/14

Sectors: ecology, marine conservation

Closing date: Tuesday, 31st March 2020  

British Antarctic Survey is offering a unique opportunity as a Marine Biologist in Antarctica.

What is about?

We are looking for a Marine Biologist to investigate growth and seasonality in nearshore benthic communities and how this is being altered by changes in the Southern Ocean surrounding Rothera Research station, West Antarctic Peninsula.

Based in Rothera, you will organising and implementing the research programme involving ecological surveys by SCUBA divers of growth rates in the field and laboratory studies of seasonal ecology and physiology. The role will involve developing methods to measure growth rate of species in-situ. Other duties include specimen collection and identification, aquarium based quantification of feeding and physiological rates, preservation of samples, data analysis and preparation of data for manuscript publication.

This is an exciting opportunity for a highly-motivated individual with relevant experience and a keen interest in marine biology to join a small Rothera-based team in organising and implementing a unique research programme.

Who we are?

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) delivers and enables world-leading interdisciplinary research in the Polar Regions. Its 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 its 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 as well as keep the 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 amazing places then British Antarctic Survey could be for you. We aim to attract the best people for those jobs.


Within the Biodiversity, Evolution and Adaptations team, this project will investigate the growth and seasonal ecology of key benthic species. This will involve SCUBA based surveys to measure growth in the wild. The role will develop methodologies, so that individuals can be relocated and growth rates of a range of animals with and without skeletons can be measured in the field. This will be conducted alongside studies of their feeding ecology to begin to better understand diet and therefore links in the food chain. The project will also study the auto-ecology of marine invertebrates in the marine aquarium facilities at Rothera with the potential to manipulate the environment and study effects of these parameters on feeding ecology and physiology.

There is also an opportunity to work with experienced members of the team to broaden the scope of investigations. The position involves extensive SCUBA diving, 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 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 marine science projects, and base activities, particularly during the summer months.


BSc 2:1, minimum, Experienced diver (minimum CMAS 3* diver, 80 logged dives (30 cold water and/or dry suit dives) but extra cold water diving experience will be viewed favourably. An HSE commercial diving qualification is desirable, benthic marine biology (use of keys for identification), microscope, aquarium and laboratory skills


To organise and implement the proposed research programme, which involves:

  • Year-round ecological and physiological measurements through SCUBA diving.
  • Underwater measurements and photography to measure growth rates
  • Animal husbandry and manipulation skills to investigate environmental impacts on feeding ecology and physiology.
  • Stereo light-microscopy and use of keys to identify species
  • Good laboratory skills to measure ecological information
  • 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.

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

For further details and to apply please see our website here.

Please quote the following reference for any queries: BAS 20/14
Closing date for receipt of applications form is: 31st March 2020
Interviews are scheduled to be held on: 26th June 2020

As part of our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion and promoting equality in careers in science, we hold an Athena SWAN Bronze Award and have an active Equality, Diversity and Inclusion programme of activity. We welcome applications from all sections of the community. People from ethnic minorities and disabled people are currently under-represented and their applications are particularly welcome.

Antarctic deployment involves working in a remote and harsh environment where adaptations to working, living and recreation areas are not achievable to a level that might be expected in the UK. There is a Genuine Occupational Requirement to be physically capable of negotiating rough, icy and snowy terrain as well as being mentally resilient and medically fit.

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