Marine Ecologist x7


Peterborough or Aberdeen
£27,946 pa

Paid • Full Time • Permanent

Sectors: ecology, marine conservation

Closing date: Tuesday, 27th April 2021  

Post Title: Marine Ecologist
Team: Marine Evidence Team, Marine Monitoring Team and Marine Ecosystems Team
Ref No: 202108
Grade: H
Type of appointment: Various – details below
Location: Peterborough or Aberdeen
Salary: £27,946

This post will have a base in either Peterborough or Aberdeen.

JNCC will be adopting a more flexible approach to working options and, once we are able to return to working in our office locations, our people will have more flexibility about where they choose to work. The expectation is that we will be expected to work from our office base for 1 – 2 days a month as a minimum. We can provide more details at the interview and offer stages.

Who are JNCC?

Established in 1991, we’re the UK’s statutory advisor on issues affecting the natural environment across the UK and internationally. Our primary role is advising all four Governments of the UK. We also work with private sector organisations to support decision making on the sustainable use of marine waters and natural resources around the UK. JNCC is led by the Joint Committee, which brings together members from the nature conservation bodies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland and independent members appointed by the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs under an independent Chair. Support is provided to the Committee by almost 200 people who bring together scientific and technical expertise, extensive knowledge of policy at global, European and national levels, and skills in working with other organisations. Staff are based in two main offices in Peterborough and Aberdeen.


We’re small enough (c.200 staff) that your voice is heard by everyone including the CEO, but big enough that we have all the skills, resources and people you’ll need to get the job done. All our staff are passionate about conservation and making a difference to the world we live in. We have a very flexible, inclusive and welcoming organisational culture. Our Executive Management provides advisers with the freedom and tools you will need, and our friendly team will assist you in your role. You will benefit from our supportive workplace culture, excellent holiday and pension benefits, as well as an exciting job in a unique environment.

Hours of work: Full-time

Normal minimum hours of attendance for the post are 36 hours per week over a 5-day period, Monday to Friday.

Flexi time is available. This post may also be suitable for job share.

Annual Leave:

The annual leave allowance is 25 days per year, rising to 30 days per year after 5 years’ service. There are also 12 days public and privilege leave. Part-time staff will receive this on a pro rata basis.

Short Summary

The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the statutory adviser to Government on UK and international nature conservation. ln using our advisory responsibilities JNCC supports governments in achieving their vision of clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas through piloting and demonstrating improved use of evidence and analysis in decision making.

The Marine Ecologists advertised for here will work in the Marine Monitoring Team, Marine Evidence Team or Marine Ecosystems Team at JNCC. These teams work very closely together to develop marine evidence products to produce high quality advice to the UK Government, the Devolved Administrations, the Statutory Nature Conservation Bodies, international organisations and others.

The work of the Marine Monitoring Team includes:

  • Organising offshore seabed surveys to gather additional information to support designation, monitoring and assessment of offshore MPAs;
  • Development of standards, guidelines and methods at a UK and international level for matters such as data management and marine survey;
  • Coordination of the UK Marine Monitoring Programme working under the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy with other partners through the Healthy and Biologically Diverse Seas Evidence Group; and
  • Provision of expert advice to national fora, including the Marine Science Coordination Committee, the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy and the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network.

The work of the Marine Evidence Team includes:

  • Enhancing our understanding of the marine environment through fine-scale and broadscale mapping of marine habitats and their relationships to physical and oceanographic parameters;
  • Understanding human impacts on the marine environment through spatial mapping of human activity footprints and their pressures, the assessment of habitat and species sensitivity and using this information together to assess vulnerability;
  • Maintenance of the national benthic marine database (Marine Recorder) and the national marine habitat classification; and
  • Provision of expert advice to international fora, including the European Environment Agency, the OSPAR Commission, and via ICES.

The work of the Marine Ecosystems Team includes:

  • Delivering advice on the designation, management, monitoring and assessment of offshore MPAs in UK waters, as well as providing advice on best practices around MPAs through a range of international fora such as OSPAR and the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  • Developing and implementing modelling tools, metrics, and indicators to measure the condition, health and trends of marine ecosystems to support implementation of management measures, and the production of national and international assessments;
  • Exploring the role of marine natural capital in supporting environmental decision making; and
  • Providing advice to Governments in their response to reporting requirements under a range of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, such as OSPAR.

Job Description:

There are 7 posts being advertised as part of this recruitment. The nature and specific duties of each post are further described below. However, all posts will be expected to undertake the following duties:

  • Disseminate information on JNCC’s marine work, including preparation of peer reviewed papers and reports, updates to the relevant pages of JNCC’s website, and presentations at conferences and meetings.
  • Provide specialist scientific and policy advice to internal and external customers.
  • Provide a secretariat role for internal and external working groups.
  • Organise events such as meetings, workshops and webinars for internal or external participants; includes planning, logistics, facilitation, notes and reporting.
  • Manage contracts including procurement (specification, tendering and letting contracts, with support from our procurement specialists).
  • Support to the programme and team as needed, including planning, administration, project and task management, reporting, development of funding proposals and activities to further team cohesion.

1. Monitoring Marine Ecologist, Marine Monitoring Team (1 year fixed-term appointment with the possibility of extension)

  • Produce monitoring reports arising from our MPA monitoring programme by undertaking multivariate statistical analysis of trends and reporting the findings;
  • Contribute to ensuring that monitoring data are fit for assessment purposes, including undertaking indicator development and conducting statistical analyses in PRIMER, R and other packages as needed;
  • Produce advice on monitoring benthic habitats through data collation and interpretation, to support the identification of appropriate indicators. Undertake GIS and statistical analysis, including power analysis to detect change; and
  • Contributing to the improvement of the Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland and the marine part of the European habitat classification system, EUNIS.

2. Survey Marine Ecologist, Marine Monitoring Team (permanent)

  • Prepare objectives and specifications for offshore MPA and wider environment surveys and lead in the development of survey designs, including consideration of experimental design, statistical power, appropriate sampling techniques and value for money;
  • Liaise with partner organisations to manage survey delivery, including participating in offshore seabed surveys with partner organisations;
  • Contribute to quality assurance of survey deliverables including proper use of taxonomic nomenclature, appropriate statistical analyses, and validity of any conclusions drawn; and
  • Define the methods, standards, quality control procedures and sampling strategies needed to deliver monitoring for benthic habitats; and ensure that all collated information and data are archived/stored according to JNCC Marine Data Management protocols.

3. Pressures Marine Ecologist, Marine Evidence Team (1 year fixed-term appointment with the possibility of extension)

  • Contribute to the development and testing of indicators for monitoring and assessment of seabed habitats;
  • Develop and manage databases of activities, pressures and sensitivities information;
  • Undertake assessments of the sensitivity of marine habitats to pressures exerted by anthropogenic activities; and
  • Provide expertise on the use of marine sensitivity assessments such as the Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN) Marine Evidence based Sensitivity Assessments (MarESA) within internal and external projects.

4. MPA Marine Ecologist, Marine Ecosystems Team (permanent)

  • Act as site lead for a range of offshore MPAs, becoming the main authority on all matters relating to their sites and a central point of contact for others within the organisation. The site lead role may include assisting monitoring and assessment of MPA features, supporting casework advice within the sites and updating both internal and external information available for the sites.
  • Contribute to the work of the team to support: the development and implementation of a science plan for a deep-sea marine reserve in Scottish offshore waters; the identification of pilot Highly Protected Marine Areas in English waters; the development of targets for MPA reporting; and the development of approaches to incorporate climate change into decision making on MPAs.
  • Support wider marine assessment and indicator development work within the team as required.

5. Natural Capital Marine Ecologist, Marine Ecosystems Team (1 year fixed-term appointment with the possibility of extension)

  • Support the development of our evidence base on marine ecosystem assets, flows, services, benefits and beneficiaries, including finding, importing and updating relevant data and models where gaps need to be filled.
  • Fact-finding, from ad hoc and background searches, through consultation and seeking advice, to more structured reviews of ecological literature.

6. Marine Ecosystems Scientist, Marine Ecosystems Team (two posts, 1 year fixed term appointment with the possibility of extension)

  • Analysing and reviewing data for the development biodiversity indicators and targets to assess the status of the UK’s marine ecosystems, as agreed with Governments and SNCBs;
  • Development and testing of models for integration of indicators and evaluation of trade-offs between environmental targets and management scenarios;
  • Support the testing of indicators and assessments in international work areas, such as those under the Convention on Biological Diversity;
  • Maintaining and promoting common standards and good practice guidance relevant to the assessment of marine habitats and species in the UK and OSPAR.


To be a successful candidate you will be:

  • Educated to degree level or equivalent qualification in a relevant subject and/or relevant recent practical work experience that provides the following knowledge, experience and behaviours.

Experience (Responsibilities)

To be a successful candidate you will have:

  • Knowledge of the UK’s benthic marine biodiversity and its spatial and temporal variation and a working knowledge of the national and/or EUNIS marine habitat classification system.
  • Knowledge of marine industries, their regulation and their pressures and impacts upon UK benthic habitats and species.
  • Knowledge of the UK’s work and progress on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs), including associated policy drivers and underpinning obligations
  • Knowledge of undertaking marine biological survey of the seabed, such as knowledge of remote-sensing, sampling or in-situ marine survey techniques and data processing.
  • Experience in the use of statistical programmes, databases, and GIS to analyse, interpret and recognise patterns and trends in data to draw key conclusions, and display different types of data on marine habitats and species from different sources. Practical experience using and writing scripts in programming languages such as R or Python for data manipulation and analysis.
  • Experience in contract and/or project management, including management of risks.


  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Changing and Improving
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together

In the event that we receive a large volume of applications we reserve the right to conduct the sift based on the Lead Behaviour of Making Effective Decisions.

Please see the CS Behaviours framework for more details at this grade: https://assets.publishing.serv...

Closing date and interview date

The closing date for this post is 23:55 on Tuesday, 27 April 2021
The anticipated interview dates are the week commencing Monday, 17 May 2021

 To apply, please click here.

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