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Seagrass Ocean Rescue Research Officer

Project Seagrass
Project Seagrass
Job Functions:
Data Science
Employment Types:
Cowbridge CF71, UK
35,326 – 40,927 EUR per year
Posted on:

Theme: Research

Job Title: Research Officer - Upscaling temperate seagrass restoration

Salary: £35,326 - £40,927 per annum + pension

Hours of work: 35 hours per week to include some occasional weekend and evening working as required.

Contract: 3-year fixed term, extension subject to continued funding

Location: Cowbridge, Vale of Glamorgan

Introduction: Project Seagrass is an environmental charity devoted to the conservation of seagrass ecosystems through community, research, and action. Our mission is to lead societal change to enable the recognition, recovery, and resilience of seagrass ecosystems globally; that provide biodiversity, equitable and sustainable livelihoods, and planetary life support. Seagrass Ocean Rescue (SOR) is a research and conservation collaboration between Swansea University, WWF and Project Seagrass that seeks to facilitate, inspire and act to restore 3,000 hectares of seagrass by 2030. This builds on recent successful projects in Dale in West Wales and is currently working to improve seagrass restoration methods for upscaling and to understand the applicability of seagrass sites for future restoration. This scientific post will work to improve and extend the methods to be used in the upscaling of UK seagrass restoration. The post is to be initially appointed on a fixed term contract, but significant funding opportunities suggest potential for an extended or ongoing position.

Background Information: As part of the SOR project, funds have been secured to pay for the development of tools to facilitate seagrass restoration at larger scales, however scientific expertise is required to enable the application of these tools to create ecologically appropriate methods for seagrass restoration and associated survey assessments. Funds have been provided to Project Seagrass from Ocean Infinity to fund the scientific application of tools for upscaling seagrass restoration and to become part of this collaborative conservation effort. The proposed position would link ecology to environmental engineering, enabling the integration of their expertise in marine autonomous vehicles and survey with seagrass restoration and ecology. The post holder would have a marine ecological background, preferably with experience of interdisciplinary working in collaboration with engineers and electronics experts. Preferably the post holder will have knowledge and experience in seagrass or other marine habitat restoration. The post holder will be an integral part of the SOR team at Project Seagrass working with stakeholders, partners, and donors to ensure wide dissemination and knowledge sharing with the marine conservation sector. Project Seagrass have a strong commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals including Sustainable Development Goal 17 “partnerships for the goals." Collaboration and partnership working are integral to securing successful seagrass restoration and the SDGs more broadly can only be realised with strong global partnerships and cooperation.

Main purpose of post: The suitable candidate will be an innovative individual who will: 1. Provide scientific leadership to seagrass restoration methodological research 2. Improve, develop, and test methods for large scale seagrass restoration. 3. Provide support and expertise to ongoing seagrass restoration projects in the UK (Wales, England and Scotland) to improve their efficiency and success. 4. Lead associated seagrass restoration field and lab studies in collaboration with other Project Seagrass staff and projects. 5. Work in collaboration with Ocean Infinity to make effective use of their technology and expertise in autonomous marine survey. This will include regular trips to their offices in Southampton. 6. Pro-actively contribute to and conduct research, including gathering, preparing and analysing data and presenting results, exhibiting a degree of independence in terms of specifying the focus and direction of the research. 7. Prepare reports, and papers describing the results of the research for publication. The appointee is expected to be actively engaged in the writing and publishing of research papers, particularly those intended for publication in refereed (eg international) journals or comparable as a normal part of their role. 8. Be self-motivated, apply and use their initiative, aiming to determine suitable ways to tackle challenges and seeking guidance when needed. 9. Use creativity to analyse and interpret research data and draw conclusions on the outcomes. 10. Interact positively and professionally with other collaborators and partners within Project Seagrass. 11. Contribute pro-actively to the development of external funding applications to support their own work, that of others and Project Seagrass in general. The appointee will be expected as a normal part of their work to be actively engaged in writing or contributing to writing such applications. 12. Contribute to Project Seagrass organisational matters to help it run smoothly and to help raise its external research profile. 13. Help maintain seagrass processing facility and equipment warehouse at Cowbridge facility, South Wales. 14. Keep informed of developments in the field in both technical and specific terms and the wider subject area. 15. Mentoring and line managing junior staff.

General Duties: 16. Champion our Project Seagrass ‘family’ #TeamSeagrass culture by building a strong relationship with the team. 17. Maintain and enhance links with the professional institutions and other related bodies. 18. Promote equity and diversity in working practices and maintain positive working relationships . 19. To conduct the job role and all activities in accordance with safety, health and sustainability policies and management systems, to reduce risks and impacts arising from the work activity. 20. Provide support towards Seagrass Ocean Rescue team motivation. 21. Promoting our charitable aims, inclusive culture and Project Seagrass brand. 22. Travel to fieldwork, events and meetings will be required with numerous overnight stays.

Person Specification: 23. Strong organisational, communication and planning skills 24. A proactive team player with a positive attitude and high energy 25. Excellent analytical and problem-solving skills 26. Willing to undertake further training 27. Able to work as part of a team in an environment of equality, trust and respect to deliver projects that strive to meet the charity’s objectives 28. Ability to work independently 29. Excellent IT skills 30. Enthusiasm and passion for sustainability and protecting the environment, commitment to acting in a responsible environmental manner Essential criteria: 31. A PhD in marine sciences/marine ecology/marine engineering. Candidates with significant alternative experience to a PhD relevant to this position may also be considered. 32. Experience of interdisciplinary science, particularly with respect to linking to the design elements of engineering and electronics with ecology. 33. Evidence of active engagement, personal role, and contribution to writing and publishing research papers, particularly for refereed journals. 34. Evidence of the capacity for active engagement in designing research and writing, or contributing to writing, applications for external research funding. 35. Ability to demonstrate significant independence of focus and direction in research – determining ’what, why, when and with whom' to progress work. 36. A commitment to continuous professional development. Desirable criteria: 37. Experience of managing and mentoring staff. 38. Design and engineering skills and experience. 39. Experience and ability to develop and work with aquaria operations. 40. Experience of temperate scientific diving together with a CMAS 3* qualification, ideally HSE Scuba. 41. Experience of professional boat driving with an RYA Advanced powerboat qualification (or equivalent). 42. High level of statistical skills.

Additional Information: Applications are invited based on a 2-page CV and 2-page covering letter by email to Jo van Tonder at jo@projectseagrass.org. Please include details of 2 referees from recent employment in the email. Informal enquiries: Informal enquiries are welcome and can be directed to info@projectseagrass.org Application Deadline: Sunday 10th April (Interviews will be held in person in Cowbridge on 25th April 2022)

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