Lead (Freshwater Biodiversity)

International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Cambridge, UK 🇬🇧

Vacancy #:  5995
Unit:  Biodiversity assessment and knowledge
Organisation:  International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Location:  Cambridge Office, Cambridge, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Reporting to:  Senior Programme Officer, Biodiversity Data Impact and Influence
Work percentage:  100%
Grade:  P2
Expected start date:  01 June 2022
Type of contract:  Fixed-term (12 months)
Closing date:  19 May 2022


This position is responsible for delivering freshwater species assessments for The IUCN Red List of Threatened SpeciesTM. The position is also responsible for supporting the use and application of IUCNs’ freshwater species data by external and internal constituencies. It also has a coordinating role to guide the different parts of IUCN, and especially Regional, Programmatic and International Policy teams, to deliver the biodiversity components of the Water Programme Area of IUCN’s Nature 2030 Programme. The role interacts also closely with experts in the Species Survival Commission as well as many IUCN Members.



In the Science and Data Centre, the Lead – Freshwater Biodiversity is responsible for: i) coordinating all project development for freshwater species, ii) management and implementation of a portfolio of freshwater biodiversity focused projects, iii) line management of freshwater staff, iv) acting as Secretarial focal point for Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups covering freshwater species and, v) technical input on freshwater biodiversity assessments to the IUCN Secretariat. Responding to IUCN’s recent re-organization, it is expected that the role will have a particular focus on developing new projects with other IUCN Centers (International Policy, Conservation Action, Climate and Finance, Society and Rights) and its Secretariat Regional teams worldwide.


Lead on freshwater species conservation

• Develop and coordinate freshwater biodiversity assessment projects (with a focus on The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species) to secure and expand IUCN’s thematic expertise in this area.
• Lead, in collaboration with other IUCN experts on technical analysis, reporting and publication of project outputs for target audiences
• Coordination of, and regular communication with IUCN staff teams to facilitate a joined-up approach to conserving freshwater species and habitats in IUCN, including (but not limited to: extinction risk assessments, green status (species recovery) assessments freshwater ecosystem assessments, global swimways, eDNA surveys,)
• Develop a programme of work on freshwater connectivity, working with relevant IUCN teams and experts on CMS and swimways
• Act as the secretarial focal point for engaging with the Species Survival Commission Specialist Groups and Indianapolis Zoos’ Global Centre for Species Conservation

Manage staff, projects and finances

• Management and implementation of freshwater biodiversity assessment including primary responsibility for reporting to donors, in accordance with IUCN’s relevant policies
• Maintain accurate records of freshwater project implantation and generate financial forecasts in support of IUCN’s project planning and implementation cycle
• Line management of all freshwater biodiversity staff (currently one Programme Officer), volunteers and research students

Project development and fundraising

• Identifying potential sources of funding to support freshwater assessments and the delivery of the Water component of the IUCN Nature 2030 programme
• Developing new funding proposals, working collaboratively with IUCN Secretariat, Members, Commissions and partners to advance the freshwater conservation

Communications and outreach

• Primary freshwater expert for communicating on IUCN’s freshwater biodiversity assessments, metrics and research to the international arena, in particular to the Ramsar Convention, the WCC, and CBD
• Lead on monitoring the implementation of IUCN Resolutions
• Lead on freshwater content for each IUCN World Conservation Congress (Members’ Assembly and Forum).


Regular travel worldwide to manage workshops, facilitate meetings, and present at conferences.


• Education

• PhD or Masters in the field of ecology, conservation or a related subject

Work Experience

• Strong experience of managing small-medium project) from development to implementation to final reporting and closure
• Strong experience of managing staff and a network of volunteers, partners or consultants, including the administration of sub-contracts and grants
• Experience of designing and leading workshops, both virtual and otherwise, involving a wide range of participants
• Demonstrable knowledge, experience and passion for assessing the status of freshwater species, habitats and sites, using relevant IUCN global standards


• Demonstrated high level of competence in project management, including finances.
• Excellent knowledge of freshwater ecology and conservation
• Excellent knowledge of The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, including experience of conducting and reviewing assessments and working in SIS
• Good knowledge of Geographical Information Systems its application to IUCN global stanards.
• Excellent report writing skills in English
• Excellent verbal and written communications skills in English


• Strong organizational skills
• Set clear objectives and measures while monitoring process, progress, and results


• Fluency in written and spoken English, with Spanish or French desirable


Applicants are requested to apply online through the HR Management System, by opening the vacancy announcement and pressing the “Apply” button.

Applicants will be asked to create an account and submit their profile information. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date. The vacancy closes at midnight, Swiss time (GMT+1 / GMT+2 during Daylight Saving Time, DST). Please note that only selected applicants will be personally contacted for interviews.

Other job opportunities are published in the IUCN website: http://www.iucn.org/involved/jobs/

About IUCN

IUCN is a membership Union uniquely composed of both government and civil society organisations. It provides public, private and non-governmental organisations with the knowledge and tools that enable human progress, economic development and nature conservation to take place together.

Created in 1948, IUCN is now the world’s largest and most diverse environmental network, harnessing the knowledge, resources and reach of more than 1,300 Member organisations and some 10,000 experts. It is a leading provider of conservation data, assessments and analysis. Its broad membership enables IUCN to fill the role of incubator and trusted repository of best practices, tools and international standards.

IUCN provides a neutral space in which diverse stakeholders including governments, NGOs, scientists, businesses, local communities, indigenous peoples organisations and others can work together to forge and implement solutions to environmental challenges and achieve sustainable development.

Working with many partners and supporters, IUCN implements a large and diverse portfolio of conservation projects worldwide. Combining the latest science with the traditional knowledge of local communities, these projects work to reverse habitat loss, restore ecosystems and improve people’s well-being.


0 days remaining

Apply by 19 May, 2022