Graduate Freshwater Ecologist


Southampton, United Kingdom 🇬🇧


Jacobs leads the global professional services sector delivering solutions for a more connected, sustainable world. Providing a full spectrum of services including scientific, technical, professional and construction- and program-management. Our 50,000+ employees in 400+ locations around the world serve a broad range of companies and organisations, including industrial, commercial, and government clients across multiple markets and geographies.

During our 125 years in the UK, we have been involved in some of the biggest and most challenging projects, delivering innovative and sustainable solutions to the country’s most critical issues, from access to clean air and safe water, civil and national security and safeguarding mobility.

That’s because Jacobs is much more than just a traditional engineering company.

Ranked No. 1 by Fortune’s 2019 World’s Most Admired Companies…

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Our Environment, Maritime & Resilience business provides a focus for advising our clients on sustainability issues including renewable energy, low carbon economies, impacts of climate change and waste and resource management. Our environmental capabilities comprise around 1100 staff across the UK and Ireland, with over 200 ecologists based in 15 locations. The Jacobs ecology team is growing annually and reaches back into a wide range of multidisciplinary projects for the power sectors, highways and rail, water and utilities, flood risk management and building infrastructure.  The successful person will become part of a respected and ambitious company with excellent career prospects. 

To meet our growing business needs and future development aspirations, Jacobs has a vacancy for a Freshwater Ecologist within our UK wide aquatic ecology team.

Our aquatic ecology team is an exciting and enthusiastic group of 30 technical specialists working within both marine and freshwater environments, on some of the most interesting and high-profile infrastructure projects in the country. Preferably based in Scotland or one of our ecology hubs in the north of England, you will work as part of a national team helping to plan and deliver freshwater monitoring programmes. We support the breadth of compliance and consenting projects across Jacobs, undertaking Environmental Impact Assessment, Habitats Regulations Assessment and Water Framework Directive Compliance assessments. We work in some of the most heavily protected and regulated ecosystems in the UK, developing innovative approaches to ensure sustainable development protects and enhances the natural environment.  

The successful candidates will be confident in the planning and delivery of freshwater ecological surveys, with experience in one or more of the following: fisheries, macroinvertebrate, macrophyte and habitat surveys. You will be fully supported in developing across a range of ecological specialisms

You will have experience with writing up technical reports, have a good understanding of freshwater pressures and knowledge of the relevant UK environmental legislation. Specialist knowledge (e.g. protected species licences, River Habitat Survey accreditation) and an enthusiasm to learn from a dedicated aquatic ecology team will be encouraged.

The Freshwater Ecologist role will allow you the responsibility to undertake field survey and data collection in a lead role with minimal supervision. You will require a diligent and attentive approach to data analysis and reporting. There will be a requirement for you to travel within the UK to support the broad portfolio of Jacobs projects.

Key responsibilities include:

· Delivery of freshwater ecology surveys in rivers, lakes and ponds

· Plan and coordinate survey logistics

· Analysis and interpretation of survey and laboratory data

· Technical report writing



• Degree qualification in a related discipline

• Ability to write clear and concise reports

• Data analysis and interpretation skills – use of current biological metrics

• Understanding of relevant UK legislation

• Membership of a professional body (or eligibility for membership)

• Full driving licence


• Relevant survey qualifications, e.g. electric fishing, and/or river habitat survey accreditation

• Personal survival skills training and/or water safety training

• Post graduate qualification in a related discipline

 • Freshwater taxonomy (macroinvertebrates and/or botany)

If interested, please submit your CV and Cover Letter when applying. Applicant’s require the right to live and work in the UK without visa and sponsorship requirements. This position does not cover relocation allowance.  

Our Culture

At Jacobs we see safety differently – we strive to go ‘BeyondZero’ by putting the health, safety and well-being of our employees first in everything we do.

We are committed to equality across our business and we work with external organisations such as STEM, WISE (Women in Science & Engineering) and Stonewall. We are also Disability Confident Committed; therefore, we guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the minimum criteria for a vacancy.

We encourage applications from candidates looking for flexible working or reduced hours’ contracts. Please also bear in mind that you do not need to meet 100% of the Essential Criteria to be considered for a position with Jacobs.

When you join Jacobs you will have access to a wide range of Global Networks, centred on inclusion and diversity which is the foundation of our business and at the centre of our values.

To find out more about our networks, please visit our website:

Start your journey with Jacobs

As part of our Graduate Development Programme (GDP), our graduates enjoy completing a series of well-designed competencies which have been approved by senior leaders to help you on your way to achieving chartership status as well as enhancing your technical expertise and developing your business acumen.

Our additional benefits include:

  • Permanent role with up to 32 days paid annual leave
  • Flexible benefits including, Flexible hours, contributory pension scheme
  • Residential ‘Graduate offsite’ weekend in the Lake District
  • 360 support from line manager, buddies, mentor, Learning and Talent management and a wide graduate network or past and new cohort

Join Jacobs now and keep growing …

Equal Opportunities

Successful candidates will be asked to complete a Baseline Personnel Security Standard Pre-Employment check and will be required to undergo various checks including: Identity, Right to Work; Employment/Education History and Criminal Record.  If you are unable to meet this and any associated criteria, then your employment may be delayed or rejected.

JACOBS is an Equal Opportunity Employer who is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all.