Freshwater Ecology Assistant

UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology

Lancaster, UK 🇬🇧

Permanent, Full Time (37 hours per week)
Salary: £28,125 – £29,636
Location: Lancaster

* UKCEH offers opportunities for hybrid working, though it is anticipated that the post holder will work for a significant proportion of their time on site to participate in laboratory and field work.

We are an independent, not-for-profit research institute. Home to 600 scientists, supported by our experienced professional service teams, we provide the data and insights that researchers, governments, and businesses need to tackle some of the major environmental challenges we face today. 
We want you to love what you do whilst looking after yourself, so we support you with excellent benefits such as:   

  • 27 days annual leave, rising to 29 days after 5 years   
  • Above standard pension contributions   
  • Enhanced maternity and paternity leave 
  • A flexible approach to work, enabling you to maintain a healthy work/life balance   
  • 24 hour, 365-day access to support with physical, mental, social, health or financial issues   

Plus loads more –  

A bit about you… 

Do you have a passion for studying freshwater aquatic organisms and would you like to contribute to important research on freshwater ecosystems?

Working alongside our enthusiastic and dedicated team of ecologists, you will be actively involved in collecting vital samples and measurements during a range of different field and boat-based freshwater surveys (largely in the beautiful English Lake District) and will undertake subsequent analysis in the laboratory and using computer programs. You will also participate in large outdoor experiments.

Due to the level of autonomy within this role, you must be able to work independently and be discerning in your approach, knowing when to seek guidance when solving problems. In addition, you should be able to manage and prioritise a busy and changing workload of both short and long-term tasks, whilst also supporting your team members.

An important part of this role will be involved in the interpretation of data, modelling, and reporting on ecological change therefore, you should be comfortable with computer programming and using statistical methods. This is an exciting opportunity for someone seeking to further develop their experience, and further training and courses are offered to help support your personal development.

Main Responsibilities 

  • To assist in campaign-based and routine fieldwork, including boat-based long-term ecosystem monitoring in the English Lake District, and sampling at a large-scale experimental facility.
  • To conduct laboratory analysis of water samples to determine their chemical properties and plankton communities.
  • To assist in water quality modelling, including preparation of driving data, running the model, and summarising results.
  • To contribute to reporting on research projects, including summarising, and plotting data, and assisting in interpretation.

Here are some essential skills we are looking for: 

  • A qualification in environmental science, ecology, geography or zoology (e.g. HND/Degree)
  • Proven experience of interpreting complex data and knowledge of statistical methods (e.g. ANOVA, correlation, regression)
  • Confident practical laboratory experience (i.e., chemical analysis, concentration calculations, species identification)
  • Experience of computer programming such as Python, R, FORTRAN, VBA
  • UK driving licence (to enable transport to field and laboratory sites)

We would be delighted if you also had the following skills/experience: 

  • Experience with identifying phytoplankton and/or zooplankton
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Understand the importance of budgetary control and value for money
  • Previous experience with boat handling and towing trailers
  • Effective IT skills (i.e., proficient use of Microsoft-Office suite, including Excel, Word, PowerPoint

If you are excited about joining us, please send us your CV and a covering letter highlighting relevant skills and experience, and why you would be a great fit for this role. 





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