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Marine Ecologist ( Various Roles Available )

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Water, Hydrology & Marine Ecology
Salary Additional Information £28,958
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 14/11/2022
Company Name Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Contact Name
Joint Nature Conservation Committee logo
Directory Entry : The Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC) is the public body that advises the UK Government and devolved administrations on UK-wide and international nature conservation. Originally established under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. For Careers with the JNCC visit the Civil Service Career Portal.
Also Listing:
Whilst this role will be contractually based in a JNCC workplace/office (Peterborough/Aberdeen) and the successful candidates are required to carry out all their duties from a UK location, JNCC have adopted Hybrid Working. More detail can be provided at the interview and offer stages.

Job summary

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 270 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.270 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.

Job description

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 Ecologist posts advertised here will work in the Marine Monitoring Team, Marine Ecosystems Team, Marine Protected Areas Team or Marine Management 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 Marine Protected Areas (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 Co-ordination Committee, the UK Marine Monitoring and Assessment Strategy and the Marine Environmental Data and Information Network.

The work of the Marine Management Team includes:

•    Provision of advice to Government and regulators on the impacts of fishing on the marine environment. Support for future fisheries policy development post-EU exit; Support in development of fisheries management measures in MPAs; Support for International fisheries advice work
•    Provision of evidence-based advice on the environmental impacts of offshore industry activities on marine habitats and species to appropriate authorities responsible for their regulation.
•    Supporting strategic research to underpin evidence gaps to support advice provision.

The work of the Marine Ecosystems Team includes:

•    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; 
•    Developing marine natural capital evidence to support environmental decision making; 
•    Providing advice to Governments in their response to reporting requirements under a range of Multilateral Environmental Agreements, such as OSPAR and the Convention on Biological Diversity; 
•    Delivering advice on the assessment of offshore MPAs in UK waters.

The work of the Marine Protected Areas team includes:

    Advising UK Government and the Devolved Administrations on designating Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs) in their waters.
•    Supporting other teams and external partners in the management, monitoring and assessment of UK MPAs.
•    Representing the UK at external meetings and international fora on topics relating to MPAs. 
•    Supporting our work to export our domestic expertise internationally under the Ocean Country Partnership Programme; a Defra-led programme of technical assistance for which MPAs forms a key component with JNCC as a key delivery partner.

Job Description:

There are 5 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:
•    Provide specialist scientific and policy advice to internal and external customers.
•    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.
•    Support to the programme and team as needed, including planning, administration, project and task management, reporting and development of funding proposals.
•    Manage contracts including procurement (specification, tendering and letting contracts, with support from our procurement specialists).
•    Provide a technical 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 and reporting.

1.    Marine Fisheries Advisor - MA052, Marine Management Team (Permanent)

•    Support development of fisheries measures for UK Marine Protected Areas; 
•    Support work to develop scientific understanding of the effects of fishing gears on marine habitats and species in both UK and international waters.
•    Help to develop advice on fisheries impacts and achievement of Good Environmental Status in the marine environment. 
•    Participate in relevant stakeholder meetings and workshops (online and face-to-face)

2.    Monitoring Marine Ecologist - MP109, 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.

3.    Marine Protected Areas Advisor - MP019M, Marine Protected Areas Team (1 Year Fixed Term Appointment)

•    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 priority work areas as required, but notably: the identification of pilot Highly Protected Marine Areas in Scottish waters and our international implementation work on MPAs under the Defra-led Ocean Country Partnership Programme.

4.    Offshore Industries Adviser - ME005, Marine Management Team (Permanent)

•    Provision of fast paced, evidence-based nature conservation advice to regulators and industry, including but not limited to oil and gas, renewables, aggregates, cables, marine planning and more. Both in UK seas and in some cases, overseas. Specifically:
-    Reviewing environmental assessments, licensing rounds, marine plans.
-    Understanding and advising on the impacts of offshore activity on protected habitats and species.
-    Working across nature conservation bodies to provide joint advice, achieving consistency across the UK, identifying and addressing issues that affect our advice (e.g. scientific, procedural or legal).
-    Develop and maintain relationships with key stakeholders (e.g. developers, regulators and other nature conservation bodies across the UK)
•    Participate on the roster for duty officer, providing a 24/7 response service for environmental information and advice in the event of an offshore pollution incidents (this includes on-call allowance uplift payments).

5.    Marine Ecosystems Scientist – EU002, Marine Ecosystems Team (Permanent)

•    Fact-finding, from ad hoc and background searches, through consultation and seeking advice, to more structured reviews of ecological literature.
•    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.
•    Develop and test models for integration of indicators and evaluation of trade-offs between environmental targets and management scenarios
•    Maintain and promote common standards and good practice guidance relevant to the assessment of marine habitats and species in the UK

Person specification

Please demonstrate in your statement of suitability your reasons for applying. You will then be asked later in this application to provide a short statement against how you meet each of the technical and experience requirements. 

All applicants are requested to specify which of the 5 posts they are interested in and which posts they do not wish to be considered for. 


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

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

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • 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.
  • 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 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. Practic
  • A good knowledge of marine conservation issues, particularly the impacts of offshore marine industries on offshore habitats and species and the ways in which these impacts may be mitigated and managed
  • A good knowledge of UK marine fisheries and associated impacts on marine habitats and species and
  • A good understanding of legislation relating to the management of offshore industries and Marine Protected Areas in UK waters.
Hybrid Working (occasional travel) + 25 Days Leave + 12 Public & Privilege days + Civil Service Pension.

Equality and diversity

JNCC is committed to creating an environment where everyone feels valued and respected and see this as a good place to work. JNCC has a responsibility to ensure that we have an inclusive culture where discrimination, harassment, bullying and prejudice will not be tolerated. Our selection process is determined on fair and open competition and regardless of age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, marriage and civil partnership.

Continuous professional development (CPD)

Employees are encouraged to keep developing skills and professional knowledge.
JNCC has made available, and encourages employees to use, on average, five working days per annum for CPD activities with access to related funding

Leave entitlement

JNCC annual leave allowance is 25 days per annum. After five years’ service, leave entitlement increases to 30 days per annum.
In addition to annual leave, JNCC offers 12 public and privilege days per annum, three of which are explicitly reserved for office closure between Christmas and New Year.

Work/life balance

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.

Our policies are family-friendly and include flexi-time, flexible working patterns, compressed hours and dispersed working. JNCC also offers paid maternity, paternity, adoption and shared parental leave, over and above the minimum statutory entitlements. Some work/life balance benefits are available following a minimum length of service.

Any move from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/

Civil Service Pension

Employees will have the opportunity to join Civil Service pension arrangements, which include a valuable range of benefits. JNCC makes a significant contribution to the cost of employee pensions.

Employee Assistance Programme

JNCC provides employees with a free and confidential support service which gives unlimited access to information, advice and emotional support to help employees prepare for and manage all of life's ups and downs, events and challenges.

Trade Union

JNCC has entered into a partnership agreement with its recognised Trade Unions: Prospect and PCS, which employees are able to join and be involved with.

Salary sacrifice schemes

Employee Discount Scheme

Civil Service Sports Club

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and a statement of suitability. In your statement, refer to the responsibilities and experience section of this advert to show how you’re suitable for the role. Make your statement no longer than 500 words.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles.
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment.
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants


Job contact :

  • Name :Recruitment Team
  • Email :recruitment@jncc.gov.uk

Recruitment team :

  • Email :recruitment@jncc.gov.uk

Further information

Selection for appointment to the Civil Service is on merit, on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. In accordance with the Civil Service Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles, our recruitment and selection processes are underpinned by the requirement of appointment on the basis of merit by fair and open competition. If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should contact recruitment@jncc.gov.uk in the first instance.
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