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Marine Ecologist 2021/08

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Water, Hydrology & Marine Ecology
Town/City Peterborough
Salary Additional Information £27,946
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Mid Level
Deadline 27/04/2021
Company Name Joint Nature Conservation Committee
Contact Name
Telephone 01733 562626
Joint Nature Conservation Committee logo
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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 200 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.

What’s the role?

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 Ecologists advertised for here will work in the Marine Monitoring Team, Marine Evidence Team or Marine Ecosystems 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.

A full description of the role can be found on the job description.


Job description

There are 7 posts being advertised as part of this recruitment. We will assess all applications for any of the roles listed below and candidates are not required to state a preference, as these can not be taken into account.

The nature and specific duties of each post are further described below. However, all posts will be expected to undertake the following duties:

• 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.

• Provide specialist scientific and policy advice to internal and external customers.

• Provide a 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, notes and reporting.

• Manage contracts including procurement (specification, tendering and letting contracts, with support from our procurement specialists).

• Support to the programme and team as needed, including planning, administration, project and task management, reporting, development of funding proposals and activities to further team cohesion.

1. Monitoring Marine Ecologist, 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.

• Contributing to the improvement of the Marine Habitat Classification for Britain and Ireland and the marine part of the European habitat classification system, EUNIS.

2. Survey Marine Ecologist, Marine Monitoring Team (permanent)

• Prepare objectives and specifications for offshore MPA and wider environment surveys and lead in the development of survey designs, including consideration of experimental design, statistical power, appropriate sampling techniques and value for money.

• Liaise with partner organisations to manage survey delivery, including participating in offshore seabed surveys with partner organisations•

• Contribute to quality assurance of survey deliverables including proper use of taxonomic nomenclature, appropriate statistical analyses, and validity of any conclusions drawn.

• Define the methods, standards, quality control procedures and sampling strategies needed to deliver monitoring for benthic habitats; and ensure that all collated information and data are archived/stored according to JNCC Marine Data Management protocols.

3. Pressures Marine Ecologist, Marine Evidence Team (1 year fixed-term appointment with the possibility of extension)

• Contribute to the development and testing of indicators for monitoring and assessment of seabed habitats.

• Develop and manage databases of activities, pressures and sensitivities information.

• Undertake assessments of the sensitivity of marine habitats to pressures exerted by anthropogenic activities.

• Provide expertise on the use of marine sensitivity assessments such as the Marine Life Information Network (MarLIN) Marine Evidence based Sensitivity Assessments (MarESA) within internal and external projects.

4. MPA Marine Ecologist, Marine Ecosystems Team (permanent)

• 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: the development and implementation of a science plan for a deep-sea marine reserve in Scottish offshore waters; the identification of pilot Highly Protected Marine Areas in English waters; the development of targets for MPA reporting; and the development of approaches to incorporate climate change into decision making on MPAs.

• Support wider marine assessment and indicator development work within the team as required.

5. Natural Capital Marine Ecologist, Marine Ecosystems Team (1 year fixed-term appointment with the possibility of extension)

• 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.

• Fact-finding, from ad hoc and background searches, through consultation and seeking advice, to more structured reviews of ecological literature.

6. Marine Ecosystems Scientist, Marine Ecosystems Team (two posts, 1 year fixed-term appointment with the possibility of extension)

• Analysing and reviewing data for the development biodiversity indicators and targets to assess the status of the UK’s marine ecosystems, as agreed with Governments and SNCBs.

• Development and testing of models for integration of indicators and evaluation of trade-offs between environmental targets and management scenario.

• Support the testing of indicators and assessments in international work areas, such as those under the Convention on Biological Diversity.

• Maintaining and promoting common standards and good practice guidance relevant to the assessment of marine habitats and species in the UK and OSPAR.



To be a successful candidate you will need to demonstrate in your statement of suitability that you have:

• 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 marine industries, their regulation and their pressures and impacts upon UK benthic habitats and species.

• 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. Practical experience using and writing scripts in programming languages such as R or Python for data manipulation and analysis.

• Experience in contract and/or project management, including management of risks.


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

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

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.


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 supports flexible working hours and practices to help employees strike a good balance between work life and personal life.

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

Things you need to know


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

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 1000 words.

The anticipated interview date is during week commencing 17 May 2021

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

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 (or eligible for) status under 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.

Apply and further information

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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