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Principal Investigator – Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Program

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Terrestrial / Aquatic Ecology & Conservation
Location Ecuador - America South
Town/City Puerto Ayora
Salary (Minimum)
Salary (Maximum)
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 30/09/2022
Company Name Charles Darwin Foundation
Contact Name Galo Del Hierro
Telephone 593990010671
Fax 593990010671
Email galo.delhierro@fcdarwin.org.ec
Website Further Details / Applications
Charles Darwin Foundation logo
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The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) is recruiting a Senior Scientist to join our Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Program (GTMEP) team and strengthen ongoing long-term research on iconic species and their conservation conducted by the CDF. The Galapagos Tortoise Movement Ecology Program (GTMEP) has been operational for 13 years and is a collaboration principally among the Charles Darwin Foundation, Galapagos National Park Directorate, Saint Louis Zoo, Saint Louis University, the Houston Zoo, and the Galapagos Conservation Trust. The goal of the GTMEP is to assist the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNPD) in effectively conserving Galapagos tortoises by conducting cutting-edge applied science while delivering an inspirational, tortoise-based outreach and education program. Over 180 tracking tags have been deployed on tortoises from four different species on three Galapagos Islands ranging from hatchlings weighing 75 grams to 150-year-old adults weighing up to 300kg. Field research in ecology, reproduction, health, and tortoise-human interactions complements animal movement data. Scientific outputs are disseminated to communities through grassroots outreach activities and national and international multimedia products, and scientific publications. Funding sources have included private donors, NGOs, the US National Science Foundation, and the National Geographic Society. The program is seeking a Principal Investigator based in the Galapagos Islands.

Position Objective

To maintain and grow integrated research, conservation, and outreach program that (1) seeks to better understand the causes and consequences of environmental change on giant tortoise ecology, health, and conservation status; (2) uses this understanding to develop, promote, and achieve science-based conservation solutions; and (3) better understand mechanisms of human-tortoise coexistence for the benefit of both.

Required Profile

  • Doctoral degree (Doctor or Ph.D.) or Master Degree in Conservation Biology or related fields, or a DVM or Ph.D. in Veterinary is strongly preferred.
  • A strong background in Conservation Biology, with demonstrable expertise (5-10 years) in one or more of the following disciplines: varied social sciences disciplines, ecology, wildlife health/disease ecology.
  • Author or co-author of at least eight publications (at least five as the first author) in topics related to the disciplines mentioned above and published in international indexed peer-review journals. Additional publications of edited or co-edited books, chapters, and/or Policy Brief are assets.
  • Ability/experience to coordinate, plan and carry out fieldwork, during long-term periods, in extreme conditions, and very remote areas.
  • Ability/experience organizing and carrying on successful workshops, meetings, and other participatory methodologies with authorities and users of natural resources.
  • Demonstrable experience writing research grants and proposals and fundraising for scientific research.
  • Successful experience at obtaining ‘third party funding’ is desired.
  • Capacity/experience in analyzing data, and writing field reports and technical reports. Demonstrable experience in writing scientific literature, papers, reports, and others.
  • Capacity/experience supervising and training junior staff and students.
  • Excellent communication skills in both English and Spanish (oral, writing, reading).
  • Ability to achieve and maintain positive relationships with local main actors and institutions.
  • Excellent social and interpersonal relationships, in both, social and work-related environments.
  • Proactive personality, able to work under pressure, and able to fulfill tight schedules. The “Multitasking” approach is greatly desired and the capacity to integrate an interdisciplinary team, within an isolated environment.
  • Able to fulfill tight schedules. The “Multitasking” approach is greatly desired and the capacity to integrate with an interdisciplinary team.

Activities and responsibilities

1. Lead the current GTEMP program and maintain an active role in accomplishing the objectives set for the program.

2. Collaborate in a close relationship, with effective coordination with other staff members within CDF and with local, national, and international partners and collaborators, in activities related to this and other projects and activities of the institution. Work alongside the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNDP) and with other strategic local partners.

3. Coordinate outreach and education activities with local staff and partners. Additionally collaborate, together with the CDF Education team, on education and outreach activities. Participate in the preparation and celebration of events of CDF about giant tortoises and related thematic, and other activities with community members, and local schools.

4. Manage the daily-basis activities for the project, the work plan, and activities conducted by the staff, volunteers, and students.

5. Elaborate annual work plans to complete the Annual Operative Plan for the CDF and submit a research proposal for GNPD research permit approval. This, includes staffing, schedules, and relationships with partners.

6. Design, organize and lead the planning, development, and implementation of fieldwork seasons. This requires that all regulations established by the GNPD, the biosecurity regulations dictated by ABG, and the safety protocols directed by CDF, be accomplished.

7. Improve funding strategies and lead, together with the fundraising team, the formulation of research proposals for funding to ensure the long-term economic sustainability of the Project.

8. Meet reporting and accounting requirements among donors and partner organizations.

9. Manage project staff, their work plans, and their well-being.

10. Actively communicate the knowledge being generated to local, national, and international audiences through different formats (outreach and education, and scientific publications). Submit two manuscripts for peer-reviewed journal papers with the most important results of the program during his/her involvement during the first term (2 years initially).

11. Ensure the correct management and maintenance of the equipment and materials that are available for the project, before, during, and after the field seasons.

12. Lead the updating, management, analysis, and interpretation of the databases and data sets generated by the project.

13. Conduct and supervise the collection, analysis, and storage of biological sampling, for genetic-based studies, always fulfilling the legal normative framework that is regulated by the Environment, Water and Ecological Transition Ministry (MAATE) and National Biodiversity Institute.

14. Conduct the data analysis and lead and/or collaborate with the production of scientific publications, reports to donors, and education and communication materials.

15. Coordinate the administrative-related paperwork, within CDF needed for the Project, as needed.

Employment Conditions

This position reports directly to the Charles Darwin Foundation Science Director. The Researcher selected will be based at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador. The Researcher will fulfill faithfully comply with the rules of the Internal Regulations and the CDF Procedure Manual, as well as perform field work strictly following the rules and regulations of the GNPD.

The salary benefits package and holidays are commensurate with Charles Darwin Foundation policies and will be fixed according to the qualifications of the candidate and based on a salary scale. The benefits include private medical insurance.

The working schedule for the CDF is 40 hours per week, from 07:45-12:30 and 14:00 - 17:15. Due to the nature of the project the working schedule for the person hired must be flexible to accommodate additional needs such as field trips in Santa Cruz and through Galapagos. The position will require extensive marine field expeditions, as well as work during late evenings or weekends. The extension of the contract will initially be for one year and is renewable based on performance and funding. The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) will provide the necessary workspace, equipment, and materials to develop all project tasks. CDF will also provide advice and support, according to the policies and procedures of the institution.

All residency papers related to the hiring process will be overseen by the Human Resources department at CDF but will require the assistance of the candidate to obtain the necessary legal documents. In the case of foreigners, a work visa must be applied for and issued by the Ecuadorian government. CDF will be also overseeing the processing of the residence permit for the selected candidate.

How to apply?

Interested persons in this position should send the following information by e-mail to pro.seleccion@fcdarwin.org.ec

  1. Updated CV
  2. Up to a two-page letter of interest, describing his/her competencies according to the minimal requirements for this position.
  3. The names and emails of three professional references. Letters will only be requested if a candidate progresses past an initial interview.
  4. PDFs of 2 or 3 relevant publications as the first author, related to the matter of interest.

Applicants should send all documents in one single PDF file. Candidates will be objectively evaluated with no discrimination by gender, nationality, religion, ethnic group, age, or sexual orientation. Please send the application to the following e-mail address: pro.seleccion@fcdarwin.org.ec

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