Marine Scotland

Vacancy – Spatial Ecologist – closing date 30 Oct

October 5, 2018 by No Comments

We are currently seeking applications for a Spatial Ecologist within Marine (22 Month Fixed Term and pensionable appointment) and new entrants will normally start on the minimum of the pay range. Candidates with a disability who meet the essential criteria below will be invited to the assessments.

The main focus of the post will be to support the delivery of a 4-year programme of research, relating to the deep-sea areas of the North Atlantic, called Atlas. The ‘Atlas’ project is funded through the European Commission’s Horizon 2020 programme split across several partners involved in various work-packages. The work-packages are brought together through area case studies, one of which (the Rockall area), developed and led by MSS, will be the focus of the post-holder’s duties. Delivery of work to support the case study, and the development of supporting species distribution models, will be the primary task of the post-holder during the duration of the project.

The post offers an exciting opportunity for a researcher to be involved in the scientific basis for marine spatial planning of Scotland’s sea areas. The post will be mainly research focused but will also involve an administrative component that supports project managers in the day to day work of projects and the timely delivery of periodic milestones. Staff on any working pattern can apply for this post.

Main Duties

  • To support the delivery of the Atlas and other external projects: Working with the project managers and project partners to ensure successful delivery of relevant milestones for the project according to the EU grant agreement.
  • To undertake primary research and analysis: This will involve database management, species distribution modelling, processing fisheries data (VMS), potentially participating in research surveys, and completing spatial evaluations within geographic information system software (GIS) and other platforms (e.g. R).
  • To draft reports and manuscripts: There will be a requirement to contribute to writing, formatting, producing figures and maps and proof reading documents. Peer-review publication will be the primary output and there will be an expectation to actively contribute to publication and the opportunity for lead authorship. Ultimately, spatial data layers will be made available on the National Marine Plan interactive platform and, if appropriate, hosted there on a permanent basis.
  • To perform administrative duties relevant to the post: attending meetings and to maintain regular contact with other project partners.
  • To carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the post. This could include participation in research vessel surveys.
  • To communicate effectively in a timely manner with colleagues within Marine Scotland and to ensure good communications with other project partners and external stakeholders.

Qualifications Required
For jobs in Band B & C you must hold a minimum of 3 Highers or equivalent.

A PhD in marine biology, spatial statistics, or similar.  Other qualifications equivalent to these may also be acceptable, if you are in any doubt please contact to discuss.

Please note: If you fail to demonstrate how you meet the minimum qualifications as stated above, your application will be automatically sifted out.

Essential Criteria

  1. An excellent working knowledge of spatial statistics and modelling.
  2. Experience of using GIS software and the R computing language.
  3. Experience of writing, formatting and proof reading complex documents to a high standard and with careful and accurate attention to detail and experience of contributing to scientific publications.
  4. Excellent organisational skills and the ability to work within a team and independently.

For further information on this vacancy please download and review the “Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants” which you will find below. To apply, you must fully complete and submit an online application via this website before the closing date. To learn more about this opportunity, please contact Dr Philip Boulcott who can be reached at or 0131 244 4438.

If you experience any difficulties accessing our website or completing the online application form, please contact the resourcing team on 0131 244 7719 or via

Further information for this job

Person Specification and Further Information for Job Applicants

Apply for this job
You should read each of the Essential Criteria and think about a time or an example that can help demonstrate your knowledge/skills. Remember, this must be evidence based and your answers should be clear, concise and reflect what actions you undertook. You may want to use the STAR(R) approach to respond to each criterion.

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