Vacancy: Biological Oceanographer/Modeller
Salary: Competitive depending on qualifications and experience
Location: Dunbar, East Lothian, Scotland, UK
Application deadline: 10th April 2020
There is increasing tendency to assess the physical habitat of cetaceans by examining their spatial distribution and fine-scale behavioural responses in relation to abiotic (synoptic oceanographic) parameters. These include, inter alia, fine-scale bathymetry (depth, slope, etc.), seabed type, currents, real-time water temperature (satellite-derived), salinity, ocean height, frontal positions, prey distribution, and ocean colour (areas of high biological productivity). Synoptic oceanographic data are of overriding importance, since it is the gradients and extent of primary production and temperature contrasts which are the likely determining factors for marine mammal presence/concentration. Determination of these relationships can, on the large scale, enhance precision of density and abundance estimates, and on smaller scales (e.g. daily acoustic detections), disentangle effects of oceanographic variables from anthropogenic influences, such as potential effects of seismic exploration, drilling, installation of renewable energy structures (e.g. windfarms), defence activities, etc. Such analyses improve the way we manage and design conservation strategies for these species. Moreover, knowledge of a species’ habitat can help us predict where animals are likely to be, potentially decreasing harm inflicted when undertaking anthropogenic activities.
Ocean Science Consulting Limited (OSC) is a privately-owned technology-focused marine-science company involved principally in the global supply of underwater noise and marine mammal monitoring, and risk mitigation services. OSC reinvests >80% of profits into Research & Development (R&D), orientated primarily towards high-level research on the harbour porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) and other marine mammal species, Rigs-to-Reefs using Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) footage, underwater noise measurement and modelling, and improving marine mammal and environmental monitoring standards worldwide. OSC’s research has resulted in many peer-reviewed publications (www.osc.co.uk/publications-and-press-covers) and a non-profit book entitled the Marine Mammal Observer and Passive Acoustic Monitoring Handbook (http://www.pelagicpublishing.com/the-marine-mammal-observer-and-passive-acoustic-monitoring-handbook.html).
OSC seeks to expand its UK-based team. This is a rare opportunity for permanent, full-time employment as a PhD-qualified (or equivalent experience) Biological Oceanographer/Modeller. The role involves working primarily in OSC’s R&D wing, although suitable candidates may also be considered for a combination of offshore/commercial duties. The role will firstly involve assimilation of oceanographical/biological productivity/bathymetric data, followed by untangling relationships between these data and marine mammal detections in a 2D (and potentially 3D) context. The candidate will have extensive knowledge of the variety of online-data inventories and data-holding centres from which data can be sourced (e.g. Copernicus, NOAA). The candidate must have demonstrated sourcing, downloading, data handling, and analysis of synoptic satellite-derived remote sensing observations (e.g. ocean colour, Sea Surface Temperature (SST), Chlorophyll-a, etc.). Other sources of environmental data include biotope maps, fisheries surveys, plankton measurements, point measurements (e.g. from cruises or moored instruments), etc. These sources provide the main environmental variables with which marine mammal observations (echolocation-click detections using C-PODs, Marine Mammal Observer (MMO), and Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) reports) will be investigated by way of temporo-spatial analytical/modelling techniques such as GAMs/GLMs.
Applicants must be able to source, consolidate, analyse, interpret, and present these data in the form of high-level, peer-reviewed papers and high-end client reports, that must be brought to completion on commercial and not academic timescales (i.e. weeks, not months), with minimal supervision from line managers (i.e. autonomous). Consultancy is not academia, and the work environment is extremely fast paced. The candidate will also be presented with urgent commercial requests as these arise, and other incomplete publications from related disciplines, and must therefore be able to switch from one project to another immediately. Prioritisation is of high importance.
Job description can be found on: https://www.osc.co.uk/careers/vacancies
A successful candidate will have the following:
- A minimum of two, first author, biological-oceanography related peer-reviewed scientific papers in a top journal (i.e. not a proceedings paper);
- A PhD (or equivalent experience) in a relevant scientific marine discipline (oceanography/statistics/marine biology/marine ecology, etc.);
- Experience sourcing and processing oceanographic datasets (CTD, synoptic satellite-derived or modelled data, etc.) and handling data of various types including: netCDF, csv, txt, etc.;
- Strong statistical analysis background ideally in R or MATLAB (e.g. GLM, GAM, PCA, time series analysis, distance sampling, etc.);
- Excellent programming skills;
- Excellent spoken and written English (to peer-reviewed, non-copy-edited level);
- A genuine interest in marine mammals and benthic ecology, the processes by which they are studied, and an understanding of the physical parameters of the ocean which affect them;
- Ability to collaborate within a team setting to produce high-calibre publications and reports; and,
- Must be legally allowed to work in the UK prior to employment (we cannot assist with visas).
- ROV imagery analysis and benthic species identification;
- Machine learning and image processing (of ROV imagery);
- Passive Acoustic Monitoring data collection and analysis;
- Basic understanding underwater noise measurement and modelling;
- Experience making publication-quality maps in QGIS; and,
- Experience with referencing software (e.g. EndNote).
Interested candidates should send a CV and cover letter to: email@example.com. Applications will be reviewed after the closing date and short-listed applicants will be invited to an interview (in person or via Microsoft Teams). An interview task will be provided.
OSC Recruitment Team