Postdoctoral Research Associate in Arctic Zooplankton Biology: UK

Applications are invited for a Postdoctoral Research Associate to study the biology of Arctic zooplankton in response to climate change at the Scottish Association for Marine Science (SAMS).

The CHASE project (Chronobiology of Changing Arctic Sea Ecosystem) is funded by the UK’s Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and is part of NERC’s Changing Arctic Oceans Program (CAO). The successful candidate will be joining a multi-national team with the task of better understanding the behaviour, physiology and gene responses of copepods and krill to changes in their environment with a focus on chronobiology. Work will involve manipulative experiments in the lab and aboard research ships and data processing from previous field campaigns.

The successful candidate should have a PhD in a relevant discipline. Large data-set handling would be considered a useful additional skill, as would practical seagoing expertise.

Job Purpose

To undertake high quality research in line with SAMS research strategy, to fulfil SAMS deliverables under the CHASE project Q.1 and 2. To provide science input to Arctic biology projects at SAMS (PRIZE) and Stirling (DIAPOD) and international partners and collaborators.

Main Responsibilities

  • contribute to the preparation and planning of CHASE research activities – 20
  • lead and publish high quality peer-reviewed research related to the CHASE objectives to meet SAMS research objectives – 60
  • contribute to UG teaching and supervision to meet SAMS teaching objectives – 5
  • form and maintain national and international relationships and collaborations for scientific research – 10
  • travel to national and international meetings to present research findings – 5
  • be pro-active in the application of SAMS Health and Safety Procedures – ongoing

Planning and Organising

  • plan day to day research activities specifically field and lab work
  • planning and management of personal workload as well as logistics, time management, meeting objectives of project
  • plan observational requirements, and analyses to support research questions
  • plan research and dissemination of findings
  • successfully plan and deliver required teaching alongside research commitments
  • provide guidance/mentoring students, as required
  • plan for attendance at meetings as required and use opportunities for presenting research activities as well as opportunities for collaboration


  • work with novel and complex datasets from behavioural experiments
  • implement the incorporation of behavioural, physiological and genetic data sets
  • support cruise planning in terms of data collection
  • achieve timely and relevant scientific paper outputs
  • proactively pursue and contribute to future research grant opportunities


  • prioritise activities in consultation with line manager
  • appraise possible new areas of research within CHASE and other related Arctic projects (PRIZE and DIAPOD)
  • decide on the appropriate experiments to answer research questions
  • be self-motivated and able to work without close supervision after initial induction review period

Key Contacts/Relationships

  • scientists and support staff in SAMS and within UK partners (BAS, Aberystwyth and Stirling)
  • scientists in core international partners: German (Unis. Oldenburg, Dresden, Vienna and the AWI), US (Delaware) and Norway (UNIS, UiT)
  • engagement with the Arctic research community
  • engagement with the general public for outreach

Knowledge, Skills and Experience needed for the Job

  • PhD in invertebrate physiology and/or behaviour
  • experience in using behavioural and physiological methods and analyses
  • good knowledge of oceanographic methodology
  • good knowledge of modern molecular techniques
  • understanding of extreme ocean environments (high latitude or coastal) and associated physical/biogeochemical processes
  • high quality written and oral communication skills
  • ability to work as a team to achieve project goals but equally able to independently manage own work/time successfully

Dimensions – Scope of role

  • produce at least 2 first-author 3*/4* publication during the period of employment and assist SAMS to achieve a high scientific profile through research, teaching and networking activities
  • teach at undergraduate level and provide supervision to students as required
  • practical role to establish research and achieve CHASE goals
  • able to steer forward own career development goals
Further details
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