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Careers at AIMS

A rewarding career at Australia's tropical marine science agency

Fish Ecologist - Long Term Monitoring

Townsville, Qld
Posted 3 weeks 1 day ago


Reef Monitoring

Employment Type

Full-time, 2-year Fixed Term


AOF Level 3 Enhanced salary ($70,822 to $88,786 per annum) plus 15.4% superannuation

More Information

Closing Date


AIMS’ Long-term Monitoring Program (LTMP) represents the longest continuous record of change in reef communities over such a large geographic area. As an integral element of the Reef Ecology and Monitoring program, the LTMP is responsible for surveying the health of inshore, mid-shelf and offshore reefs across the Great Barrier Reef region. The team of trained scientists survey reef fishes on SCUBA using underwater visual census along 50m transects, and also record corals and other benthic organisms along the same sections of reef each visit. As well as capturing the natural variability of coral and fish populations, the data documents effects of disturbances such as crown-of-thorns starfish outbreaks, cyclones, and bleaching events. The data also provides awareness of other threats to the reef (such as outbreaks of coral disease) and other issues of concern to reef managers.


About this opportunity

As an experienced Fish Ecologist, you will contribute to AIMS LTMP by conducting field surveys, data management and QA/QC, data analysis and reporting on reef fish and manta tow monitoring data. You will have a significant role in contributing to monitoring campaigns through planning, coordinating and undertaking field work and collection activities, that includes working at remote locations and live-aboard on large vessels for extended periods. You will contribute to the success of these trips through your oversight of required research equipment and being part of tight knit field teams, requiring strong engagement, negotiation and collaboration skills to partner with internal and external researchers.


In a hands-on-research role, you will be involved in sampling primarily via SCUBA and manta tow, but also baited remote underwater video, remotely operated vehicles and other technology as required. Undertaking thorough analysis of reef fish monitoring data, you will use these findings to contribute to technical reports and scientific journal publications.


About you

Underpinning your suitability for this position will be your tertiary qualification/s in marine biology or relevant field, extensive knowledge in the ecology of reef fishes, and ability to identify key coral reef taxa in the field. Knowledgeable in the advantages and disadvantages of a variety of sampling and survey techniques, you will also be able to demonstrate your:

  • Experience conducting visual count surveys of coral reef fishes using standard protocols, particularly on belt transects and identification of coral reef fishes to species, and experience estimating fish length,
  • Competence in assessing broad coral reef metrics (e.g. coral cover) using manta tow,
  • Competence in field data collection, management, analysis, and use of statistical software (e.g., R, Microsoft Access),
  • Willingness, ability and availability to participate in fieldwork activities in remote offshore locations for extended periods of time,
  • Ability to meet AIMS’ field work requirements for boating and diving, extensive experience SUCBA diving and small boat handling in offshore waters, and
  • Excellent interpersonal communication skills, with the ability to foster innovation and collaborative relationships, you will be a strong team player.


Apply now and join a world leading organisation with attractive working conditions.  In line with our Enterprise Agreement, the successful candidate will be rewarded with:

  • AIMS AOF Level 3 Enhanced salary ($70,822 to $88,786 per annum) plus 15.4% superannuation
  • Full-time, 2-year Fixed Term opportunity
  • Located in Townsville, Queensland. Commuter car arrangements to site available
  • 9-day fortnight
  • Flexible Work Arrangements considered (including tele-working where possible)
  • Generous leave provisions


Please note:

  1. Non-Australian Citizens must hold an appropriate Visa with working entitlements that allows paid employment with AIMS for the term of the appointment, depending on the relevant Department of Home Affairs current policies.
  2. It is a requirement of this role that you are and remain fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Please note the sighting of proof of vaccination will be required as a pre commencement requirement.


Next step:

Further information about this exciting and challenging opportunity is outlined in the Candidate Information Pack which is available to download below. If, after reviewing the position description, which is included in the Candidate Information Pack, you believe that your qualifications, experience and professional capabilities will enable you to successfully the deliver the position responsibilities, we would be very interested in hearing from you.

Below you will also find a link to our Recruitment Application Guide which details the necessity to submit your statements addressing your suitability against the selection criteria within the scope of the position description.


Submitting your application:

Please ensure that you have your completed documents (selection criteria responses, resume and cover letter) ready to attach to your online application form via our e-recruitment system which can be accessed via the "apply now" button below.

Shortlisted applicants may be asked to complete a personal outlook analysis questionnaire using the Birkman Method.


Position enquiries can be directed to Daniela Ceccarelli, Reef Fish Ecologist at d.ceccarelli@aims.gov.au. Applications must be made through our website per above.


Closing date: MONDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2023 (midnight, AEST).