Two Senior Research Assistants required for biological research and plant control at Gough Island World Heritage Site

11 May 2012 - 11:45

Two Senior Research Assistants for biological research and plant control at Gough Island World Heritage Site, Tristan da Cunha, South Atlantic Ocean

Salary R130 000 per annum plus food and accommodation

A long-running research and conservation management project on Gough Island requires two candidates to work on Gough Island in the central South Atlantic Ocean for 13 months, with an additional 1-2 months for training prior to departure. The two 15-month contract positions are available to undertake a challenging work programme on the Gough Island World Heritage Site, which is threatened by invasive mice and plants. The selected post holders will be responsible for control and eradication work on a small invasive plant from the steep cliffs adjacent to the weather station on Gough Island, as well as captive husbandry trials of two land birds, monitoring of albatrosses and petrels and other conservation management activities. If required, training in research, captive husbandry, mountain safety, rope-access techniques (IRATA level 1 or equivalent) will be provided in the month prior to departure to Gough Island. The two candidates will be joining and living with the South African National Antarctic Programme (SANAP) over-wintering team of six people, and will also be required to work within the requirements of SANAP’s over-wintering teams. It will be an asset if both post holders have prior experience of working together.

The successful applicants should have experience of:

  • abseil rope-access techniques, and/or climbing experience,
  • undertaking fieldwork in a mountainous environment and inclement weather conditions,
  • working and camping on remote islands (or equivalent remote locations)

The successful applications will have skills/qualifications in:

  • a degree or equivalent qualifications or experience in a science/conservation discipline, ideally with at least 2 years of work experience in conservation/wildlife related fieldwork and research.

Additional skills that would benefit a candidate include:

  • working with and handling wildlife, experience of captive husbandry of birds, skills in plant and invertebrate monitoring,

The successful applications must demonstrate:

  • an ability to live and work in a very small team on one of the world’s remotest islands for a prolonged period,
  • high levels of physical fitness, adaptability and a strong work ethic,
  • aptitude and/or proven experience in successfully undertaking unsupervised fieldwork,
  • aptitude and/or proven experience for undertaking rope-access/climbing methods with safety as a first priority.

Details of the jobs

  • Conduct plant eradication fieldwork according to a workplan devised by the project managers,
  • Undertake biological research, fieldwork and monitoring, and bird husbandry trials according to a workplan devised by the project managers,
  • Make day-to-day decisions about work priorities and fieldwork protocols,
  • Maintain accurate records of the work and computer databases of the work,
  • Regularly report to and update the project managers on progress of the project,
  • The period of contract will be from 01 August 2012 to 30 October 2013.

For further information please contact Richard Cuthbert ( or Peter Ryan ( [but note that Peter is offline from 13-18 May and 21 May to 23 June]

Closing date for applications 25 May 2012

Download advertisement: Gough Island Job Advert