Foundation Charles Darwin: Marine Ecologist

  • Blue Economy and Recruitment Consultancy S.L
  • Puerto Ayora, Ecuador
  • 28/06/2024
Laboratory, Field work, Office work Conservation and ecology Marine research Oceanography

Job Description

The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) is recruiting a Marine Ecologist to
join the Deep Ocean Program at CDF and strengthen ongoing research and deep-water exploration
activities in Ecuador and the region. CDF recently launched a five-year regional deep-ocean project,
which works with partners across four geographies in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (ETP) (Ecuador,
Costa Rica, Colombia, Panama), aiming to leverage local partners and international resources to
drive deep-ocean marine research for conservation. The focus of the project is to enhance
knowledge to improve design of existing and newly established deep-water MPAs in the ETP region,
while working to identify criteria for vulnerable deep-water areas that deserve alternative
management or further protection (2024-2028). 

Objective of the position
The Marine Ecologist position will support the development and implementation of deep ocean
research activities in the Galapagos Islands and Ecuador, in line with program commitments and in
collaboration with CDF´s regional research partners. The position reports to the Principal Investigator
of the Deep Ocean Program and will also work closely with staff from the Galapagos National Park
Directorate (GNPD) as well as CDF research peers, students and volunteers, science support,
logistics and administrative staff, to support the successful achievement of expected project goals
and outcomes. 

The main responsibilities of the position are:
• Collaborate in and conduct scientific research and data analysis which contributes to an
improved baseline understanding of the distribution and state of deep ocean systems in
Galapagos and Ecuador. The wider program includes:
o Characterization and modelling of inshore mesophotic seamount and terrace habitat
at 40m - 200m depths considering known substrate morphology, community
composition, geochemistry, and associated oceanography.
o Characterization and modelling of offshore deep benthic habitat >200m to 3800m
including oceanic seamounts, considering known community composition,
geomorphology, and associated oceanography.

o Analysis of community composition across depth and geological features to assess
ecosystem function and biological connectivity across the Galapagos and
surrounding region.
o Develop and apply criteria to identify vulnerable deep water biodiversity areas,
Ecosystem Goods and Services (EGS) contributions, evaluating potential
irreplaceable biodiversity, under-represented habitat conservation targets and
recommending improvements to the ETP marine reserve network, considering also
potential application to adjacent EEZ waters and areas beyond national jurisdiction

In conjunction with the PI and CDF science direction, plan and organize fieldwork and provide
support to visiting international expeditions as required, including occasional periods of
extended fieldwork at sea.
• In coordination with the PI, manage and prepare annual reporting of progress with Galapagos
National Park partners.
• Generate didactic materials and actively participate in awareness building for deep-ocean
conservation with Galapagos authorities, between regional project partners and the local
• Produce technical and scientific reports, including at least one peer-reviewed publication
(primary or co-author) submitted to scientific journal(s) annually to contribute to the
knowledge and management of deep ocean ecosystems.
• Provide mentorship and support to CDF students and volunteers throughout the program.
• Support the development of proposals for third party funding.

Minimum Requirements
• Doctoral or Master’s degree in marine biology, oceanography or related fields.
• At least three years’ experience (PhD) or five years (MSc) working in marine science related
• Proven track record of publishing research results in high-impact scientific journals and
presentations at international conferences.
• Scientific communication skills, both oral and written, with an emphasis on disseminating results
to diverse audiences.
• Fluent in written and conversational Spanish and English.
• Good critical thinking and writing skills in English and Spanish, including elaboration of reports,
and other related documents, in appropriate form and style.
• Experience working in interdisciplinary and multicultural environments.
• Proficiency in MS Office, geospatial (GIS) and statistical analysis, data manipulation and

• Experience and certification in advanced scientific diving.
• Prior experience with scientific multi-institutional research expeditions.
• Experience in contemporary deep ocean conservation issues and applied marine
conservation (including the Eastern Tropical Pacific Region).

•Experience working with deep ocean research methods and exploration technology such as
submersibles, AUVs, ROVs, deep-landers etc.
• Experience in open-source data sharing and knowledge management.
• Previous experience working in remote locations and/or developing regions.
• Experience with video-analysis software, ocean data extractions and manipulation of large
datasets, hydrographic software, and statistical programming experience (e.g., R software)

Employment Conditions
The successful candidate will be based at the Charles Darwin Research Station in Puerto Ayora,
Santa Cruz, Galapagos, Ecuador. The individual will faithfully comply with the rules, regulations and
procedure manuals of the CDF, as well as strictly observe and comply with the rules and regulations
of the Galapagos National Park Directorate and the Governing Council of Galapagos (CGREG),
which includes the following: follow authorized trails, do not remove sand, stones or elements of
nature, and do not introduce any foreign element to the ecosystem, such as food, plants and pets.
The salary benefits package and holidays are commensurate with CDF policies and will be
determined according to the candidate's qualifications. The benefits include private medical
insurance and 30 calendar days of paid annual leave.
CDF working hours are from 07:45 to 12:30 and from 14:00 to 17:15. Due to the nature of the position
(fieldwork, unexpected activities), the person hired must be flexible. The position may require
extended field expeditions and work during evenings or weekends.
CDF's Human Resources department will oversee all residency documents related to the hiring
process, but will require the candidate's assistance in obtaining the necessary legal documents. For
foreigners, a work visa must be applied for and issued by the Ecuadorian government. CDF will also
oversee the processing of the Galapagos residence permit for the successful candidate.

Those interested should send the following information via email to
• An up-to-date resume.
• Letter of interest (maximum 1 page), describing your interest in the position and skills
according to the minimum requirements outlined above.
• Names and email addresses of two professional references

Career level

Junior, Senior

Career options

Non academic career