Marine Ecology Advisor


Job Purpose Summary

NatureScot is looking to appoint a qualified marine ecologist who can collate and summarise,
critically review, and analyse sensitivity assessments for a range of Scottish marine nature
conservation features. The purpose is to complete assessments, and continue to support key
developments, updates and improvements to an online marine Feature Activity Sensitivity Tool
FeAST[1]. The FeAST tool allows users to investigate the sensitivity of marine features in
Scotland’s seas against pressures arising from human activities. Evidence and updates to FeAST
include using sensitivity information within MarLIN[2]. The ambition for FeAST is to hold all
sensitivity information for all marine features of conservation importance in Scotland in a
transparent and consistent manner. The successful applicant will focus on providing specialist
advice in a summarised form that will enable online content upload and improvements.

The post holder will play a key part in NatureScot’s ongoing work to chart the health of
Scotland’s seas and progress towards the Scottish Governments vision of heathy, productive and
biologically diverse marine and coastal environments. This 12-month fixed term post is a role
within NatureScot’s Marine Ecosystems team, working closely with other marine colleagues, the
FeAST Working Group and digital design team. Where capacity allows, the role would also work to
support the wider aims and objectives of the Marine Ecosystems team.

The position would suit marine ecologists with critical thinking and a range of communication
skills. A sound overview and understanding of benthic ecology, biotopes and their
classification, protected marine features and connectivity to all pressures affecting them is

A detailed programme of work will be agreed at the outset of the post. Flexibility in working
patterns and days can be provided to accommodate the suitable candidate. Some of the
responsibilities outlined will be shared across other team members. Please note line manager is
based in Inverness. 

[1] FeAST can be accessed at here.

[2] MarLIN example habitat sensitivity assessment can be accessed at here.

Key Responsibilities and Accountabilities:

  • Collate, produce and update sensitivity assessments for marine features using a standard
  • Review and analyse compiled sensitivity assessments on marine habitats and species
    (including mobile species) against pressures from human activities and climate change through
    literature reviews and collaborating with specialist advisors.
  • Critically review existing sensitivity assessments and assist with quality assurance.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and improve FeAST tool functionality and user experience:
    testing user-interface; problem-solving; communicating and liaising with colleagues,
    stakeholders and the digital design team; assisting with gathering user stories, developing
    guidance and training for using the tool.
  • Continue good working relationships with key partners (digital design team, JNCC, etc) and
    other relevant stakeholders alongside internal colleagues.
  • Represent NatureScot and collaborate with colleagues at meetings and steering groups of
    inter-agency and partnership projects relevant to the FeAST tool and content development.
  • Contribute to relevant, wider work of the Marine Ecosystems team including communications,
    guidance, advice and support.

Skills: (Please refer to these in your Supporting Statement)

  • A relevant degree in marine biology or ecology or in a relevant subject (with marine
    biology/ecology specialist modules).
  • A sound overview and understanding of Scottish marine benthic ecology, biotopes and their
    classification, protected marine features, and the issues relating to their sensitivities. 
  • Knowledge and understanding of the key pressures affecting the marine environment arising
    from human activities and climate change.
  • Ability to review, analyse, collate, interpret, manage, and summarise scientific
    information and undertake literature reviews. In particular, a working knowledge of Excel
    spreadsheets and Word, data interpretation, critical analysis, clear presentation of data and
    undertaking quality assurance.
  • Good interpersonal skills with a proven ability to work constructively and supportively in
    a team environment.
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to provide clear advice and guidance and
    convey complex, technical information clearly to a variety of audiences both in writing and
  • Ability to plan and manage workloads, work to deadlines and adapt to changing priorities.

Prerequisites Required

  • Proof of right to work in UK.
  • To undertake a Disclosure Scotland application.
  • Although Gaelic language is not a prerequisite it is a desirable skill in support of our
    commitment to our Gaelic Language Plan

 Working for NatureScot

NatureScot offers some great benefits to reward and support you whilst you are working for us.
Our benefits package includes the civil service pension scheme, a generous holiday leave
allowance plus flexi time, and employee discount scheme. Visit
the NatureScot website for further details

 NatureScot’s Net Zero commitment

Whether working at home or in an office, or travelling to meetings and site visits, as a
NatureScot you will contribute to our Net Zero plan, for example through positive carbon travel
choices. You will aim to minimise travel in accordance with NatureScot’s low carbon operating
procedures. However, you will, in some circumstances, be expected to work with colleagues and
stakeholders from across Scotland, which will involve some travel and may involve overnight

For information regarding the vacancy, please contact:

Carol Hume, Vacancy Manager (MPA Advisor) or Suzanne Henderson (MPA Manager) 

Email: [email protected] Tel: 01463 725017

Email: [email protected] Tel:
01463 725238

For information regarding the recruitment process please contact:

[email protected]

Nature is vital to all of us, so it is vital that we are an organisation for all of Scotland.
The more diverse NatureScot is, the better we will be in connecting everyone with nature. We
particularly encourage applications from people from Minority Ethnic (ME) backgrounds and
people with a disability

Find out more & apply

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