Field Ecologist (Botanist)

Field Ecologist (Botanist)

We’re seeking Field Ecologists looking for a career contributing to environmental research with a focus on plant identification/ecology. You will have the opportunity to work within a vibrant interdisciplinary community of engaged researchers tackling some of the most urgent and exciting interlinked global environmental challenges. Sitting within our Land Use and sustainability team you will contribute to the delivery of natural capital projects for key public and private sector stakeholders and have exposure to our innovative response to the rapidly changing policy developments in environmental land management, tree health, food safety and biosecurity.

In addition to ecologists, the Land Use team comprises experts in soil science, remote sensing and GIS, agricultural surveys, social science/economics, and data analysis/modelling.  Expertise in any of these additional areas would be advantageous.  The team conducts research into new and sustainable ways to monitor and manage natural capital under land use change and emerging risks while minimising impact on health, environment, and businesses. The research is used to inform policy development by government and business decisions by environmentally concerned companies for sustainable land use management and across the food supply chain.

Fera Science Ltd researches from farm to fork to help to protect the food we eat and the world in which we live. Join Fera and play an important role in helping to protect our farming and natural environment. This protection is critical for biodiversity and for the future of our food supply. We're proud of our heritage stretching back over 100 years, we make a difference to everyone; delivering science for the public good and tackling all sorts of risks, including plant pests, diseases and chemicals that threaten our food security and natural environment. We're a caring and responsible company committed to making the world a better, healthier and safer place. Innovation is at the core of Fera's science.

What you’ll be doing:

• Undertake field ecological evaluation and research involving sampling and identification of plants/habitats
• Deliver complex field surveys as part of a large team maintaining the highest standards of data collection.  Depending on your experience, you may be involved in managing large and complex field surveys delivered by a network of regionally-based surveyors
• Liaise with landowners/managers
• Contribute to the analysis and evaluation of research and interpretation of data, including working with inter-disciplinary teams to agree interpretations and derivations of key metrics
• Contribute to the development of methods and proposals in response to customer needs
• Contribute to the delivery of research projects in the Land Use & Sustainability team
• Apply a range of research techniques to gather relevant information, including data analysis, document analysis and surveys
• Contribute to publishing research findings

The above duties will differ depending on your areas of expertise.

Candidates should be aware that this role can require travel which necessitates staying away from home overnight between Monday and Friday, potentially for consecutive weeks through the peak survey window.

Candidates must hold a valid driving license.

What we’re looking for:

• Preferably, you will be a graduate or have equivalent experience with expertise in botanical identification and habitat surveying
• Expertise in complex survey delivery
• Experience of organising and managing survey teams
• A collaborator with the ability to work alone or as part of a team
• Excellent communication skills
• Flexibility to travel to meet survey requirements
• Excellent attention to detail and ability to follow complex protocols
• Experience in contributing to the design, development and implementation of quantitative/qualitative methodologies and mixed methods research
• A clear and concise approach to conducting analysis.
• Knowledge of, or an interest in, soil science would be advantageous

Essential skills:

• Demonstratable expertise in plant identification and UK habitat surveying (e.g. UKHab) (other groups in addition would be advantageous, e.g. invertebrates, pests and diseases)
• A good working knowledge and understanding of ecology which informs the ability to make judgements about the impact of management on habitats/features and the importance of habitat and its condition for other species
• An understanding of how interventions impact on farmers and farm management

Additional skills – any of the following would be advantageous: 

Soil science:

• Experience in soil sampling using varied methodologies e.g. bulk density, degradation assessment.
• Knowledge on soil classification and assessment, e.g. VESS scoring system, Visual Soil Assessment.
Remote sensing / GIS:
• Experience using analysis software such as ESRI ArcGIS.
• Experience of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle operations would also be a distinct advantage.
Social Science/economics
• Experience and expertise in the application of quantitative and/or qualitative methods in an environmental setting particularly with respect to the analysis of natural capital. 
• The ability to select and justify appropriate methods for the problem at hand.

About Fera 

Fera are part of Capita Plc, a leading UK provider of technology enabled business services. We’re supporting and improving the lives of millions of people every day and we can only do this with the right people in place, working towards a shared goal. We encourage an open, honest working environment where everyone can be true to themselves and people are valued for their differences. We’re always challenging each other to learn and improve, because we know when we work together, we can deliver better outcomes. We work across such a huge range of businesses and sectors, that you’ll have the opportunity to grow and develop your career in any number of directions.

What’s in it for you?

• A competitive basic salary from £30K
23 days holiday (rising to 27) with the opportunity to buy extra leave
• The opportunity to take a paid day out of the office, volunteering for our charity partners or a cause of your choice
• Company matched pension, life assurance, a cycle2work scheme, 15 weeks’ fully paid maternity, adoption and shared parental leave, paternity pay of two weeks…and plenty more
• Voluntary benefits designed to suit your lifestyle – from discounts on retail and socialising, to health & wellbeing, travel and technology
• Access to our Employee Network Groups, which represent every strand of diversity and allow colleagues to connect and learn from each other on an open, inclusive platform
• The role is based at our world class site near York, UK with access to start-of the-art facilities. Remote working may also be considered, providing there is willingness to travel when required

You’ll get the chance to follow your chosen career path anywhere in Capita. You’ll be joining a network of 63,000 experienced, innovative and dedicated individuals across multiple disciplines and sectors. There are countless opportunities to learn new skills and develop in your career, and we’ll provide the support you need to do just that. Our purpose is to create a better outcome for you.

What we hope you’ll do next:

Choose ‘Apply now’ to fill out our short application, so that we can find out more about you.

Anticipated start date for these roles will be Jan 2023, however, we recommend summitting your application as early as possible. We’re an equal opportunity employer, which means we’ll consider all suitably qualified applicants regardless of gender identity or expression, ethnic origin, nationality, religion or beliefs, age, sexual orientation, disability status or any other protected characteristic. We recruit and develop our people based on merit and their passion for creating better outcomes, and we’re committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees.

Closing Date:

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