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Research Scientist

Georgia Aquarium
Atlanta, Georgia, US
Closing date
Jun 4, 2024

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Academic / Research
Conservation science
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
Position Title: Research Scientist

Department: Research and Conservation

Classification: Exempt

Direct Report: Senior Director, Research & Conservation

Position Summary:

The Research Scientist will develop and lead marine mammal research and conservation initiatives for the Aquarium's IUCN Center for Species Survival (CSS) with a focus on Arctic species. We seek an established researcher with the ability to develop and manage a multi-investigator research program that adheres to the research priorities of the aquarium and regularly publish results in peer-reviewed journals. This position also serves as an institutional resource for content and communications to advance appropriate science messages through the aquarium's many outreach channels.


  • Demonstrate commitment to Georgia Aquarium's vision, mission, and values.
  • Conduct high caliber research (field-based or aquarium-based) and/or conservation initiatives that advance species and ecosystem conservation with a focus on Arctic species.
  • Publish high-quality science and present at national and international conferences as required.
  • Responsible for IACUC submissions and all state, federal, or international research permitting compliance.
  • Serve as a mentor/advisor to interns, volunteers, and students.
  • Work with the CSS team and the larger IUCN network to identify conservation priorities and needs for critically endangered marine mammal species.
  • Develop and manage research and conservation projects and associated budget under the direction of the Senior Director of Research & Conservation.
  • Successfully maintain formal and informal collaborations with external research groups and institutions needed to advance mutual research goals.
  • Work with aquarium's Public Relations and Communications team to publicize the research program.
  • Participate on aquarium teams, committees, and other working groups as deemed relevant.
  • Performs other duties as required by the Senior Director of Research & Conservation or as workload necessitates.

  • Qualifications:


  • A Ph.D. in Zoology, Wildlife and Fisheries, Ecology, Marine Biology or related equivalent.

  • Experience and Skills:

  • Minimum of 5 years of post-graduate experience developing and leading research and conservation projects with marine mammals, preferably with Arctic species (e.g., beluga whales, walrus)
  • Track record of excellent oral and written communication skills and productivity.
  • Excellent research and quantitative skills.
  • Ability to think creatively and work openly and collaboratively across a diverse landscape of local communities and partner organizations.
  • Demonstrated ability to publish in peer-reviewed disciplinary journals.
  • Ability to convey science to the public in a compelling fashion.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills to work effectively with a diverse audience, including aquarium staff and volunteers, visitors, members of the public, academic colleagues, donors and board members.
  • Experience and comfort speaking to news media.
  • Experience writing grant proposals and successfully competing for research funding.
  • Must be willing to travel domestically and internationally for research and/or conference opportunities.
  • While preference is for the Research Scientist to be based at Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta, GA, USA; a remote hire will be considered and the successful candidate will be required to make at least 4, 1-week trips to Atlanta annually.

  • Preferred Skills:

  • Familiarity with the IUCN One Plan Approach to Conservation, Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Animal Welfare Act.
  • Statistical competency with multivariate datasets, especially within the R platform.
  • SCUBA certification.

  • To Apply:

  • Submit CV and cover letter summarizing your research and conservation experience and interests.

  • Physical Demands & Work Environment:

    The physical demands and work environment described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch or crawl; talk or hear; taste or smell. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds 100 feet. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision, distance vision, color and peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is exposed to weather conditions prevalent at the time. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate. An employee must also have the ability to travel by car, boat, and air as needed, conduct field work in the collection and research of animals, and maintain daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals.


    I commit to Georgia Aquarium, Inc. the following:

    Mission: Georgia Aquarium is a nonprofit committed to inspiring awareness and preservation of our ocean and Aquatic animals worldwide.

    Vision: To be the Premier Aquarium in the World for Science, Entertainment, Education and Conservation.

    Values:Respect, Teamwork, Integrity, Innovation, Leadership, Excellence, Appreciation & Inclusion

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