Senior Scientist - Freshwater Ecologist

current vacancies » Senior Scientist - Freshwater Ecologist

Senior Scientist - Freshwater Ecologist - Dunedin Based

Full Time - Dunedin

  • Do you like to learn and lead in a collaborative and problem-solving environment?
  • Do you have a passion, interest, and experience in applied science?
  • Are you looking for a role that has a real influence on the environment? 

About the organisation

At the Otago Regional Council (ORC), their mission is ‘for our future’. ORC is here to protect and enhance the environment and enable their communities to do the same. To be sure ORC can deliver on its responsibilities, they are evolving as an organisation, and they’re not overstating when they say they have some really big targets to reach. ORC need the right people, in the right roles, to help them get there. 

Otago is a pretty special environment and ORC are committed to working with their communities to ensure it stays that way now, and for the future. With a number of challenges on the horizon - freshwater, climate change, biodiversity and urban development – the Science Team at ORC play a critical role in providing scientific expertise to inform decisions particularly with regard to natural resource management. 

About the opportunity 

The Senior Scientist – Freshwater Ecologist leads innovative research and develops new and original research programmes with the Science Leadership team. They are a proven technical specialist in their research area (Freshwater Ecology) and demonstrate science impact by disseminating research findings through Council and scientific forums and presents at regional and national events. The Senior Scientist is a nationally recognised scientist and leader in their research field. They are an effective, confident communicator and is a trusted, credible and proven researcher. They have a proven ability to work across disciplines to deliver the best outcomes for the environment and the community. 

Reporting to the Team Leader – Biodiversity, and working closely with scientists across the Science Team, the Senior Scientist – Freshwater Ecologist takes overall accountability for: 

  • Actively contributing to Council’s freshwater initiatives, providing robust and effective site monitoring, data management, data analyses, issue identification, research, interpretation and reporting.
  • Contributing at a strategic level to the development and management of monitoring strategies, policy planning, research implementation in the form of action plans and management practices, along with technical review.
  • Actively establishing networks and staying informed on community, regional, national and international freshwater quality issues as well as keeping abreast of relevant legislation and new technologies. 

This role needs a proven technical specialist who is willing to adopt a collaborative approach to leading and engaging in innovative applied research with their fellow scientists. Is this you? 

About you 

To be successful in this role, you will ideally:   

  • Have a PhD and more than 5 years proven research experience in their research area and relevant science discipline.
  • Possess national experience and networks in freshwater ecology and water body health.
  • Be a great communicator that is skilled in talking to groups and individuals; Council meetings, Conference presentations, external stakeholders and industry as well as Scientists, Team Leaders, Managers, General Managers and team members.
  • Have confidence in research design, analysis and visualisation of data for publication using R, SAS or similar.
  • Mentor Scientists. 

If you adopt a collaborative approach to research and have experience in leading, mentoring, and decision making in an ethical and trustworthy way, then this could be the role for you. 

 Not your research area? Otago Regional Council are advertising for Scientists and Senior Scientists in other disciplines. Should you be interested and wish to enquire further, please visit the Decipher Group website or contact the consultant below.

How to apply

To discover more about Otago Regional Council, visit  

For a confidential discussion about the role; contact Katy Boyle on 027 278 2860 or by email to 

Applications close: 26 November 2020

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