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Research Scientist

Georgia Aquarium
Atlanta, Georgia
Closing date
Dec 17, 2023

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Position Summary:

The Research Scientist position contributes to the success of Georgia Aquarium’s Center for Species Survival (CSS) by building capacity in the use of computer models that advance population viability analysis and risk assessments, conservation planning, and the visualization of habitat use and distribution of rare and endangered species for population management globally. This position leverages expertise in population biology, applied ecological and population modeling, and species conservation planning.


  1. Demonstrate commitment to Georgia Aquarium’s vision, mission, and values.
  2. Develop rigorous and high-resolution models that advance species and ecosystem conservation.
  3. Collaborate internally with the CSS team and with external partners to coordinate/conduct research that provides data needed for model development.
  4. Monitor the professional literature in conservation biology to remain current on science related to in situ and ex situ population management and population viability monitoring.
  5. Publish high-quality, research in areas of institutional priority and present at national and international conferences as required.
  6. Coordinate or assist in educational, outreach, and other special programs (modeling training, conservation workshops, etc.) to meet the needs of the conservation community.
  7. Provide technical support and help to provide training to conservation professionals, interns or graduate students using modeling methods and tools.
  8. Successfully maintain formal and informal collaborations with external research groups and institutions needed to advance mutual conservation goals.
  9. Work with aquarium’s Public Relations and Communications team to publicize the CSS program.
  10. Participate on aquarium teams, committees, and other working groups as needed.
  11. Performs other duties as required by the Director of Research and Conservation or as workload necessitates.



  1. Required: M.S. in conservation biology, population biology, ecology, or related field. Ph.D. preferred.

Experience and Skills:

  1. Minimum 3 years of experience in conservation biology research or species management.
  2. Demonstrated expertise in species distribution models, population modeling and quantitative risk assessment, and population viability analysis.
  3. Fluent in population modeling software (e.g., Vortex, PMx, Outbreak, or MetaModelManager) or other software platforms (RAMAS, ST-Sim, StudbookR, etc).
  4. Track record of excellent oral and written communication, productivity, and critical thinking and problem-solving skills.
  5. Excellent research and quantitative skills.
  6. Demonstrated ability to publish original material in peer-reviewed disciplinary journals.
  7. Ability to clearly communicate complex technical information and science to non-technical audiences.
  8. 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.
  9. Experience and comfort speaking to news media.
  10. Must be willing to travel domestically and internationally for research and/or conference opportunities.

Preferred Skills

  1. Familiarity with the IUCN CPSG One Plan Approach to species conservation.
  2. Good understanding of current applied ecology and conservation research.
  3. Ability to think creatively and work collaboratively.
  4. Familiarity with ESRI platforms, including ArcGIS.
  5. Familiarity with geospatial analysis in the R statistical and programming environment.

To Apply

  1. Submit CV and cover letter (maximum length 1000 words) summarizing your background, research experiences, and research interests.
  2. Names and contact information for three references.

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



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