Ocean Career: Cefas Fisheries Stock Assessor Scientist

The Fisheries Stock Assessor Scientist will work within the Fish and Fisheries Assessment (FFA) group to lead and support the delivery of fisheries science, fisheries stock assessment and management advice. The group delivers leading science and advice to national and international marine management organizations including Defra, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Regional Fisheries Management Organizations, the International Council for Exploration of the Seas (ICES), and a variety of research projects to provide scientific evidence and support management advice, incorporating principles of sustainable exploitation and precaution; this includes evaluating the ability of management plans to meet management objectives.

The post holder will work with senior scientists and advisors in a range of projects developing interdisciplinary research to deliver scientific evidence to address globally relevant problems and to move forward towards new national and international goals in relation to the sustainable use of marine resources, and food security.

This role provides an exciting opportunity for a motivated individual to join a team of fisheries scientists to develop highly valuable skills in fisheries science and gain an international reputation. Travel, both domestic and overseas is to be expected with the possibility of participating in sea-going field work.

Job description

Your main duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:

  • Implement statistical and analytical methods (including spatial modelling techniques) to assess data from marine finfish stocks and the fisheries that exploit them;
  • Implement stock assessment models, including integrated models (e.g., Stock Synthesis, Casal2), and use the outcomes from these to conduct short-term forecasts and formulate management advice;
  • Participate in stock assessment working groups and ad-hoc workshops to evaluate and develop assessments;
  • Apply data-limited methods and mathematical models to assess the fish stock and/or exploitation status, and formulate approaches to derive management advice (e.g., developing harvest control rules);
  • Contribute to the development of Management Strategy Evaluation (MSE) to assess the performance of alternative management strategies;
  • Provide scientific input on the assessment of fishing impacts on the ecosystems and fisheries stock productivity;
  • Provide advice on how technical measures (e.g., seasonal closures, bycatch restrictions, effort restrictions) can achieve management objectives;
  • Write reports, present results to a range of national and international audiences, including stakeholders, and contribute to scientific publications of high impact; and
  • Contribute to international assessment working groups and support advice on fisheries management to Cefas, Defra and other national and international bodies.

In addition, Cefas reserves the right to ask staff to take on additional duties and responsibilities which are commensurate with their grade. Team Leaders and management will have a discussion with staff to explain the changes that are to be made. A new job description will be issued if required.

Person specification

The following are essential criteria required for this role and you must be able to demonstrate your skills and experience in the following areas:

  • A scientific background in mathematics, statistical modelling, marine science, quantitative ecology and/or biology, with a particular emphasis on demonstrating numerical/quantitative skills;
  • Statistical knowledge and experience in programming for data analysis using R, C++, ADMB, TMB and/or other equivalent languages;
  • Ability to work effectively either as part of multi-disciplinary teams or independently within a professional working environment, and experience of collaborating with other scientific organizations;
  • Highly numerate, organized, and with a willingness to develop knowledge and skills in fisheries science;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills; and ability to communicate results effectively to a wide range of audience from colleagues and collaborators to customers;
  • Experience of writing reports and scientific peer-reviewed publications; and
  • Academic qualification required for this vacancy is a science bachelor’s degree with a high level of numerical and/or mathematics content. However, equivalent experience as required and shown in the person specification will be considered if demonstrated.


We'll assess you against these behaviors during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Data analysis and application of statistical/mathematical approaches, including spatial data analysis, to deal with, for example, data gaps, with an understanding of how these can be applied to fisheries assessments
  • Ability to configure, run and evaluate integrate assessment models (e.g., Stock Synthesis, Casal2).
  • Programming in R, and/or other computer languages such as C++, ADMB, TMB.

We only ask for evidence of these technical skills on your application form:

  • Data analysis and application of statistical/mathematical approaches, including spatial data analysis, to deal with, for example, data gaps, with an understanding of how these can be applied to fisheries assessments

Compensation: £31,825 – £34,285

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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