Ocean Career: Cefas Senior Acoustician

This is an exciting opportunity for a senior scientist to lead on fisheries acoustic monitoring and Research and Development as part of a range of Government, research council and internationally funded projects including the Blue Belt Programme and Fisheries Stock Monitoring Charter and Research Vessel surveys.  

You will contribute to Cefas’ (Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science) acoustic capability by developing, maintaining, and managing a dynamic acoustic science area that contributes to a growing number of (meso) pelagic fisheries studies, including ecosystem surveys and monitoring impacts of windfarms.  

You will be responsible for the design and delivery of monitoring initiatives which collect acoustic data on a range of platforms, from our state-of-the-art Research Vessel Cefas Endeavour, recently upgraded to a broadband system, to uncrewed surface vehicles and fixed platforms.  

You will have knowledge and technical understanding of fisheries acoustic data collection, calibration, processing and post-processing, experience of working at sea, on both commercial and research vessels. You will lead on the delivery of projects and develop and promote the application of fisheries acoustic technologies to monitor fish and ecosystems. 

You will be expected to work with national and international scientific and management organizations making a real impact to marine environmental management

Job description

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

As a Senior Acoustician, your main role will be to provide the organizational capability to develop and manage fisheries acoustic science projects at Cefas. In collaboration with senior and principal scientists, you will lead on delivery of fisheries acoustic monitoring surveys for pelagic fish stock assessments (e.g., IESNS, PELTIC), and develop and lead on acoustic monitoring on multi-disciplinary surveys and initiatives in support of MPA or ecosystem monitoring (e.g., Blue Belt, BEEMS). 

You will provide the role of senior science lead on the use of fisheries acoustic monitoring technologies and approaches, leading projects as required. You will actively contribute to generating new business in fisheries acoustics with a variety of customers and applications. 

As part of the scientific development of fisheries acoustic methods, you will be writing scientific papers, reports, leading presentation of results to a range of national and international science meetings and customers, including managers, non-governmental organizations, and stakeholders.

You will be expected to work with national and international scientific and management organizations making a real impact to marine environmental management and policy. 

As part of the role, you will develop and apply the tools and protocols to generate, store and make easily available high-quality fisheries data collected using fisheries acoustics. 

You will work flexibly and at pace to provide scientific and technical support and solutions to projects and ICES Working Groups, including as Cefas representative. 

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:

  • Seagoing experience on fisheries acoustic surveys, including in leadership position 
  • Calibrate echosounders on vessels and/or other platforms 
  • Processing of acoustic signal with echo integration software (e.g., Echoview) 
  • Post-processing acoustic- and biological data to calculate biomass information (e.g., StoX) 
  • R software or equivalent (e.g., Python) 
  • Spatial analysis (e.g., QGIS, ArcGis) 
  • Statistics (e.g., time series analysis, machine learning) 
  • Author peer-review articles and reports 
  • Working on research and commercial fishing vessels 

The role involves a range of fieldwork, including working offshore, and they will therefore need an excellent understanding of health and safety on research and commercial vessels as well as a detailed knowledge of fishing operations.  

In addition, the successful applicant must be able to demonstrate self-motivation and must be able to work with a high degree of autonomy.  


PhD in fisheries acoustics, fisheries ecology, physics or equivalent.


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

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Leadership

Technical skills

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

  • End-to-end understanding of fisheries acoustic technologies
  • Working on research and commercial fishing vessels


Alongside your salary of £39,150, Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science contributes £10,570 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

  • Generous annual leave entitlement—Cefas offers 25 days' annul leave on entry (rising to 30 days over first 5 years) for full-time new entrants to the Civil Service. Employees receive 8 public holidays a year, plus an additional day to mark the late Queen's birthday
  • Access to learning and development tailored to your role
  • A working environment that supports a range of flexible working options
  • A working culture which encourages inclusion and diversity
  • Eligible to join the Civil Service Pension scheme—more information can be found on the CSP website Home - Civil Service Pension Scheme
  • Staff recognition vouchers
  • In-year award scheme

Closing Date: July 1, 2024

Learn more about this opportunity and how to apply.

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