Ocean Career: Cephalopod Culture Operations Specialist

The Cephalopod Culture Operations Specialist performs research and operational responsibilities related to the Marine Biological Laboratory cephalopod breeding initiative.

This includes the general animal care of multiple cephalopod cultures along with associated research to support microinjection developments with embryos. This position will work toward continual refinement of cephalopod culture and husbandry techniques, design and construct systems, serve as an experienced resource for interns and volunteer, assist with relevant research pertaining to the breeding program, and occasionally conduct tours and outreach events for the scientific and local community.


  • Construct and maintain open and closed cephalopod systems.
  • Assist to maintain multiple cephalopod cultures and develop new culture techniques.
  • Assist with research priorities of breeding initiative.
  • Act as experienced resource to co-op interns, volunteers, and technicians.
  • Assist with all aspects of cephalopod husbandry including animal feeds, system rounds, egg harvesting, and general maintenance.
  • Life food collection and culture.
  • Data recording and analysis; quantification of microinjection/culture success.
  • Assist with transport, accession, and deaccession of animals.
  • Necropsies.
  • Implementing water quality monitoring devices; 24/7 system monitoring via mobile alerts.
  • Monitor and observe animals for signs of disease and/or stress.
  • Developing new innovative designs to improve cephalopod culture and hatchling survivorship.
  • Research and improve bobtail squid (Euprymna spp.) culture methods.


  • As needed, interact with media, donors, schools and general public on MBL’s behalf.
  • Assist Manager of Cephalopod Operations in the development of cephalopod workshops.
  • Fosters working relationships with other labs, institutions and aquariums.
  • Consultation and collaboration with private companies to update and improve MRC and warm seawater systems and treatment.


  • Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences or related fields.
  • Must have experience working with 3+ cephalopod species in laboratory or aquaria.
  • Experience culturing cephalopods preferred.
  • Minimum of 3 years working with cephalopods in captivity.
  • Data recording/analysis experience.
  • Experience with live food collection and culture.
  • Proven track record of laboratory work (3 years).
  • Excellent knowledge of cephalopod life support system design, setup, troubleshooting, and maintenance.
  • Experience with science outreach and public speaking.


  • Ability to supervise and direct multiple staff.
  • Excellent communication (oral and written) skills and attention to detail.
  • Excellent data management skills.
  • Excellent working in teams.
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office products.
  • Certified SCUBA is preferred but not needed.
  • Proficient knowledge of cephalopod life cycle and species natural history.
  • Excellent working knowledge of life support operation and water quality control for maintaining open and closed marine systems.


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. An employee must also have the ability to travel by car, boat and air as needed, physically use SCUBA equipment, conduct field work in the collection and research of animals, and maintain daily contact with a living collection of animals.

POSITION: Full-time
LOCATION: Woods Hole, MA

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

Learn more about this position and apply today.

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