Photo-ID Research Assistant – AR2526NB

We are seeking to appoint a Photo-ID Research Assistant to work on the Harbour Seal Decline Project, a project investigating the potential drivers behind regional declines in harbour seal numbers in Scotland. Part of the project aims to estimate survival and fecundity rates of harbour seals at sites of contrasting population trajectories. To do so, photo-ID data collection started in 2016 at haul-out sites located in Orkney and in Isle of Skye to obtain longitudinal sighting and reproductive histories of individual seals. Photographs of harbour seals are collected at the monitored sites during the pupping season (June-July) on a daily basis when weather allows. Photos are taken from land using a digiscope system (in Orkney) or from a tourist boat platform departing Dunvegan Castle grounds (in Isle of Skye).

This is an exciting opportunity for a dynamic and dedicated person to work on a long-running project within a supportive team at the Sea Mammal Research Unit. The appointed research assistant will be responsible for collecting photo-ID data of harbour seals during approximately 6 weeks over the months of June and July, at one of the study areas (Orkney or Isle of Skye). Main jobs also include processing the collected photo-identification data by grading photographs and identifying individual seals using freely available pattern matching software Wild-ID and manual matching.  

The candidates should have experience collecting and/or processing photo-identification data, the ability to work remotely and independently in the field and have excellent organizational skills.  

This post is a full-time position, available from mid-May 2021, for one year in the first instance.  

Informal enquiries can be directed to Dr Mònica Arso Civil, email:

Applications are particularly welcome from women, people from the Black, Asian, Minority or Ethnic (BAME) community and other protected characteristics who are under-represented in research posts at the University.    

The University is committed to equality for all, demonstrated through accreditation (Athena SWAN; Carer Positive; Stonewall, LGBT and Race Charters), as listed on:  

Closing Date: 13 April 2021                                                                   

Please quote ref: AR2526NB     

Further Particulars: AR2526NB FPs.doc      

School of Biology, Sea Mammal Research Unit
Salary: £27,511 - £32,816 per annum
Start Date: 19th May 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter
Fixed Term: 1 year, in the first instance     

Photo-ID Research Assistant – AR2526NB