Senior Fisheries Quantitative Ecologist

Charles Darwin Foundation
Los Angeles, CA
United States
Job Description

The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) is recruiting a Senior Fisheries
Quantitative Ecologist to join our shark research team and strengthen ongoing long-term research
on shark population ecology and conservation conducted by the CDF. The selected candidate will
integrate the core technical team of a five-year project ("Habla Tiburón" project), funded by the
United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

We are seeking a motivated professional committed to the conservation of sharks and marine
ecosystems of the Galapagos Marine Reserve and wider Eastern Tropical Pacific. The research
conducted by the fisheries quantitative ecologist should generate state-of-the-art scientific
information and knowledge that will provide stakeholders and decision makers with improved
knowledge to make informed decisions related to management and conservation in the Ecuadorian
Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ), including the Galapagos Islands.

Position Objective
The Fisheries Quantitative Ecologist will join a new project that aims to improve the long-term viability
of shark and ray populations in Ecuadorian waters by: 1) strengthening participatory governance in
the fisheries responsible for the highest shark catches; 2) strengthening monitoring, control and
enforcement capabilities of stakeholders to combat IUU fishing in the Ecuadorian sea; and 3)
collaborate with fishing sectors to implement best fishing practices to reduce by-catch and fishing
mortality of sharks and rays in Ecuador.

The Fisheries Quantitative Ecologist will be responsible for the development and implementation of
research projects aimed at understanding the impacts of the industrial and semi-industrial fisheries
in oceanic shark populations. This scientist will analyze a range of fisheries dependent and
independent data to describe the status of shark populations and to quantify the impact of fishing
pressure on the main shark species interacting with fisheries in the region. In doing so, the Fisheries
Quantitative Ecologist will generate the necessary scientific information to develop project activities
related to the management and conservation of shark populations in Ecuadorian waters.

Required Profile

The selected candidate will maintain a close and active interaction with the Principal Investigators
of the Shark Ecology Project. The selected person will also collaborate in close relationship with
other team members and close partners of the project, including NGOs, industry and government.
Additionally, the selected candidate may co-develop collaborative initiatives with local national and
international institutions, and will work alongside the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNDP)
and with other strategic partners.

The main responsibilities of the position are:
• Conduct research on shark fisheries ecology, with a focus on understanding the effects of
fishing pressure by the main fishing fleets in Ecuador on the shark populations within the
Eastern Tropical Pacific.
• Analyze a range of datasets (including fisheries dependent and independent) and employ
advanced analytical techniques to investigate exploitation levels and conservation status of
shark and ray populations interacting with fisheries in Ecuador.
• Apply quantitative methods (including suitable methods for data-deficient scenarios) to
estimate fisheries reference points, targets and limits to ensure the long-term viability and
ecological functionality of shark populations in the region.
• Apply quantitative methods such as population dynamics models and spatial analysis to
describe fisheries dynamics and trends.
• Conduct risk assessments and evaluate the impact of different management strategies on
shark populations and fisheries target species.
• Design and conduct data collection activities to gather fisheries-related data.
• Engage in a range of fieldwork activities and expeditions to collect data for the project.
• Collaborate with other scientists and stakeholders to collect and analyze data, including
satellite telemetry, fisheries and social data to identify key factors affecting shark
• Develop and implement research to assess the effectiveness of fisheries management
actions on promoting recovery of shark populations.
• Work closely with NGOs, government agencies and other stakeholders to promote
sustainable fishing practices and support the implementation of best fishing practices.
• Engage in specialized workshops and working groups related to fisheries management and
reduction of shark fishing mortality.
• Assist with the capacity building and training of government officials, fisherfolks and other
key stakeholders.
• Engage in educational and public outreach initiatives related to shark conservation. Deliver
presentations, participate in workshops, and contribute to community engagement
• Supervise and provide mentorship to junior researchers and volunteers as well as assist on
capacity building for stakeholders. Foster a collaborative and inclusive work environment,
ensuring the professional development of team members.
• Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals to contribute to the regional and global
knowledge on shark ecology and conservation.
• Assist on report writing and general communication of the project.
1. Ph.D. in Fisheries Science, Marine Ecology, Quantitative Ecology or a related field.
2. A minimum of 5 years of experience conducting research on quantitative ecology, fisheries
science or population dynamics, preferably within the context of shark populations and/or
developing countries.
3. Strong analytical and quantitative skills, with proficiency/ advanced level of knowledge in
analytical software such as R and ArcGIS, or similar.
4. Expertise in analyzing data-poor and data-deficient fisheries datasets to deliver stock
assessments and management recommendations.
5. Expertise in spatial analysis techniques, remote sensing, and statistical modeling, with a
strong understanding of their application to fisheries management and conservation.
6. Extensive fieldwork experience, including data collection in developing regions, remote
locations and challenging conditions.
7. Demonstrated track record of publishing research findings in high-impact scientific journals
and presenting at international conferences.
8. Excellent project management skills, including the ability to design and execute research
projects, manage budgets, and meet deadlines.
9. Experience working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including scientists, local
communities, and government agencies, to achieve common conservation goals.
10. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and intermediate Spanish is
11. Ability/experience at supervising and training junior staff and volunteers.
Desirable qualifications
• Advanced experience in scientific diving (Rescue Diver or higher, with at least 100 scientific
dives). Ability and/or certification in freediving is also desirable.
• Previous experience with capture, manipulation, and tagging of sharks.
• Knowledge of marine conservation issues, particularly in the context of the Eastern Tropical
Pacific and shark populations.
• Ability/experience organizing and carrying out successful workshops, meetings and other
participatory methodologies with authorities and users of natural resources.
• Previous experience at doing research in the Eastern Tropical Pacific (including Galapagos
Marine Reserve).
Employment Conditions

The Senior Fisheries Quantitative Ecologist will be based at the Charles Darwin Research
Station in Puerto Ayora, Santa Cruz, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador.

The Researcher will faithfully fulfill the norms, regulations, and manuals of procedures of the
CDF; in addition, he/she will observe and follow strictly the standards and regulations set by the
GNPD. Among the practices of this: follow authorized trails, do not remove sand, stones, or
elements of nature, and DO NOT introduce any foreign element into the ecosystem, such as
food, plants, and pets.

The working schedule for the CDF is from 07:45-12:30 and 14:00 - 17:15. Due to the nature of
the position (fieldwork, unexpected activities), the hired person must be flexible. The position
may require field expeditions and work during late evenings or weekends.
The Human Resources department at CDF will oversee all residency papers related to the
hiring process but will require the candidate’s assistance to obtain the necessary legal
documents. For foreigners, a work visa must be applied for and issued by the Ecuadorian
government. CDF will also oversee the processing the Galapagos residence permit for the
selected candidate.

How to apply?
Interested persons should send the following information by e-mail to
• Updated CV
• One-page letter of interest describing his/her competencies meeting or exceeding the
minimum requirements for this position
• The names and emails of two professional references. Letters will only be requested if a
candidate advances to an initial interview round.
Kindly send all the application material as one PDF document. If more details are needed, please,
do not hesitate to contact us at the e-mail address provided above.