Senior Biologist - DOME

Position Description
Position Title:           Senior Biologist
Service Group:         Biological Programs
Reports To:               DOME Associate Curator
Exemption Status:    Non-exempt (hourly)
Position Summary
Lead the DOME Team to achieve The Florida Aquarium’s mission to entertain, educate, and inspire stewardship about our natural environment by exemplifying the Aquarium’s values of Respect, Trust, and Excellence.  Assert animal wellness with the aquarium’s terrestrial and aquatic animals.  Perform essential and secondary job functions in accordance with guidelines set and approved by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and other safety regulatory agencies.
Essential Position Functions
  • Lead team in upholding the highest level of animal care and wellness
  • Mentor, train, and supervise staff, volunteers, and interns on daily husbandry feeding, cleaning, and maintenance protocols
  • Promptly report any animal injury, illness or abnormal behavior to Animal Health team to ensure the highest standards for all animals
  • Assure behavior meets the FLAQ values of Respect, Trust and Excellence and counsel staff to do the same
  • Work with staff and registrar to guarantee accurate animal record keeping
  • Conduct weekly one-on-one meetings with direct reports
  • Fulfill managerial roles, including but not limited to writing reviews and approving staff schedules and timecards
  • Develop, execute, and participate in behavior shaping plans for aquatic and terrestrial animals 
  • Create and improve work processes and efficiencies with oversight
  • Develop, execute, and participate in husbandry projects and animal moves
  • Maintain AZA inspection readiness for exhibit, service, holding, and backup areas
  • Plan, execute, and assist with animal collection and acquisition activities
  • Create formal and informal communication to internal and external audiences
  • Deliver extraordinary customer service to all aquarium guests, donors, and customers
  • Supervise the ordering of supplies and equipment

Secondary Functions

  • Act as Associate Curator in the absence of the area supervisor to lead team
  • Work with Associate Curators on hiring committees and/or staff promotion opportunities
  • Assist in maintaining and revising husbandry SOPs
  • Represent the aquarium at selected conferences and speaking engagements; give media interviews, and write and present formal papers
  • Conduct, assist, and oversee ongoing research projects that are relevant, goal-specific and in direct support of the aquarium’s mission; ensure that internal research using living organisms is conducted in a professionally competent and ethical manner
Education, Requirements, and Technical Skills
  • Minimum of 6.5 years experience in a facility working with aquatic and terrestrial organisms including but not limited to: birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and teleosts
  • Minimum of 3 years experience in a supervisory role of staff, volunteers, interns, programs, or projects at a zoo or aquarium
  • BS or higher degree in a biological science or related field with equivalent experience
  • Extensive knowledge of the disposition, habits, food requirements and cleaning needs of a diverse animal collection including but not limited to birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, and teleosts
  • Thorough understanding of habitat requirements for terrestrial species and life support systems and water quality parameters for aquatic species
  • Knowledge of the mechanical, electrical and chemical engineering aspects of maintaining biological systems
  • Experience in the acquisition, collection and transport of live animals
  • Knowledge of Animal Record Keeping systems (ZIMS/ISIS) preferred
  • Knowledge of Windows and Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook)
  • SCUBA certification required with ability to advance to Open Water Scientific Diver/Rescue Diver level within 6 months of hire
  • Must be willing and able to obtain a valid State of Florida Driver’s License
  • Flexibility in working weekends, evenings, and holidays
  • Available for on-call emergencies

  • Customer Service Orientation — Listen and understand the customer (both internal and external) and anticipate and evaluate the customer’s needs; make the customer’s satisfaction a high priority in all areas of responsibility.
  • Teamwork — Support, facilitate, and participate in activities that promote team effectiveness; demonstrate sensitivity for the feelings and needs of team members and support team goals.
  • Coordination — Organize and move a group of individuals and/or activities toward a common goal
  • Planning and Organizing — Establish a course of action with specific long-range goals for the aquarium; set priorities among competing requirements and allocatd resources in the most efficient and effective way; develop contingency plans that anticipate changes in the work environment.
  • Judgment — Decide on and commit to an action on the examination of the facts at hand; find creative solutions to situations and opportunities that arise; take strategic risks when necessary.
  • Communication (oral and written) — Effectively express ideas verbally and non-verbally and actively listen to individuals and groups; prepare and focus presentations to the characteristics and needs of the audience; express ideas clearly and concisely in written form, through memoranda, letters, reports, and other documents.
  • Information Gathering and Monitoring — Effectively collect relevant data using questioning or research techniques to monitor and manage projects and people
Typical Physical Requirements
  • Sitting (2 hours per day)
  • Standing (2 hours per day)
  • Walking (4 hours per day)
  • Bending/Stooping — Frequently
  • Squatting — Frequently
  • Crawling — Occasionally
  • Climbing heights (12’) — Frequently
  • Reaching above shoulders — Frequently
  • Crouching — Occasionally
  • Kneeling — Frequently
  • Balancing — Frequently
  • Pushing/Pulling — Frequently
  • Carrying (up to 70 lbs.) — Occasionally
  • Lifting (up to 70 lbs.) — Occasionally
  • Using hands for repetitive movements — fine manipulating
  • Exposure to marked changes in temperature and humidity
  • Typing on a computer keyboard
  • Excellent vision for proofing and detail work
  • Coping with demands (stresses that are associated with the job and/or the work environment so that acceptable levels of performance and overall contribution are maintained
  • Operating machinery and boats
  • Ability to travel (car) as needed — locally and/or nationally
  • Ability to travel (air) as needed
  • Ability to conduct field work in collection and research
  • Daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals in a central Florida climate