NOTICE: Wild Dolphin Cruises are unavailable through Monday, Sept. 25 due to annual maintenance on the Bay Spirit II catamaran. The Bay Spirit II is expected to be up and running beginning Tuesday, Sept. 26. We apologize for any inconvenience.


Senior Biologist

Position Title:            Senior Biologist of Fish and Invertebrates
Service Group:          Biological Programs
Reports To:               Fish and Invertebrates Associate Curator
Exemption Status:    Non-exempt (hourly)
Position Summary
Assist the Fish and Invertebrates 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.  Directly work with the aquarium’s marine fish and invertebrates and other animals within our collection.  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
  • Mentor 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 your behavior meets the FLAQ values of Respect, Trust and Excellence and counsel staff to do the same
  • Assist with team and one-on-one meetings
  • Control the ordering of supplies and equipment
  • 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 
  • Develop, execute, and participate in husbandry projects and animal moves
  • Work with staff and registrar to ensure accurate animal record keeping
  • Maintain AZA inspection readiness for exhibit, service, holding, and backup areas
  • Plan, execute, and assist with animal collection and acquisition activities
  • Provide formal and informal guest presentations throughout the galleries and behind the scenes
  • Deliver extraordinary customer service to all aquarium guests, donors, and customers

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 and assist in 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 years experience in a facility working with aquatic and terrestrial organisms including but not limited to: live coral, jelly cultures and displays, syngnathid cultures and displays, large marine teleosts and elasmobranchs
  • Minimum of 3 years experience in a supervisory role of staff, volunteers, interns, programs, or projects at a museum, zoo, aquarium, or related facility
  • 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 consisting of marine and freshwater fish and invertebrates, reptiles, mammals, and birds
  • Thorough understanding of life support systems and water quality parameters for aquatic species is required
  • 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