Senior Aquarium Biologist, Tropical Waters

Organization: Vancouver Aquarium (AZA Member)
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
Job or Internship: Job

Requisition Number: 13-0125

Title: 102 - Senior Aquarium Biologist, Tropical Waters

Job Family: Animal Operations

Status: Full-Time Regular

Work Hours: 37.5 Hours / Week

Location: Stanley Park - Vancouver

City: Vancouver

Province: BC

Close Date: 12/30/2013

Description: ROLE OVERVIEW

Reporting to the Curator, Tropical Waters, the Senior Aquarium Biologist, Tropical Waters is responsible for developing, maintaining and interpreting the tropical environments in the Tropic Zone Gallery through the acquisition, display and husbandry of live organisms. In the absence of the Curator, Tropical Waters, the Senior Aquarium Biologist, Tropical Waters would be the Acting Curator. The taxa involved include freshwater and marine fishes and invertebrates as well as terrestrial and aquatic plants.


Maintains the tropical environments in the Tropic Zone Gallery by:

• Monitoring and maintaining the proper environmental conditions for specimens;

• Monitoring and maintaining the health of specimens through proper feeding and health treatment;

• Propagating and maintaining the live food species required for specimen feeding;

• Keeping a daily section log and completing the daily form.

Develops the tropical environments in the Tropic Zone Gallery by:

• Determining and implementing appropriate display environment for specimens;

• Actively suggesting and planning new exhibit concepts;

• Acquiring new specimens, or species, for exhibit;

• Developing the exhibits using Research & Development;

• Conducting research into the husbandry of proposed and resident species;

• Actively participating in the Fish Health Program coordinated by the Veterinary Staff.

Interprets the tropical environments in the Tropic Zone Gallery by:

• Communicating with co-workers, other departments and external contacts regarding species and exhibits;

• Interpreting display (labels) and answering question to the public;

• Promoting awareness of Vancouver Aquarium’s conservation efforts and programs through presentations to schools, groups and the general public;

• Researching and responding to questions regarding species and husbandry.

Assists the Tropical Waters Department by:

• Providing section coverage for other husbandry staff;

• Assisting with administrative duties including custom forms, collecting reports, census and compiling reports for government agencies;

• Ordering materials, supplies, and equipment;

• Directing and monitoring the activities of students and volunteers;

• Complete and maintain daily animal care/husbandry reports;

• Performing other duties of a similar nature or level.

When assigned, performs Acting Curator duties by:

• Being the point person for intra- and extra-departmental inquires;

• Completing and submitting payroll within established timelines;

• Running the Tropical weekly departmental meeting;

• Attending, as the Tropical representative, the weekly RT and Operations meetings;

• Attending, as the Tropical representative, other meetings as required (ie: Exhibits, etc);


Education and Experience

• Undergraduate degree, College Diploma or equivalent experience in the husbandry of aquatic organisms;

• At least five years direct experience, or equivalent with demonstrated competency, in water quality, animal nutrition, captive propagation, animal health procedures and other general husbandry skills in an aquarium, zoo or similar situation;

• Requires a valid Driver’s License;

• Requires SCUBA certification from an internationally-recognized agency.


• Proven leadership and people management skills. Can supervise assigned area in absence of Curator, Tropical Waters;

• Good interpersonal skills to deal effectively with departmental team, public, students, volunteers, other departments and outside bodies;

• Outstanding written, oral communication and presentation skills;

• Excellent attention to detail and strong organizational and time management skills;

• Careful attention to habitat and husbandry details;

• Requires competency with MS Office applications;

• Good record-keeping skills.

Working Conditions

• Job requires strength and endurance;

• Shared office environment;

• Job requires working in co-operation with co-workers;

• Job requires working in constrictive ways;

• Constant exposure to wet and slippery conditions with exposure to cleaning chemicals, electrical, driving hazards and pest species;

• Duties involve constant exposure to dangerous specimens;

• Job involves regular activities in a warm, humid environment;

• Job includes relative freedom of movement.

How to Apply:

Qualified candidates can submit their resume with cover letter on the Vancouver Aquarium Careers Homepage: