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The Florida Aquarium

Senior Biologist- Center for Conservation at Apollo Beach

Position Summary

Work on the Center for Conservation (CFC) Coral Team to achieve The Florida Aquarium’s mission to protect and restore our blue planet.  The Senior Biologist is a working aquarist who oversees the daily activities of Biologists in their assigned areas and is responsible for the husbandry and propagation of the CFC’s collection of Western Atlantic coral species and other marine invertebrates.  Interface regularly with staff from partner organizations including the University of Florida, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, and the Tampa Electric Company.  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

  • Responsible for the daily oversight of assigned areas and leading the daily activities of Biologists while serving as a supervisor, role model and mentor
  • Train new employees to assure compliance with established standards and protocols
  • Assists with recruitment, evaluation and selection of new staff
  • Assure that animal food, maintenance equipment and supplies are ordered and stocked in appropriate amounts, given the needs of the facility and the availability of resources
  • Ensures high standards for animal care for the living coral collection along with Animal Health staff and the Senior Coral Scientist
  • Performs and supervises husbandry duties including but not limited to cleaning aquariums, performing water changes, maintaining life support systems, preparing food, feeding animals, and adjusting water quality parameters
  • Ensures accurate and detailed daily record keeping
  • Identifies and resolves issues with life support systems
  • Participates in the design and implementation of new construction projects
  • Collects and organizes data required for permit reporting and research objectives
  • Assist with scientific writing including preparation of permit and grant reports and scientific papers.
  • Assists with design and installation of construction projects such as coral archive systems, saltwater treatment and supply system, coral spawning laboratories
  • Plan, organize, and act as scientific lead on fieldwork trips including outplanting of corals and coral gamete collection during spawning events
  • Participate in coral spawning and larval rearing activities, including night work and data collection and coral recruit care using microscopes
  • Works closely with Marine Operations to ensure safe and organized field work
  • Delivers extraordinary customer service to all CFC guests
  • Assures behavior consistently meets the FLAQ values of Respect, Trust and Excellence
  • Identifies and solves obstacles with projects and tasks in a team setting
  • Perform all other duties as required

Secondary Functions

  • Initiates and executes husbandry improvements and modifications independently
  • Initiates and executes tours, media, presentations and reports
  • Maintains tools and equipment necessary for the care of the collection
  • Represents the aquarium at selected professional development opportunities
  • Participates in meetings with curators, biologists and other aquarium departments
  • Oversee volunteers and interns
  • All other duties as required

Education, Requirements, and Technical Skills

  • BS or higher degree in a biological science or related field
  • Proficiency with 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; AAUS scientific diving experience preferred.
  • Must be willing and able to obtain a valid State of Florida Driver’s License
  • Flexibility in working weekends, evenings, and holidays


  • Customer Service Orientation — Listen to 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 allocate 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
  • Available for on-call emergencies

Experience Required

- Minimum of 6 years of professional experience at a public aquarium or research laboratory, including direct responsibility for care of live coral aquaria.  This experience should include an increasing degree of responsibility over time with a broad base of technical knowledge. - Previous experience with coral spawning or larval propagation strongly preferred - Strong understanding of life support systems and water quality parameters for marine invertebrates including stony corals, and the ability to recognize and troubleshoot problems - Knowledge of Animal Record Keeping systems (ZIMS/ISIS) preferred


Benefits, Wellness. Retirement, Attraction Shares, Memberships and More!

How to Apply

For more information and to apply please visit

The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Dr.
Tampa, FL 33602
Phone: 8132734000

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