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The Florida Aquarium

Biologist 2 (Aquarist)

Position Summary

The Biologist 2 is responsible for all aspects of husbandry for the area(s) to which they are assigned.  This position is expected to play a primary role in caring for and managing The Florida Aquarium’s fish and invertebrate collections. This includes the care and maintenance of live exhibits, disease recognition and treatment, life support system construction and operation, species identification and knowledge.  They are expected to operate with minimal supervision and serve as a mentor to their coworkers, specifically regarding management and care of The Florida Aquarium’s aquatic collection.

Essential Position Functions

  • Performs general daily husbandry functions including the maintenance of live exhibits, holding systems and quarantine facilities at a high level of quality and does so with minimal supervision
  • Routinely demonstrate expertise in universally accepted aquarium husbandry skill areas including:
    1. Marine organism collecting, handling, transport, acclimation and care
    2. Animal quarantine, clinical treatments and marine animal health
    3. Aquarium Life Support Systems (LSS) design, construction, operation and maintenance
    4. Live exhibit aesthetic design, construction and maintenance
  • Serves as a resource and mentor for Biologists, Interns and Volunteers in the development of job skills relating to general husbandry functions, exhibit and life support systems design, construction and maintenance, aquatic organism (marine & freshwater fishes, invertebrates and plants) disease recognition and treatment, collecting techniques and species identification
  • Ensures accurate animal record keeping through consistent utilization of electronic record keeping systems 
  • Assure behavior meets the FLAQ values of Respect, Trust and Excellence and counsel staff to do the same
  • Interacts with aquarium guests, donors and team members in a positive and professional manner.
  • Maintain AZA inspection readiness for exhibit, service, holding, and backup areas
  • Initiates and executes exhibit improvements and modifications independently 
  • Initiates and executes behavior shaping plans for aquatic and terrestrial animals with proficiency 
  • Identifies and solves obstacles with projects and tasks in a team setting
  • Conducts complex work processes without supervision

Secondary Functions

  • Maintains tools and equipment necessary for the care of the collection
  • Assists in maintaining husbandry SOPs
  • Works with volunteers and interns within scope of position
  • Participates in meetings with curators, biologists and other aquarium departments
  • Represents the aquarium at selected professional development opportunities 
  • Initiates and executes presentations and reports independently 
  • All other duties as required

Education, Requirements, and Technical Skills

  • Minimum of 4 years’ experience in a facility working with aquatic and terrestrial organisms, including but not limited to birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fishes, and plants
  • Four-year degree in biology or related field; equivalent professional experience may be considered
  • Knowledge of habitat requirements, including life support systems and water quality parameters for aquatic and terrestrial species
  • Knowledge of animal record keeping systems (Tracks) preferred
  • Knowledge of Windows and Microsoft Office software (Word, Excel, Power Point, Outlook) 
  • SCUBA certification required
  • Must be willing and able to obtain a valid State of Florida Driver’s License
  • Flexibility in working weekends, evenings, and holidays


  • Customer Focus – Demonstrates courtesy, cooperation and friendliness with staff, volunteers and customers. Actively listens, anticipates and evaluates the customer’s needs. Ensures that customer satisfaction is a priority in all areas of responsibility. Actively engages our customers while fulfilling job responsibilities. 
  • Interpersonal Skills/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.
  • Professional/Technical Knowledge and Competency — Remains current on developments in the field within and outside the organization; maintains proficiencies 
  • 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.
  • 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.

Typical Physical Requirements

  • Standing (up to 2 hours per day)
  • Walking (up to 4 hours per day)
  • Bending/Stooping/Squatting/Kneeling/Balancing — Frequently
  • Crouching/Crawling — Occasionally
  • Sitting (up to 2 hours per day)
  • Climbing heights (12’) — Frequently
  • Reaching above shoulders — 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
  • 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
  • Ability to travel as needed — locally and/or nationally
  • Ability to operate in the field
  • Daily contact with a living collection of plants and animals in a central Florida climate



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How to Apply

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

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