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The Florida Aquarium

Biologist 1 (Aquarist)

Position Summary

The Biologist 1 will be expected to execute routine husbandry in the area to which they are assigned.  This position is expected to play a supportive role in caring for and managing The Florida Aquarium’s fish and invertebrate collections.   This includes food preparation and feeding, habitat maintenance, LSS maintenance/ operation, and recognizing indications of illness or abnormal behavior.  They will develop skillsets both independently, and as part of a team, in providing the highest level of animal care.  

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
  • Develops and demonstrates acumen in universally accepted aquarium husbandry skill areas including:
    1. Marine organism handling, transport, acclimation and care
    2. Animal quarantine, clinical treatments and marine animal health
    3. Aquarium Life Support Systems (LSS) operation and maintenance
    4. Live exhibit maintenance
  • Ensures accurate animal record keeping through consistent utilization of electronic record keeping system
  • Assure behavior meets the FLAQ values of Respect, Trust and Excellence
  • 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
  • Communicates ideas for exhibit improvements and modifications independently 
  • Executes behavior shaping plans for aquatic and terrestrial animals 
  • Identifies and solves obstacles with projects and tasks in a team setting

Secondary Functions

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

Education, Requirements, and Technical Skills

  • Minimum of 1 years’ experience in a facility working with aquatic and terrestrial organisms, including but not limited to birds, reptiles, amphibians, mammals, fishes, and plants preferred
  • 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 preferred
  • Knowledge of animal record keeping systems (ZIMS/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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