UoG-JNCC Seabird Field Researcher: Skomer Island 2021

I’m pleased to announce an outstanding opportunity to join a long-running seabird project in a stunning island location, working with a wider team of dedicated and inspiring researchers and conservation staff.

The contract involves the monitoring of six seabird populations of national and international importance, some of particular conservation concern: Manx shearwaters, Atlantic puffins, razorbills, kittiwakes, herring gulls and lesser black-backed gulls. This work is supported by JNCC’s Seabird Monitoring Programme and the Wildlife Trust of South and West Wales, continuing long-term seabird population studies on Skomer Island that date back to the early 1970s, begun by Prof Chris Perrins at The Edward Grey Institute, University of Oxford.

Dr Matt Wood, University of Gloucestershire


  • Observation of seabird study plots, re-sighting ringed individuals
  • Ringing of adults and chicks using metal and darvic colour rings
  • Maintenance and regular updating of databases
  • Report writing


  • Experience of ecological fieldwork, ideally with seabirds
  • Direct experience of bird trapping, handling and ringing. A UK BTO ringing permit with seabird experience/endorsement is desirable, but not essential
  • Ability to follow monitoring protocols, to work independently, flexibly, and as part of a wider team.
  • Effective time management to meet the fluctuating demands of fieldwork, which will involve long and/or antisocial hours at peak periods
  • A good level of physical fitness to work safely in rough terrain, ability to carry out ring re-sightings using a telescope, and an appetite to work outdoors in a range of weather conditions
  • Strong numeracy and computer literacy skills; attention to detail in record keeping and database management; entering of ringing data online (BTO Demon); compiling monitoring data into annual reporting

Other information

  • Salary approximately £1600 per calendar month (to be confirmed)
  • Dates: 08 April to 08 August 2021 (total of 16 weeks)
  • Living on Skomer Island for the duration of the contract is necessary, with opportunities to visit the mainland for food shopping etc.
  • Accommodation provided: single occupancy bedroom, sharing research quarters with the wider team of researchers on the island
  • Project support from supervisor and previous fieldworker(s)

CV and covering letter to mjwood@glos.ac.uk by 22 January 2021, early application advised.

In your application, please include specific examples of the skills and experience that demonstrate your ability to successfully undertake this contract, and the contact details of two referees who would be willing to support your application (one of whom must be able to comment on your skills and experience in bird handling and ringing). Online interviews will take place in late January/early February, with the successful applicant being offered the contract shortly afterwards.

Informal enquiries are welcome to Dr Matt Wood: mjwood(at)glos.ac.uk, Twitter @wood_mj

For a flavour of Skomer Island…