The Charles Darwin Foundation for the Galapagos Islands (CDF) is recruiting a Senior Spatial
Ecologist to join our shark research team and strengthen the ongoing long-term research on shark
population ecology and conservation conducted by the CDF. The selected candidate will integrate
the core technical team of a five-year project (“Habla Tiburón” project), funded by the United States
Agency for International Development (USAID).
We are seeking a motivated professional committed to the conservation of sharks and marine
ecosystems of the Galapagos Marine Reserve and wider Eastern Tropical Pacific. The research
conducted by the spatial ecologist should generate state-of-the-art scientific information and
improved knowledge that will provide stakeholders and decision makers with knowledge to make
informed decisions related to management and conservation in the Ecuadorian Exclusive Economic
Zones (EEZ), including the Galapagos Islands.
The Senior Spatial Ecologist will join a new project that aims to improve the long-term viability of
shark and ray populations in Ecuadorian waters by: 1) strengthening participatory governance of the
fisheries responsible for the highest shark catches; 2) strengthening monitoring, control and
enforcement capabilities of stakeholders to combat IUU fishing in the Ecuadorian sea; and 3)
collaborate with fishing sectors to implement best fishing practices to reduce by-catch and fishing
mortality of sharks and rays in Ecuador.
The Senior Spatial Ecologist will be responsible for developing and implementing research to
describe the spatial and population dynamics of the main oceanic shark species and the fishing
dynamics of the national and international fishing fleets that catch them. As part of a team, this
scientist will analyze fisheries-dependent and fisheries-independent spatial data related to shark
distribution, abundance and movement as well as remote sensing data of the fishing fleets in the
region. Based on these analyses, the Senior Spatial Ecologist will generate the necessary scientific
information for the project activities related to the management and conservation of shark
populations in Ecuadorian waters.
The selected candidate will maintain a close and active interaction with the Principal Investigators
of the Shark Ecology Project. The selected person will also collaborate in close relationship with
other team members and close partners of the project, including NGOs, industry and government.
Additionally, the selected candidate may co-develop collaborative initiatives with local, national and
international institutions, and will work alongside the Galapagos National Park Directorate (GNDP)
and with other strategic partners.
The main responsibilities of the position are:
• Conduct research on shark ecology, with a focus on understanding the spatial dynamics of
shark populations and interactions with fisheries in the Eastern Tropical Pacific.
• Analyze a range of datasets (including satellite telemetry, fisheries, remote sensing and
monitoring data) and employ advanced analytical techniques to investigate the distribution,
abundance and area use of sharks in the region.
• Investigate the influence of environmental and anthropogenic drivers on spatial use,
movement patterns and seasonal variabilities of shark populations in the region.
• Investigate shark populations dynamics, including population size, structure and trends.
• Apply ecological knowledge to identify critical areas for shark conservation and
• Develop and implement research to assess the effectiveness of fisheries management
actions on promoting recovery of shark populations.
• Engage in a range of fieldwork activities and expeditions to collect data for the project.
• Collaborate with other scientists and stakeholders to collect and analyze data, including
satellite telemetry, fisheries and social data to identify key factors affecting shark
• Work closely with NGOs, government agencies and other stakeholders to promote
sustainable fishing practices and support the implementation of evidence-based
• Assist with the capacity building and training of government officials, fisherfolks and other
• Engage in educational and public outreach initiatives related to shark conservation. Deliver
presentations, participate in workshops, and contribute to community engagement
• Supervise and provide mentorship to junior researchers and volunteers. Foster a
collaborative and inclusive work environment, ensuring the professional development of
• Publish research findings in peer-reviewed journals to contribute to the regional and global
knowledge on shark ecology and conservation.
• Assist on report writing and general communication of the project.
1. Ph.D. in Marine Biology, Ecology, Remote Sensing, or a related field, with a specialization
in spatial ecology.
2. A minimum of 5 years of experience conducting research on shark ecology, spatial
ecology, fisheries science, or related fields, preferably in marine ecosystems.
3. Strong analytical and quantitative skills, with proficiency/ advanced level of knowledge in
analytical software such as R and ArcGIS, or similar.
4. Expertise in spatial analysis techniques, remote sensing, and statistical modeling, with a
strong understanding of their application to ecological research and conservation.
5. Expertise in analyzing satellite telemetry data in the context of spatial analysis and its
application to management and conservation.
6. Extensive fieldwork experience, including data collection in marine environments in remote
locations and challenging conditions.
7. Demonstrated track record of publishing research findings in high-impact scientific journals
and presenting at international conferences.
8. Excellent project management skills, including the ability to design and execute research
projects, manage budgets, and meet deadlines.
9. Experience working collaboratively with diverse stakeholders, including scientists, local
communities, and government agencies, to achieve common conservation goals.
10. Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English and intermediate Spanish is
11. Ability/experience at supervising and training junior staff and volunteers.
How to apply?
Interested persons should send the following information by e-mail to
• Updated CV
• One-page letter of interest describing his/her competencies meeting or exceeding the
minimum requirements for this position
• The names and emails of two professional references. Letters will only be requested if a
candidate advances to an initial interview round.
Kindly send all the application material as one PDF document. If more details are needed, please,
do not hesitate to contact us at the e-mail address provided above
About CHARLES DARWIN FOUNDATION
The Charles Darwin Foundation (CDF) is an international non-profit organization founded in
1959 with an operational base in the Galapagos Islands, a UNESCO world heritage site
located 1,000 kilometers off the coast of Ecuador. The mission of the Charles Darwin
Foundation and its Research Station is to tackle the greatest threats and challenges to
Galapagos through scientific research and conservation action, in order to safeguard one of
the world’s most important natural treasures.