An exciting opportunity has arisen to join our Scientific Services team in the Kruger National Park as an aquatic ecologist, providing science support, primarily to the Kruger (KNP) and Mapungubwe (MNP) National Parks, but also having the scope to work throughout the 17 other National Parks. You will be part of a well-established science team in KNP, which spans expertise in large mammals, alien invasive species, disease, remote sensing, vegetation dynamics, fire and social ecology, and have the opportunity to work closely with the management team responsible for protected area management and integrity.

We are looking for an aquatic ecologist with a passion for conservation. Ideally, you would have had previous experience delivering Environmental Impact Assessments and Environmental Flows Assessments with relevant research experience either through a Masters or PhD. As part of this role, you will form part of the conservation management team bringing about the implementation of national and international environmental and ecological best practices. The role will suit a dynamic, proactive individual who wants to work in an engaged science environment, at the science-management-policy interface.

The remuneration package includes an all-inclusive cost to company salary, pitched at Grade D3 Paterson Scale. The allowances and benefits are as specified in the HR tariff Document and Conditions of Services of SANParks. Forward your application with a Cover Letter, CV highlighting the skills and experience required, relevant copies of Qualifications and ID to the following address:



  • Relevant degree in Ecology, Biology, Zoology, Aquatic Ecology, Hydro-ecology or directly related subject, with a master’s degree in Aquatic ecology or a related field.
  • 5 to 10 years of experience as a freshwater ecologist
  • Strong publication history (with at least 3 first-authored peer-reviewed publications)
  • Knowledge and experience in undertaking two of the following: fish surveys, macro-invertebrate surveys, and river habitat surveys (with current certification).
  • Demonstrable knowledge of freshwater habitat function and aquatic species ecology.
  • Experience in undertaking freshwater ecology environmental impact assessments
  • Good understanding of South African conservation legislation and SA Water Act.
  • SANParks is committed to the principles of employment equity. Preference will be given to PDI/HDSA
  • Ability to work independently; show initiative, make robust, defensible decisions and work to tight deadlines
  • Proven ability for teamwork and collaboration with diverse groupings of people
  • Strong report writing skills, attention to detail and ability to write concise reports
  • Excellent verbal communication skills to communicate effectively with line manager, colleagues, internal and external stakeholders in person, by telephone, email and reports
  • Capable and with a track record of effective team management, supervision, and mentoring.
  • Project management skills, and experience with acquiring and delivering on large grants (over R500K).
  • Valid Driver’s licence.


  • PhD in aquatic ecology or related field
  • Registered with SACNASP as a Professional Natural Scientist (Pr. Sci. Nat.).
  • Experience in preparation and writing ecological sections of EIAs or EMPs, ensuring that legislative guidelines are met
  • Good knowledge of aquatic invasive species and mitigation/control measures
  • Demonstrable experience in e-flows.
  • Experience working with biological indices, including SASS, VEGRAI, FRAI, Wet-health
  • Good statistics and GIS knowledge


  • Design and conduct freshwater ecological monitoring surveys
  • Oversee ecosystem services-related research and monitoring, including advising on wetland rehabilitation and restoration
  • Lead research in the area of freshwater dependent ecosystems and publish findings in formal scientific literature.
  • Prepare technical reports, and knowledge collation reports to inform the best management and environmental practice.
  • Contribute freshwater biodiversity data to national and local monitoring systems including CMAs, DWS FBIF, and various other DSS.
  • Coordinate and implement research projects with external and internal research teams, including logistics planning, managing budgets, knowledge collation and reporting.
  • Solicit research into understudied taxa, habitats, or to fill key knowledge gaps in the freshwater domain.
  • Represent SANParks in external stakeholder meetings, including water forums, irrigation boards, catchment management agencies, and the national and provincial departments (DWS, and DFFE).
  • Provide expert advice on EIAs and EMPs.
  • Respond to freshwater emergencies, including pollution events and fish kills.
  • Communicate relevant research findings to park management, the public and policymakers in briefing documents, lectures, and reports.