Research Assistant

Protected Areas Research Assistant Job Description:

We are seeking a research assistant with a background in conservation science to work with an interdisciplinary team to support ongoing and future work on protected area networks across the world.  The candidate will work with an exceptional interdisciplinary team consisting of collaborators at: James Cook University, WWF-US, the World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Cambridge University, and the University of Hawaii at Manoa. This is a paid full-time or part-time position, with duration of six months full-time or a longer period depending on negotiation of part-time work. The successful candidate will be based at James Cook University, Australia, and will be supervised directly by Megan Barnes and Bob Pressey.

Major Duties & Responsibilities: In collaboration with the team, the research assistant will conduct research activities that support:

  1. Identifying and validating protected area expansion events
  2. Maintaining a database of expansion events and contacts with expertise in protected areas
  3. Synthesis, quality control, and management of data
  4. Seeking ethical approval for an expert survey
  5. Programming expert survey in Qualtrix
  6. Review of parliamentary documents, policy documents, grey literature, media releases, and published information
  7. Contacting and interviewing experts
  8. Other duties, including literature reviews for scientific articles and communication of results for different audiences (e.g. local stakeholders, policy makers, scientists).


  1. Permission to work, full-time or part-time, in Australia
  2. Degree in ecological, interdisciplinary, or marine science
  3. Strong data management skills, with demonstrated experience handling large datasets
  4. Experience with R
  5. Ability to work both independently and in a team
  6. Excellent communications skills
  7. Ability to manage international collaborations, recognising time differences


  1. Experience with GIS
  2. Familiarity with human ethics approval protocols
  3. Previously used Qualtrix
  4. Knowledge of protected area governance and budget structures and processes
  5. Familiarity with budget, procurement and legal processes associated with protected areas

To apply:  Preference will be given to applications received by January 5th 2018 and to candidates available immediately. Please submit a cover letter and CV with the subject line “PA research assistant position” to Megan Barnes at