Monday, November 18, 2013

Deputy Aquarium Curator

Deputy Aquarium Curator 

Responsible to Aquarium Curator 

Salary £30,719 p. a (plus £1358 on call allowance) 
35 hours per week (working one weekend in four, for which a premium is paid) 

The Horniman Museum & Gardens seeks a Deputy Aquarium Curator to 
contribute to the management of the Aquarium, ensuring that the high standard 
of our displays is maintained and developed for the enjoyment and education of 
our visitors. 

The aquarium strives to be a centre of excellence and therefore the ideal 
applicant will need to be motivated, have innate knowledge of husbandry, 
excellent attention to detail, be able to take the initiative and have a desire to 
improve animal welfare standards. 

Please note that a Basic Disclosure and Barring check is required. 

Benefits include 30 days annual leave and the option to join the Local 
Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) 

Full details of this post and an application form can be obtained by 
visiting our website at 

The closing date for completed applications is 11th December 2013 at 5.00pm 

Interviews will be held on the 8th  & 9th January 2014 

The Trust is committed to equality of opportunity and welcomes applicants from 
all sections of the community. 

Responsible for In the absence of the Aquarium Curator, 1x Aquarist 1x Biologist and Animal Walk staff 
Liaises with Visitor Services, Learning, Exhibitions, Natural History Library, 
Facilities and Gardens Sections, volunteers and students, contractors, consultant Aquarium Vet, suppliers and Life Support Systems engineers as required. 

Main purpose of job

To assist the Aquarium Curator in the management of the living collection, ensuring that high standards are maintained and the ethos of a centre of excellence is upheld.

Continue to develop the living collection for the enjoyment and education of visitors and actively participate in research and conservation programmes.

Ensure that the aquarium living collection are maintained in accordance with the statutory requirements of the Zoo Licensing Act and with due regard to national and international conventions and codes of animal care.

Main responsibilities 

Collections Care and Management: 40%
 Aid the Aquarium Curator in the management of the living displays within the Museum, including livestock care and filtration maintenance, veterinary and health and safety procedures

 Take curatorial responsibility for specified areas of the collection, working within the Section’s agreed collection plan

 Be responsible for environmental monitoring procedures and tests on aquarium water quality using electronic laboratory equipment ensuring agreed standards are maintained; ensure systematic records of these procedures and tests are kept

 Undertake any manual tasks associated with the job

 Conduct occasional fieldwork to procure specimens, display materials, foodstuffs, ensuring compliance with the relevant legislation

 Operate livestock breeding programmes as agreed, with a special awareness of conservation criteria and the needs of rare, vulnerable or endangered species

 Contribute to the management of the Section; deputise for the Curator, as required, taking responsibility for all aspects of administration, staff management, budgetary control and curatorial policy

 Management all volunteers and student placements, including the development of research projects in line with corporate planning and the aquarium’s collection plan

Record Keeping / Compliance with legislation 25%

 Maintain safe working practices and emergency procedures concerning aquarium diving operations, hazardous animals, chemicals and other substances, complying with relevant legislation and internal procedures

 Ensure compliance with Health and Safety at Work Act and other statutory requirements relevant to the museum, taking delegated responsibility to oversee the sections Health & Safe control book (including writing new risk assessments and conducting annual risk assessment review)

 Represent the aquarium on the Health &Safety Committee

 Ensure compliance with the Zoo Licensing Act regulations, which include ensuring that accurate livestock record systems are maintained and water quality tests are conducted using laboratory equipment in line with agreed standards.

Ensure systematic electronic records of these procedures and tests are kept in accordance with Zoo Licensing Act requirements

Resources management 15%
 Motivate and work in close and continuous co-operation with the Aquarium team

 Assist Aquarium Curator in the management of the Aquarium budget through the preparation of estimates, maintaining financial records and accounts, and authorising departmental expenditure in line with Trust procedures

 Maintain procedures for the purchase, storage, servicing and stock-control of food, equipment, supplies and chemicals for the livestock and displays. Ensure Trust policies are adhered to

Professional development: 15%

 Participate in the research activities of the Horniman through publication and dissemination of collections-related research; improve existing museum research resources and develop links with external academic institutions; represent the Museum on relevant national bodies

  Develop personal skills and expertise by keeping abreast of current practice and, if appropriate, attend conferences, seminars, courses or undertake further training as required

 Foster relationships with other related institutions to exchange information

Other Duties 5%

 Deliver aquarium tours periodically

 Any other duties that may be required to ensure the effective operation of the aquarium

Other information: 

You will be required to work a regular weekly rota system of one weekend in four.

You will also be required to participate in a rota to provide cover during bank holidays and emergency call-outs.

All staff are expected to behave in a professional manner and uphold the Horniman’s Code of Conduct

A Basic Disclosure and Barring check is required for this post. Additionally, the post holder must not have any previous convictions under the following:

 The Protection of Animals Acts 1911 to 1964
 The Protection of Animals (Scotland) Acts 1912 to 1964
 The Pet Animals Act 1951
 The Protection of Birds Acts 1954 to 1967
 The Animal Boarding Establishments Act 1963
 The Riding Establishments Act 1964 and 1970
 The Breeding of Dogs Act 1973
 The Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976
 The Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act 1976
 The Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981


Essential criteria (E) Desirable criteria (D) 

Skills & Abilities 
 Excellent organisational, analytical and computer skills, particularly with Excel, Word and Outlook with the ability to conduct research on the internet. (E) 
 Ability to communicate effectively, verbally and in writing, and to represent the Section and institution, along with the ability to respect the professional viewpoint of other staff and external team members. (E) 
 Able to carefully monitor animal health and filtration equipment, with a proven ability to anticipate, recognise and practically resolve problems at an early stage, and, where necessary, respond effectively under pressure. (E) 
 Well organised and able to work with accuracy and attention to detail 
 A flexible approach with the ability to work autonomously and respond effectively under pressure. 

 Knowledge & Experience 

 A relevant first degree in a Natural Science subject or equivalent experience of maintaining aquatic livestock in a museum, zoo, wildlife park or public aquarium setting to meet the requirements of the post. (E)

 Experience of aquarium curation work covering a broad range of aquarium systems and livestock groups. The post-holder’s knowledge and experience will be sufficient to enable them to work autonomously (E)

 Experience of developing and implementing water and veterinary laboratory procedures and conducting routine water chemistry analysis, environmental and fish health monitoring without supervision. (E)

 A high awareness of the responsibilities in terms of health and safety and personal and public hygiene where animal care is involved. (E)

 A diving qualification PADI Divemaster or equivalent, as well as experience of aquarium dive operations. (D)

 History of developing research programmes, including building collaborative links with external partners and publish peer review papers (D)

Personal Attributes 
  •  An empathy with the Horniman mission and an interest in its exhibitions, activities and events. (E) 
  •  A commitment to equality and diversity (E) 
  •  Willingness to work flexibly and collaboratively to achieve corporate objectives (E) 
  •  Commitment to own learning and professional development (E) 
Job activities may vary and evolve over time to meet business needs 

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