Fisheries Research Lab Manager Jobs

As with other production settings, aquaculture is currently displaying a need for rapid change and growth to optimize seafood growth efficiencies. Therefore, the industry is dependent on new ideas from research facilities, which are commonly run by a research laboratory manager.

This individual must lead a team of scientists, fisheries biologists and other disciplines to develop new techniques that apply to all aspects of aquaculture.

These managerial positions are designed to optimize the research results coming out of specific facilities. The person in this role guides his/her employees in developing techniques for handling species, finding more efficient ways to optimize feed practices or develop methods to improve environmental impacts of fisheries and farms on local surroundings. Adapting fisheries practices to changing climate conditions and consumer demands is another common research lab goal. Leading edge genetic analysis and development of new seafood strains more resistant to certain diseases is another example of typical research lab management.

The research lab manager typically requires a combination of education and experience. A bachelor’s degree in an aquaculture or biology field is a starting point, with advanced degrees quite common.

Five to ten years experience in the aquaculture field is also desired to provide practical direction to the theoretical aspects of the research community. The research manager must have at least a basic understanding of research protocol in such areas as experimental design and data analysis so as to be able to understand and communicate results and progress from a team of scientists.

Expected salaries vary on location, the size of the facility and the number of employees under the manager’s responsibility. A general midpoint would be around US$50,000 annually, with salaries extending beyond US$100,000 based on the amount of responsibility under the manager’s authority. Many facilities are associated with educational institutions, while others are privately funded and the salaries would be different accordingly. Personnel in these roles often are able to supplement their income through consulting practices that do not conflict with their facility or organization.

The research lab manager must be adept in various activities, from managing a large team of scientific-related individuals, to communicating with contributors on results and funding requirements, so excellent people skills are mandatory. Excellent project management skills are necessary as the ultimate results delivered by the laboratory generally fall on the manager’s shoulders. The ability to communicate with reports on progress is essential for maintaining relationships with fund contributors, contractors and local and international government agencies.

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