Training to tackle marine invaders

Marine non-native species Schizoporella japonica (an orange encrusting bryozoan) and Corella eumyota (a seasquirt) in Lerwick Marina, Shetland.

An opportunity to train in protecting UK waters from invasive species is on offer a sponsored traineeship, open to anyone, thanks to a national programme launched by The Conservation Volunteers (TCV).

The Natural Talent UK traineeship programme, run by TCV with funding from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, aims to increase expertise across the whole of the UK to protect our less well known species and create awareness of the habitats that support them.

Marine Invasive and Non-Native Species Traineeship

The 12 month placements, 6 of which start in January 2015, include a Marine Invasive and Non-Native Species traineeship at Heriot-Watt University (Edinburgh and Orkney campuses). Each trainee will receive a bursary of £12,510 as well as a training, travel & equipment budget.

The Heriot-Watt trainee with undertake part of the course at the University's Edinburgh Campus, and part at at Heriot-Watt's International Centre for Island Technology in Orkney.

The programme is in response to identified skills shortages in the conservation sector by providing trainees with the opportunity to develop an expertise in a specific taxonomic group, habitat or a mixture of both. Natural Talent UK will also increase the capacity of volunteers and communities to play an active role in surveying, mapping and taking an action to increase the biodiversity of their local places.

John McFarlane, TCV Environment Development Officer, said, "There is a recognised gap in expertise that threatens many of the UK's less well known species. TCV's Natural Talent UK programme aims to change this by giving individuals the opportunity to learn about some wonderful and less well known species and their habitats."

Dr Joanne Porter, Associate Professor of Marine Biology at Heriot-Watt's Orkney Campus, said, "We are delighted to be included in this innovative programme. The successful candidate will benefit from Heriot-Watt's academic expertise, as well as living and working in both Edinburgh and in Orkney during their course."

For further information or to apply for the traineeship, visit: