Senior Botanist / Botanist


Ecotone Flora Fauna Consultants


Weipa, Queensland


Ecotone Flora Fauna Consultants are a small but well-established ecological consultancy that has been providing expert ecological and environmental consultancy services to all sectors of the community since 1997.  We operate throughout the north of Australia but have a significant presence on Cape York Peninsula, particularly in the mining industry.  At Ecotone, our ethos centres around the principles of honesty, fairness, and a dedication to simultaneously delivering a high calibre of work and positive ecological outcomes.  We not only prioritise the safety and well-being of our team but actively promote a harmonious work-life balance, believing this contributes to both personal and professional fulfillment, and ultimately upholds the quality of service we bring to our clients.

We are seeking expressions of interest from highly motivated and capable Senior Botanists/Botanists to join our field team in Weipa, Cape York Peninsula to undertake field surveys in the area and produce the associated reporting.  The position would begin with a FIFO probationary period of three months, for the candidate and business to decide if a permanent relocation to the Weipa lifestyle is desirable.

This is a vegetation focused position, and the botanist will have at least 4 years’ professional experience, preferably working with northern Australian flora and vegetation communities including substantial amounts of field time, and a tertiary qualification in Botany, Ecology or similar.  While previous consulting experience is not essential, a strong record in field ecology and working in the bush is absolutely essential.  

The roles and tasks are largely flora related, including field verification of Queensland Regional Ecosystems, experience in secondary surveys (as described from the latest Queensland Herbarium methodology) and mine-site rehabilitation assessment.  Some fauna-focussed and broader ecology tasks may be required, centred around our region of Cape York, so the candidates should have a keen interest in learning the species of our region, if not already familiar. 

Availability to commence the position by April will be advantageous.

The successful applicant/s should have an established high level of fitness and endurance to be able to hit the ground running, and the ability to work in the difficult conditions presented by this area including high temperatures and humidity and rough terrain and vegetation.  This is not a position for the faint-hearted or office-oriented person but will be highly rewarding for a suitably fit, robust and motivated botanist/ecologist who has a true passion for field ecology in a remote part of Australia.  The successful applicant will possess the ability and commitment to work within the Ecotone and clients’ safety systems, and also have demonstrated experience and abilities to operate 4WD vehicles and work safely within remote bush landscapes, including from bush camps if necessary. 

Various structures can exist for the role including a contracted full-time position or casual arrangement, depending on the applicants’ qualifications and experience.  Ongoing appointment within the business will be subject to performance and demonstrated skills during the initial appointment.

The Role

The role comprises on-going field work throughout the year, interspersed with office time to manage and analyse data, compile, and submit reports.  Field work will include undertaking buffer verification of vegetation types that are sensitive to mining pressure, conducting vegetation verification of regional ecosystems within selected areas, EVNT flora searches and some mine-site rehabilitation monitoring. You will be involved in both Weipa based and occasionally more remote field work for Ecotone Projects. 

You will be working as part of a small, enthusiastic and friendly team based in Weipa that has an excellent work ethic and safety record and is focussed on safely delivering high quality Project outcomes for our clients. 

Duties include:

  • Field-based work - Conduct field surveys of flora (and potentially some fauna) using a variety of techniques and methods.  Field work will be mostly Weipa-based but may include remote work and trips based out of accommodation villages or bush-camps.  Field work includes:
    • Prepare vehicles for field work and conduct weed washdowns
    • Compiling field equipment prior to surveys and checking all required gear is included
    • Re-charging and maintaining electronic equipment and batteries
    • Demobilise vehicle and equipment and sign equipment back into office
    • Undertake navigational tasks and in-field data entry to GIS
    • Perform safely and follow all safety procedures
    • Produce and send out Communications Plans for all field work events
    • Ensure that all safety documents are on hand for the work and all safety requirements have been completed. i.e. vehicle checks, JSEA, etc.
    • Professionally and proficiently conduct the actual field work program
    • Liaise professionally with clients on site and in the field where necessary
    • Produce high-end reporting outcomes, including mapping
  • Work within and contribute to safety systems - This requires a willingness to work within Ecotone and client safety systems to ensure safe work practices.  You will be required to contribute to the development of Job Safety Analysis documents for work tasks and Communication Plans for remote field work.  Participation in safety meetings is a necessity.
  • Data Analysis & Management - Usually this is a matter of following a set procedure.  In your role you will be required to uphold the procedures used in the business, seek out the procedures you need for your work or ask for assistance when required, and at time assist with developing new or improved methods and procedures for data management.  The integrity of our data is paramount to the quality of our work and always needs to be maintained.  You are expected to be diligent in your data entry and analysis, producing error free data for client delivery.
  • Performing Project Manager or Team-Leader duties - depending on the role of appointment, management responsibilities will include leading field work, and may include monitoring and managing Project resourcing and time allocations to different tasks; scheduling work, liaising with clients; providing updates on Project progress to senior managers; and tasking junior staff with aspects of the project to distribute workloads.
  • Preparing Project reports and other communication to clients - you will be required in this role to write reports and present the data from field work projects to the client/s in a concise and accessible manner.  These will include written reports, memos, emails and verbal reports on works.  You may also be required to conduct literature reviews or research on various topics.  
  • Permitting tasks - occasionally you may be asked to assist in preparation of permit applications and with reporting and data compilation for permitting returns.
  • Support - you will need to work closely with the Business Managers, Ecologists of all experience and Project Managers to conduct your projects and align them with other work running concurrently within the business.  You will receive support in your role from the Managers, and also your team-mates. 
  • Areas of Specialisation - it is good to be able to recognise an employee’s particular interests, talents and experience, so that both the employee and the employer can get the most out of the engagement.  Whenever possible, your interests and special skills will be recognised to place you in roles that engage you and keep you keen in your position. 
  • General application of oneself to work - in general, a willingness to learn, a good work ethic, team-focus and a strong initiative to identify the tasks and get the tasks done are what is desired most from this role.  In return the business hopes to provide professional growth opportunities and job satisfaction.

The Successful Applicant

In order to successfully carry out this role you must have a passion for field ecology and be motivated to undertake field work in challenging tropical conditions.  You must have a high level of physical fitness and mental resilience to enable you to safely carry out extended survey programs sometimes requiring walking long distances in difficult conditions.

Highly Desirable qualities and qualifications:  

  • Tertiary qualification in Botany or a mixed degree with Botanical elements
  • Familiarity with northern Australian flora species derived from hands on field survey work
  • Australian Drivers Licence (manual)
  • Commitment to working within the Ecotone safety systems and client safety systems
  • Commitment to observe and implement survey permit and animal ethics approval conditions and provisions to achieve excellent animal welfare outcomes when required to work on fauna projects.
  • High level of physical fitness and endurance to enable you to safely undertake long days of walking at a productive pace
  • Experience in being out bush, including demonstrated competency (not just a 4WD certificate) in operating 4WD vehicles off-road and navigating in bush environments
  • Ability to work in a co-operative team environment working toward common goals
  • Ability to prepare concise, factual and relevant written and verbal reports to a high standard
  • Ability to communicate effectively with fellow team members and client representatives
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office, particularly compilation of large MS Word documents with imagery and maps
  • GIS capabilities, especially ArcPro (desktop) and Arc GIS online, particularly for vegetation mapping

Desirable or bonus qualities and qualifications:

  • Familiarity with digital data capture using GPS enabled handheld devices and data entry apps
  • Familiarity with the flora of Cape York Peninsula
  • Experience working with Traditional Owners
  • Experience in the mining industry
  • Hold current Senior (Apply) First Aid and Advanced 4WD competencies
  • Familiarity with Dropbox or other cloud storage utilities
  • Experience with using satellite phones and personal satellite trackers and EPIRBs
  • Ability to trouble-shoot minor mechanical or technical faults with vehicles and equipment

Remuneration and Conditions:

The positions will be appointed under the Professional Employees Award 2020.  Remuneration packages include fortnightly pays, a General Allowance Payment to offset remote living expenses (for living permanently in Weipa), Employer Compulsory Superannuation payments (currently 11%), and industry standard leave and leave loading entitlements if full-time.  A 1:1 Time Off In Lieu system is in place for additional overtime by full-time employees.

The employer operates a skewed seasonal roster to account for the seasonality of the workload.  A standard working week for both office and field-based work comprises between 38 and 45 hours a week depending on the time of year. 


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