Re Advertisement: Exciting Opportunity for Research Assistant in Tuvalu! Join the APN Funded Project on Marine Plastics and Indigenous Knowledge Integration!

This research project is a regional project funded by the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research under the Collaborative Regional Research Programme. The project team involves several academics from USP as well as partners across the region.
The project addresses the important need to provide regionally-representative information on changes in fisheries and pollution exposure, to incorporate Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of fisheries into management recommendations, and to build capacity and support conservation efforts. This project will take place in four geographically diverse PICTs – Fiji, Tonga, Tuvalu, Vanuatu – and has four distinct objectives: (i) build capacity in PICTs, (ii) establish a regional baseline for microplastics (MP) in reef-associated food fishes, (iii) document TEK around reef-associated food fishes and pollution using social science methodologies, and (iv) inform national and regional conservation efforts. Via the coproduction of research and knowledge with in-country partners, this project will provide a much-needed regional baseline of MP contamination in common food fishes (indicating risk to human health/nutrition), while the TEK will identify preferences and catch trends, and yield key biological information that can inform management tools addressing food security.

We are seeking a Research Assistant to be part of the Tuvalu component of the project, to play a key role in running workshops as well as data collection and analysis alongside the project team, as follows:
• Support the planning and conduction of workshops to train identified stakeholders.
• Collect and analyze microplastics from fish gastrointestinal tracts.
• Collect relevant data through interviews with local identified stakeholders.
• Translate interviews from Tuvaluan into English.
• Liaise with the different members of the project and local stakeholders from Governmental Departments and communities.

The Persons We Seek

Applicants for Research Assistant should meet the minimum following essential criteria;
1. Ideally the candidate would be currently enrolled in or have recently completed (within the last five years) a postgraduate degree in Environmental, Marine or Social Science, or Marine Management. However, applicants will be considered also if they have recently completed an undergraduate degree in any of the above, or similar, programs, and are not yet enrolled in a postgraduate degree.
2. Be willing to learn about documenting Traditional Ecological Knowledge.
3. Some knowledge of reef-associated fish and fisheries.
3. Be a citizen of Tuvalu and able to speak fluently in Tuvaluan.
4. Ability to communicate and liaise effectively with relevant stakeholders.
5. Experience in laboratory analysis (microplastics).
6. Time management skills.
7. Willingness to travel within Tuvalu.


Remuneration will be dependent on qualifications, according to the USP standard hourly rates ($9-12 FJD/h). Contract duration will be ca. 5 months on a part-time contract (20-25 h/week), with the position planned to start in March 2024. Travel and research costs are covered by the project.

How to Apply

Please send your application (which includes a cover letter, resume, certified copies of qualifications and three references) to Dr. Amanda Ford at based at Marine Studies, Ext 32836 by February 16th 2024.