Spatial Data Advisor- ZSL

Posted: 22 August 2023| Full-Time | UK


The purpose of the position is to undertake and/or coordinate biodiversity-related spatial data gathering, assessment and analysis to enable data-driven decision-making for sustainable finance initiatives, responsible soft commodity sourcing, and nature-positive business development and investment. There will be a focus on carbon and agroforestry projects, as well as helping the finance sector assess and address biodiversity risks in their investment & lending portfolios.

The post holder will draw on their remote sensing, spatial data and quantitative analysis expertise to produce a range of data products, maps and reports to understand land use and vegetation change in sites around the world. Their knowledge of innovations in their field including machine learning will provide new insights that drive on-ground action. They will work closely with field conservation teams, local partners, researchers in the Institute of Zoology and other subject matter experts in the Conservation and Policy Directorate to achieve their objectives.

About the Programme

ZSL’s Sustainable Business & Finance Department works with commercial organisations, communities, NGOs and governments to address major global challenges to forest and biodiversity loss.  We work with all actors in commodity supply chains – from producers to buyers and investors – to achieve supply chain transparency and sustainability, supporting practices which protect & enhance biodiversity. Sitting within the Sustainable Business & Finance Department, the Sustainable Finance Programme aims to close the $1 trillion financing gap for nature, through working both on the demand side with investors to increase the financing for nature, and on the supply side to develop investible, nature positive projects and enterprises.

The position

Position: Spatial Data Advisor (1 year full-time/fixed-term contract)

Salary: £36,844 to £38,280 (Inclusive of London weighting where applicable) per annum

Location: ZSL Regent’s Park/Hybrid 

Key Responsibilities

In collaboration with other staff members, consultants and organisational partners, the postholder will perform the following tasks:

    • Develop and manage the sustainable business & finance team’s approach to spatial data collection, management, analysis and visualisation
    • Collate and analyse, using GIS software, programming and machine learning, a wide variety of biodiversity- and carbon-related spatial data and produce spatial data outputs
    • Calculate biodiversity-related metrics from spatial data with a focus on carbon sequestration and avoided emissions from forestry, agriculture and other land uses.
    • Prepare briefs, reports and products in an appropriate format for a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders, from private sector executives to Indigenous community groups
    • Provide technical advice to staff in field programmes undertaking spatial data analysis related to the role, as well as externally to private sector and conservation partners
    • Facilitate the completion of assigned projects and outputs with staff and partners
    • Prepare project reports in accordance with project plans

qualifications and person specifications

  • Demonstrated spatial data expertise obtaining, compiling, analysing and interpreting field and remote sensing data and secondary datasets
  • Demonstrated quantitative/stastical analysis expertise such as building analytical models in R and/or Python
  • Ability to present spatial data and analysis findings in a range of formats, including academic publications, executive briefs and community infographics
  • Experience in participating and contributing to working groups and other technical fora
  • Experience of working with international teams in cross-cultural environments
  • An understanding of the principles of carbon and biodiversity credit estimation and calculation in voluntary carbon projects
  • An understanding of the biodiversity and people-related risks and risk analysis approaches related to commodity sourcing from tropical forest landscapes, such as HCV/HC
  • High-level, working proficiency in written and spoken English
  • Demonstrated passion for the natural environment and empowering local communities
  • Strong commitment to creating a culture that lives ZSL values (collaborative, inspiring, inclusive, innovative, impactful and ethical) and commitment to safeguarding, equality and diversity.
  • This post is a blended role for office and home working; some travel to Zoo sites will be required.
  • The position is likely to be required to travel domestically and internationally.


We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Through our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos (London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo), the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists, our purpose is to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wild animals going extinct. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction. 

At ZSL, we are proud of our approach to employee benefits. Our benefits include: 

  • Our vision and purpose – you’ll work alongside colleagues who are passionate about science-led conservation, knowing that you will help us to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wildlife going extinct
  • Pension scheme - we offer a generous pension scheme with up to 12% contributory pension.
  • Flexible working – talk to us about your flexible working requirements and we will do everything we can to make sure you work in a way that suits you
  • Holidays – 25 days annual leave allowance, plus UK bank holidays
  • Wellbeing – access to a blended programme of wellbeing initiatives, including confidential access to our 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme
  • Complimentary tickets – annual allocation of Whipsnade Zoo and London Zoo tickets, with a 30% discount in online and retail shops
  • Cycle2Work – our cycle to work scheme enables you to lease a bicycle
  • Season ticket loan – we offer an interest free loan to buy a season ticket for travel between home and work
  • Family friendly policies – we offer enhanced maternity and paternity packages

to apply

Closing date for applications: Midnight (23:59) on 3 September 2023

The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) is the global alliance of regional associations, national federations, zoos and aquariums, dedicated to the care and conservation of animals and their habitats around the world.

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