Restoration Ecologist (Native Tree Nursery Section)
Flora Conservation Department
The remit of this post is to oversee the operation of KFBG’s Native Tree Nursery (NTN) to ensure the timely sourcing of seeds and supply of high-quality seedlings (currently totaling around 35,000 tree seedlings per annum) for all of KFBG’s forest restoration and tree conservation work. The ecological enhancement of existing secondary forest, the creation of new native woodland and the nurturing of healthy specimen trees for public display on-site at KFBG represent three key aspects of our drive to raise awareness of local plant diversity and repair Hong Kong’s degraded natural landscapes. As such, the focus of this role is firmly on maximising species diversity in the NTN through exploratory field work throughout Hong Kong, targeted collection of fruits/seeds from known mother trees and the pursuit of exemplary standards in nursery management. The post-holder will provide, or develop in-job, a skill set spanning plant identification (with an emphasis on woody taxa native to Hong Kong and coastal Guangdong), botanical field work, seed collection and processing, horticulture, and plant records management (including labeling and use of our in-house database Iris-BG). In addition, s/he will play a key role in our applied forest restoration programme by advising on species selection and devising planting schemes. The Restoration Ecologist will manage a team of up to nine personnel, all based in the NTN, currently with one direct report. We seek an energetic advocate of native plant diversity with great communication skills, being both capable of leading a team and coordinating projects in liaison with the other horticulturalists and scientists of the department.
The post-holder is expected to:
- Plan and carry out exploratory field work and targeted seed collection in Hong Kong, in line with KFBG’s ongoing species conservation and habitat restoration programmes.
- Ensure that adequate data (relating to biological features and provenance, as well as photos, etc.) are recorded for all seed collections and resulting seedlings.
- Assist in the orderly documentation of information associated with all accessions in KFBG’s Native Tree Nursery, in liaison with the wider team and the Plant Records Officer.
- Assess methods and establish best practice for germination, vegetative propagation and nursery cultivation of a wide range of native tree species.
- Help ensure the maintenance of the highest standards in nursery management.
- Document findings towards the compilation of technical manuals on restoration practice.
- Supervise the work of KFBG’s Native Tree Nursery team, which currently comprises a headcount of nine with one direct report.
- Handle general administrative duties associated with managing the team and overseeing daily nursery operations, including conducting staff appraisals, ensuring the upkeep, safety and tidiness of the NTN, ordering and storing materials, etc.
- Devise planting schemes for the ecological enhancement of specific parts of KFBG’s site.
- Engage and supervise contractors for the preparation of land and planting of seedlings in the course of KFBG’s ongoing applied forest restoration work.
- Handle enquiries from and liaise with external partners and customers seeking to purchase tree seedlings from KFBG.
- Passionate about native plant diversity and its conservation.
- A Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in biology, plant science, ecology, conservation or horticulture, and ideally a postgraduate degree in a similar field.
- A minimum of 3 years professional experience in a relevant post, ideally with a demonstrable track record in people management.
- Experience in field identification of trees in Hong Kong and the wider South China region.
- Experience in the use of databases for handling and processing plant information, including maps, images, herbarium specimens, biological samples and so on.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Cantonese.
- Ideally with a Hong Kong driving license (vehicles classes 1 and/or 2).
- Working knowledge of statistical and/or GIS software packages to analyse ecological data would be a distinct advantage.
- Ability to work in a dynamic, multi-disciplinary environment.
- Willing to work occasionally on weekends or public holidays, as needed (compensation leave will be provided).
- Diligent, detail-oriented, open-minded and recognises the validity of all spiritual paths.
Interested parties should send their CV (including list of publications) and cover letter (describing relevant work experience, reasons for interest in the post and expected salary) to the HR Manager, Kadoorie Farm & Botanic Garden Corporation, Lam Kam Road, Tai Po, New Territories, Hong Kong, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.