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Senior Ecologist (Integrated Species Conservation)
Flora Conservation Department

Job Summary

To lead the conceptualisation and delivery of the applied conservation work carried out by the Integrated Species Conservation Section of Flora Conservation Department at KFBG in Hong Kong, South China and the region, through the development of integrated scientific projects, justification of their budgets and direct line management of a team of technical staff. To date, the team has focused predominantly on the conservation of native orchids, but a broadening of this remit to include threatened plant species (particularly herbs, vines, shrubs and epiphytes) belonging to other groups is anticipated.

The section leader will report to and work closely with the Head of the Flora Conservation Department to ensure programmes and projects synergise with overall departmental strategy. S/he will play a key role in the preparation of written proposals, grants and other concept documents for internal and external approval. S/he will be responsible for overseeing the work of a team (currently with a headcount of nine technical staff, including scientists, horticulturalists and a technician), as well as contribute to the maintenance and development of scientific facilities for the generation, organisation and analysis of taxonomic, genetic and ecological data (including genetics, micropropagation and ecology laboratories, and a herbarium). The post-holder will organise and participate in floristic surveys to help identify conservation priorities locally and further afield, and devise studies that deliver positive outcomes for threatened species on the ground.

The post-holder must have a proven capacity to complete projects on time and within budget, and to communicate findings from field- and laboratory-based studies in the form of reports, scientific publications and management recommendations towards the amelioration of the conservation status of threatened plants and their habitats. S/he will have a track record in publishing work and of supervising graduate students in this field.

Applicants should have a PhD in plant ecology, biodiversity conservation or a related topic, and at least three years of relevant practical experience in a leading position. Knowledge of the flora of the South China region and an understanding of the threats impinging upon it are required, as are strong communication skills (written and oral) and the ability to work in a multidisciplinary team. Solid working knowledge of R and/or other software for the analysis of phylogenetic, population genetic and/or morphological data is essential, and familiarity with Red Listing protocols, GIS and database packages would be a distinct plus.

Major Responsibilities

The postholder will be expected to:

  • Lead and administer a team of technical staff currently consisting of nine staff.
  • Apply knowledge of the local and regional flora, as well as the threats impinging upon them, to identify priority threatened plant species, with an emphasis on herbs, vines, shrubs and/or epiphytes.
  • Conceptualise and plan scientific studies aimed at conserving threatened plant species in the wild.
  • Implement in situ and ex situ approaches, in line with international standards (including both field- and lab-based techniques) and in collaboration with colleagues.
  • Contribute to the development of departmental programmes, strategy and research direction.
  • Participate in inter-departmental fora to develop organisation-wide standards in nature conservation and KFBG site management.
  • Rationalise and manage a budget for the section’s projects and programmes.
  • Liaise with and engage external consultants, partners and students, both in Hong Kong and overseas, as needed.
  • Oversee the planning of major field expeditions.
  • Produce scientific papers and written reports on key findings, integrate ecological information towards the development of conservation strategies, and communicate these in the form of presentations and written management guidelines.
  • Provide training and outreach to different stakeholders in fields including (but not limited to) botany, ecology and conservation science.
  • Represent KFBG at international scientific meetings and symposia.

Other Duties

In addition, the postholder may be asked to assist with the following:

  • Organise and facilitate meetings, conferences and workshops for capacity building and network expansion between Flora Conservation Department and external professionals.
  • Handle other general administrative and operational duties of the section/department as needed.


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