As part of our Sector Spotlight on Aquaculture and Fisheries, we have spoken to Rhona Robertson, a Fish Health Assistant and Laboratory Co-ordinator with Cooke Aquaculture Scotland. Rhona studied Biological Sciences and has worked in research, water quality testing, fish health and diagnostics.
Can you describe a typical day as a Fish Health Assistant and Laboratory Co-ordinator?
“Most days are laboratory based running qPCR assays. A couple of days a week are usually spent doing site visits of some of our farms to check the health status of the fish. We are also involved in two ongoing projects with two universities which involves work on a weekly basis.”
How did you end up in your current role as a Fish Health Assistant and Laboratory Co-ordinator?
“I studied Biological Sciences at University and worked for a contract research company for many years.
“A move from Stirling to Argyll made my job opportunities in Science pretty scarce until a job at Furnace Hatchery and Smolt Unit came up.
“I joined Cooke Aquaculture Scotland in April 2014 initially doing daily water quality testing in the unit and then gradually moving towards fish health and in-house diagnostics.”
What is the best thing about being a Fish Health Assistant and Laboratory Co-ordinator?
“I love that the role I am in allows me to work in the laboratory as well as getting out and about to visit our fish farms. Working with Universities on research projects is another added bonus.”
What is the worst thing about being a Fish Health Assistant and Laboratory Co-ordinator?
What skills do you need to be a Fish Health Assistant and Laboratory Co-ordinator?
“I mostly work on my own however daily communication with the rest of the team is essential as we will work together at least once a week.”
What qualifications do you have?
“I have a 2:1 Honours Degree in Applied Biological Sciences.”
Why would you recommend a career as a Fish Health Assistant and Laboratory Co-ordinator?
“Aquaculture is an extremely diverse industry, any sort of Science degree would stand you in good stead for this job. Laboratory techniques and diagnostics are always improving and there is still plenty of research opportunities within aquaculture.”
Visit Cooke Aquaculture Scotland on their:
Website - https://cookeaquaculturescotland.com/
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/cookeaqua/
Twitter - https://twitter.com/CookeScotland
Modern Apprenticeship Opportunity
Cooke Aquaculture Scotland have a vacancy for a Maintenance Modern Apprentice with their Engineering Team in Orkney.
This apprenticeship consists of a combination of College and on the job experience, working alongside their experienced Engineering Team. You will identify and repair faults with equipment and assist in any other engineering jobs as required, which may include one-off projects.
If you are interested in this Modern Apprenticeship, follow this link to the live vacancy: https://cookeaquaculturescotland.com/jobs/maintenance-modern-apprenticeship/. The closing date for this post is Friday 26 April 2019.