Mexican Thorn Control Project Officer

TEAM: Conservation & Fisheries
REPORTS TO: Director of Conservation and Fisheries

JOB PURPOSE:          

  • Trial methods for improved control of Mexican thorn on Ascension.
  • Produce an integrated control strategy for Mexican thorn on Ascension in collaboration with external experts and local stakeholders


  • Coordinate mapping of the current distribution of Mexican thorn with Conservation Team colleagues and volunteers.
  • Provide assistance to the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) in sourcing specimens of plant species similar to Ascension endemics for host range testing a biocontrol agent.
  • Provide assistance to the Centre for Agriculture and Bioscience International (CABI) in developing a risk assessment for the use of a biocontrol agent on Ascension.
  • Assist with the culturing, release and monitoring of a biocontrol agent if this is recommended.
  • Organise the visit to Ascension of a Mexican thorn specialist to evaluate chemical and mechanical control methods.
  • Design and conduct trials of recommended chemical and mechanical methods for controlling Mexican thorn.
  • Organise training courses for staff and volunteers on Ascension in chemical and mechanical control methods.
  • Produce an integrated Mexican thorn control plan with input from Conservation Team colleagues and external experts.
  • Design and deliver public outreach and education events.
  • Produce project reports and updates for project partners and funders


  • Health and Safety: Conduct all work in a safe and responsible manner, including fieldwork in hazardous and remote locations – ensure that a first aid kit and radio are carried at all times in the field. Only use machinery/ equipment for which a valid, in date, licence is held.
  • Continuous Development: Continuous development of knowledge through study and involvement in scientific programmes.
  • Interaction with the Public: To interact with all members of the public, both the island community and visitors, in a courteous manner and to promote conservation efforts on Ascension where appropriate.

PERSON SPECIFICATION: Knowledge, skills, experience and personal attributes


  • BSc in Biology, Botany, Environmental Science or equivalent vocational experience.
  • A sound knowledge of plant conservation and biology.
  • Experience of non-native plant removal.
  • A full driving license.
  • A good level of physical fitness.
  • Numerate and computer literate, with a sound knowledge of Microsoft Office applications (Access, Excel, Word) and ideally GIS.
  • Good interpersonal skills with a proven ability to work effectively in a small team.
  • Experience of living and working on conservation issues in small and remote communities and/or on small islands and having an appreciation of how they run.
  • Self-motivated with the ability to work both independently and in a team setting.


  • Qualification in the safe application of pesticides.
  • Qualifications in the use of brush cutters.
  • 4×4 off road driving experience.
  • First aid qualification

How to Apply

Closing Date:  Friday 30 July

Interviews: week commencing 9 August by Skype if off island.

For more information (including detailed job description) visit:

To apply, email your CV and a covering statement of no more than one side of A4 setting out how your skills and experience are suitable for the role, to:

For general recruitment queries, contact:

Please mention when applying for this job!

Key Information


£9,500 per annum plus accommodation, food allowance and benefits


Ascension Island Government


Fixed Term


Full Time






Ascension Island, Saint Helena

Application Deadline:

16th August 2021 at 5:00pm