The Ocean Conservation Trust runs the National Marine Aquarium, the largest Aquarium in the UK, as its centre of Ocean excellence.

Based in Plymouth, Devon, the National Marine Aquarium has a dedicated and experienced world-class Husbandry team who deal with the day to day running and development of the exhibits, as well as the management of all our off-display back of house areas. Our Husbandry volunteer programme allows students to gain first-hand experience of this interesting and unique role and get the chance to help take care of the health and wellbeing of over 4,000 Ocean animals, too.

Our volunteers work directly with the Husbandry team and assist in the day to day running and development of all aspects of the Husbandry department. The positions are designed to introduce basic animal care and husbandry skills, and volunteers receive invaluable experience of working in a large and dynamic aquarium, helping us to achieve our aim to make the National Marine Aquarium the very best in Europe.

Day to day husbandry tasks include but are not limited to:

  • Maintenance of display tanks
  • Preparation of food for livestock
  • Feeding livestock
  • Maintenance of plankton cultures
  • Maintenance of off display tanks
  • Maintenance of life support systems
  • Operant conditioning of individual animals
  • There are currently two different volunteering opportunities within the husbandry team.

Husbandry internships allow volunteers to immerse themselves within the husbandry team for a period of 3 months. The intern will assist a particular biologist in the day to day running and development of their area. This role is based on rota shifts and includes weekends and will require working over Christmas.

Industrial placement roles are for students whose degree course requires an industrial placement year. The student will gain an overall view of all the husbandry areas and will assist the husbandry team with the development of the aquarium. This role is rota’d and includes some weekends. Applications for this type of role is currently closed.

If you are interested in either of these roles, please complete this Expression of Interest Form – Nov 2020 – Feb 2021 and send to .

Neither of these roles are paid and to work with our Husbandry Team you need to be over 18.