Internships & Volunteering

Aquarist Internships

We welcome students for internships who are interested in learning more about the life of an Aquarist, marine biology, conservation and animal husbandry.

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You’ll need to be as passionate about all things aquatic as us and really want to get stuck in and help with daily jobs, such as preparing food for feeds, cleaning tanks and helping us set up new displays.

In return for your hard work we guarantee you’ll learn more than you thought possible about the operation of Bristol’s biggest aquarium and animal care.

Our placements tend to run over a period of either three, six or nine months, ensuring that you get the best training and enjoyment out of the time you spend with us.

Availability

You must be 18 years and over and physically fit.

Demand for internships at Bristol Aquarium is always very high.

If you would like to apply, please email your CV and Covering letter to [email protected] and mark it for the attention of the Aquarist Department.


Education Volunteering

Sealife and Conservation Officers of Bristol Aquarium (SCOOBA)

We are looking for outgoing people with a passion for learning and sharing information to join us at Bristol Aquarium. We are passionate about conservation and education and how we can share this with our visitors and you will have the opportunity to pioneer this passion.

About You
You will be at least 16 years old and be able to commit to at least 60 hours with us. Please note: this period can be spread over time to work around your other commitments e.g. 4hrs every Saturday for 15 weeks, or could be completed in a block over a holiday period.

We ask for this commitment to ensure that we are able to provide you with a suitable induction and training period and ensure that you get the most out of your time volunteering with us!

You will be confident in engaging with our visitors and have the willingness to pro-actively approach visitors in the aquarium to share facts about our animals and increase conservation message awareness.

Bristol Aquarium Coral Seas

Shift Availability

We have volunteering shifts available on term-time weekends only, however, during school holiday periods we have availability on weekdays as well as weekends. These peak periods are when we can engage the most with our visitors.

For this reason, the programme is not suitable for term-time weekday volunteering and school work experience placements.

Benefits

  • You will have the opportunity to gain knowledge about wildlife and conservation, with the platform to share this with others
  • An opportunity to improve confidence and communication skills
  • Meeting new people and making new friends
  • Free tea and coffee whilst you are volunteering
  • Free entry to Bristol Aquarium for the duration of your volunteering period, as well as complimentary entry for friends and family when visiting with you
  • Certificate upon completion outlining the skills learned during your time with us

What will you be doing?
We offer opportunities for our volunteers to increase their skills and knowledge through working on different sections. We encourage all of our volunteers to work in every section to increase their general knowledge but if you have a specific area of interest you can volunteer in a specific zone

Please note that this volunteering placement does not include working directly with animals or behind the scenes and is primarily education/engagement focussed


BAY OF RAYS

Improve your knowledge of sharks and rays with an opportunity to engage visitors in our Bay of Rays zone. You will have the opportunity to talk to our visitors about our rays including Blonde Rays, Thornback Rays, Painted Rays and Common Stingrays. The Bay of Rays is also home to Thick-Lipped Grey Mullet, Charlotte the Lobster and Bull Huss sharks, Common and Starry Smoothhound sharks. There will also be opportunities to enable our visitors to interact with shark egg cases and lobster moults.
This zone is located in our giant botanical house which is home to a range of exotic plants and Malawi Cichlids.

Expect warm temperatures on sunny days.

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AMAZON

Improve your knowledge of the Amazon Rainforest with an opportunity to engage visitors in our Amazon zone. You will have the opportunity to talk to our visitors about a range of species from Pacu (relatives of the Piranha), Motoro and Murano rays, Jaguar Stingray, Ripsaw Catfish, Silver Arowana and our charismatic turtles. There will be also opportunities to talk about rainforest conservation with our visitors.

This zone is located in our giant botanical house which is home to a range of exotic plants, our orchid conservation project and our interactive thundering Angelfish display.

Expect warm temperatures on sunny days.

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LEARNING LAB

The Learning Lab is our educational hub located on the first floor of the aquarium. This area is home to a range of exhibits including our Seahorse Lighthouse teeming with Big-Bellied Seahorses, our Seahorse Nursery containing juvenile seahorses and Mini Asia containing Celestial Pearl Danio and see-through Glass Catfish. The Learning Lab is also home to our Rockpool containing hundreds of individual creatures from Hermit Crabs to Sea Cucumbers to Starfish and anemones.

There will be opportunities to enable our visitors to interact with the variety of animal artefacts which are on display as well as discuss our successful Big-Bellied Seahorse breeding programme. This zone is located between our giant 350,000 litre Native tank and our giant 250,000 litre Coral Seas tank and so you may be asked by visitors to discuss the creatures that live in these displays.

NEW! Display cabinets packed full of weird and wonderful things


FIRST FLOOR TANKS

Bristol Aquarium is home to two giant displays showcasing two different aquatic environments. We have a 350,000 litre cold-water tank home to a range of native sharks, rays and fish including Common Smooth Hound Sharks, Starry Smooth Hound Sharks, Bull Huss Sharks, Sea Bream and Sea Bass. There will be opportunities to talk to our visitors about species that they never knew visited our shores. Also in this area are native curled octopus, common octopus, wolf fish, lumpsuckers, anemones, shoaling fish and crabs.

We also have a 250,000 litre warm-water tank home to tropical sharks and reef fish including a Leopard shark, Epaulette shark, Banded Bamboo shark, pufferfish, tangs, our Honeycomb Moray Eels and many more colourful tropical fish. There will be opportunities to talk to our visitors about all of the different animals who inhabit the coral reef. Also in this area are Red-Bellied Piranhas, Archer Fish, frogs and tarantula.

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HOW TO APPLY
To apply for a place on our SCOOBA volunteering team please download and complete the short application form below and send this along with your CV and a short covering letter outlining why you would like to volunteer with us to [email protected]

If we think that you may be a good fit for our team we will invite you to the aquarium for an interview to discuss the programme in further detail and to find out if you are a suitable candidate for the team.

Volunteer Application Form