Plant Pathology Research Associate
(Grant Researcher II)
School of Natural Sciences
A full time (40 hrs/week) benefited position. Renewed annually depending upon continued grant funding.
The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is a non-profit institution that is related and affiliated to the California State University, Monterey Bay. The Corporation is a nonprofit 501(c) (3) public benefit corporation that is a recognized auxiliary organization of California State University and was established in July 1994. The Corporation’s mission is to further the educational purposes of the University. The University Corporation’s mission is to further the educational purposes of the University. The University Corporation at Monterey Bay is an equal opportunity employer and committed to building a pluralistic university by hiring personnel with competencies and experience related to the regional and State population. The Corporation is committed to a standard of excellence in the services it provides and in the quality of work expected of its employees.
California State University Monterey Bay invites applications for a Plant Pathology Research Associate position. This position is located in Seaside CA, very near large agricultural production centers for specialty crops (i.e. Salinas Valley) and has a Mediterranean type climate. Seaside is approximately 100 miles from south of San Francisco with extremely close proximity to Monterey Bay and Big Sur.
Selectee will conduct research to identify and develop molecular diagnostic techniques for an important soilborne pathogen of avocado and blueberry to investigate Phytophthora cinnamomi. Furthermore, this position would also involve molecular detection techniques for downy mildew species in detection of fungicide resistance. The focus will be on the development of rapid, field portable assays and assays which are highly sensitive and useful for quantifying particular pathogens. The laboratory has strong collaborations with USDA-ARS researchers in Salinas and has access to significant genomic information that will be relevant for this project. Also the laboratory has significant resources available to accomplish this project including real-time PCR machines and access to a Digital Droplet PCR machine. There are a number of other research programs ongoing in the lab that tie in wit this project and will provide an opportunity for additional collaborations.
Please visit the CSUMB’s Plant Pathology Laboratory website for more details sep.csumb.edu/staff/tim/index.html
Recent publication related to this work include:
Miles et al. 2015. Development of rapid isothermal amplification assays for detection of Phytophthora species in plant tissue. Phytopathology 105:265-278.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Develop molecular biology assays to detect the important plant pathogens (e.g. P. cinnamomi)
- Sample various agricultural fields for Phytophthora species throughout the state of CA
- Conduct technology transfer with researchers at UC-Riverside
- Manage undergraduate research in the laboratory relating to these projects
- Develop molecular tools to detect fungicide resistant genotypes of downy mildew species
- Validate these assays and draft protocols to share with collaborating researchers.
- Draft scientific research manuscripts, in accordance with project specifications, worthy of peer-review publications.
- Assist in preparation of detailed and accurate scientific reports.
- Foster and maintain collaborative links with local groups and individuals, including growers and agricultural companies, resource management agencies, research organizations, and the community in general.
- Participate in the development of grant proposals.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
- Attend workshops, and conferences related to the project
- Aids in mentoring undergraduate research in the laboratory and helps facilitate the publication of their work.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES:
The selectee should have a significant background in plant pathology, molecular biology, microbiology, plant breeding, plant physiology, biological sciences or a related field. Required experience would include the development of molecular biology assays (primer design, assay verification and trouble shooting) and could include conventional PCR, real-time PCR or isothermal amplification. Knowledge of current methods and techniques used in plant pathology, mycology, genomic studies, Illumina sequencing, genetics and or blueberry/avocado/leafy greens research is preferred but not required.
SALARY AND BENEFITS:
The monthly range for this position is $4,167-$5,000 commensurate with education and experience. This is an exempt position and as such is not eligible for the overtime provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Benefits include medical, dental, vision and life insurance benefits, contributory retirement plan, TSA (403b), 13 paid holidays per year and other benefits. University Corporation at Monterey Bay positions are at-will employment
PHYSICAL WORK ENVIRONMENT:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
Laboratory research for molecular biology assay development will be primarily confined to Chapman but will also require trips to local research stations (~20 minute drive) to conduct some experiments. Field research environment in agricultural settings in the Salinas and San Joaquin Valleys and the Santa Barbara area, as well as standard research environment with standard equipment and tasks. Position is required to work in the field as well as at a computer/video display terminal and desk for extended periods of time. Will require travel to off-campus locations for field research for extended time period. This position also requires sitting, standing, bending, pushing, pulling, talking and using manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination and general pipetting skills.
Please complete the required on-line Corporation application at https://csumb.peopleadmin.com. A completed on-line Corporation application must be received in the Human Resources Office by the priority screening date to be guaranteed a review. Applications received after the initial screen date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University.