The primary purpose of this position in the Department of Biology is to conduct research on plant disease ecology (plant-pathogen interactions). The position's incumbent will assist other researchers in conducting experiments and managing the lab and its day-to-day activities. Following established procedures, they will oversee the procurement and maintenance of laboratory resources (e.g. study organisms, equipment, supplies). They will train all lab researchers in safety procedures. Following established procedures, they will be responsible for sampling populations of organisms in the field to obtain samples for laboratory analyses including diagnostic testing. Following established procedures, they will be responsible for diagnostic testing of plants for infection by fungi. They will manage temporary and work-study research assistants. The successful applicant will join a dynamic, collaborative and successful research group. They will work closely with post-doctoral researchers, PhD students, and undergraduate researchers as well as the PI. They will also be supported by the PI in developing and achieving their long-term career goals, whatever those may be.
Education and Experience:
Demonstrated possession of the competencies necessary to perform the work.
Knowledge – Technical- This position requires the ability to follow established field biological procedures, including establishment of nested plots, establishment of transects, and randomized sampling of organisms within plots and transects. Knowledge of established laboratory procedures, including nucleic acid extraction, PCR, and gel electrophoresis, which will be used to test plants for microbial infections and determine diagnosis. Ability to follow the basic principles of experimental design including replication, randomization, and control. Ability to determine which samples to test. Ability to use computer programs to check and prepare biological data for statistical analysis. Ability to update lab protocols as necessary for future reference by laboratory researchers. Ability to follow UNC's rules for laboratory safety. Skill in operating scientific equipment. Ability to stay current with developments and trends in equipment availability.
Operations – Research Support- This position requires the ability to coordinate multiple concurrent research projects. Ability to coordinate logistics of sample collection and diagnostic testing across multiple days at multiple sites within the state of North Carolina. Ability to plan and document resources (equipment, supplies, and undergraduate research assistants) needed to conduct experiments. Ability to maintain shared laboratory resources, including the ability to perform or obtain regular servicing of scientific equipment or monitor the progress of repairs to scientific equipment. Capacity to coordinate the usage of lab space, equipment, and supplies by all lab researchers. Capacity to train all laboratory personnel in required safety procedures. Ability to recruit, hire, and term temporary and work-study research assistants. Capacity to supervise research assistants, including timecard management and scheduling. Ability to train research assistants in the scientific procedures required for their work, and to provide feedback on their work.
Data Collection- This position requires the ability to collect and document data according to established protocols. Ability to monitor all data produced for quality. Capacity to suggest improvements to diagnostic and other protocols to maintain high quality. Ability to communicate the results of each experiment in graphical form with verbal summary and interpretation.
Laboratory/Subject Care- This position requires the ability to follow established procedures required for production of laboratory organisms (plant propagation and culturing of fungi). Must have the ability to maintain optimal conditions for study. Willingness to acquire a North Carolina pesticide applicator's certification.
Bachelor's degree in a discipline related to the area of assignment. All degrees must be received from appropriately accredited institutions. Experience using sterile technique to culture fungi or other microbes is preferred. Experience working with others in both a laboratory setting and a field setting, and coordinating information among different lab groups is also preferred.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.
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