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Junior Specialist / Vannette Lab

Recruitment Period

Open date: August 19th, 2019
Last review date: Tuesday, Sep 3, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: Thursday, Oct 31, 2019 at 11:59pm (Pacific Time)
Applications will continue to be accepted until this date, but those received after the review date will only be considered if the position has not yet been filled.


Junior Specialist Position: Pollination and Floral Chemistry in the Vannette Lab, Department of Entomology and Nematology, UC Davis

The position of Specialist has a narrow focus in a specialized area and provides technical or specialized expertise (e.g., with instrumentation and research equipment or with social science research methods) in the planning and execution of a research project. The Specialist stays apprised of emerging issues and problems and maintains technical competence in the designated area(s) of specialization. Within this defined area and when appropriate, the Specialist is expected to provide leadership, provide creative input and intellectual independence to develop research ideas, prepare scholarly manuscripts, facilitate teamwork and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to supply input into the planning of research and educational programs. Normally, Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status but may obtain permission by exception and/or collaborate with a PI in preparing research proposals for extramural funding. The Specialist is evaluated for merit and promotion using three basic criteria outlined below.

Overview: The Vannette Lab will conduct research in chemical ecology of plant-pollinator-microbe interactions. The junior specialist will assist the Principal Investigator and a Postdoctoral Researcher in a collaborative research effort that includes both microbial ecology (culture-based methods) and chemical ecology to address basic and applied questions in pollination ecology and the chemistry that underlies it. Primary duties will involve sample collection, preparation and analysis using HPLC and MALDI-TOF (training provided). Additional duties will involve media preparation, microbial culture, and data processing, analysis and field work, including floral observations and pollinator counts. The incumbent will have opportunities to develop presentation abilities in laboratory meetings and the department Insect Ecology meeting and other on-campus events.

Research (70%): The incumbent of this position will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities through the following roles and duties:

  • Lead sample collection, preparation and analysis using HPLC and appropriate detection methods (under supervision by the PI).
  • Assist the PI and postdoc in microbial culture, including media preparation, subculture, and microbial identification (e.g. PCR and other molecular techniques).
  • Assist the PI in development and establishment of field flower sampling, data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and contribution to resulting reports and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals.
  • Independently develop and conduct laboratory analyses for microbial growth assays
  • Assist in manuscript preparation, including but not limited to: reading scholarly literature, writing methods and results sections, and revising manuscripts based on work conducted in the laboratory.
  • Assist the PI in development of grant proposals based on preliminary data collected in previous studies conducted by the incumbent, including development of project objectives, experimental methods and project background information.

Professional competence (20%):

  • The incumbent will present research findings at statewide research meetings and national meetings depending, delivered in poster or oral presentation formats.
  • The incumbent will be encouraged to read appropriate literature and discuss during laboratory meetings.
  • The incumbent will be encouraged to have membership with appropriate societies and participate in appropriate meetings and groups on-campus (e.g. JGI plant-microbe meetings).

University and Public Service (10%)

  • Participation in outreach activities, including Biodiversity day and growers days, will be encouraged.
  • As a full time lab member, this position includes responsibility for maintaining safety standards and meeting regulatory requirements, staff training and management (undergraduate student technicians), and general laboratory management.


  • Baccalaureate degree (or equivalent degree) in Entomology, Biochemistry, Ecology, Plant Sciences, or a related discipline.


  • Experience in research in specialized areas including microbial culture work, plant-pollinator interactions, HPLC experience, experience with MALDI-TOF experience in lab operations.
  • Training for the techniques above will be provided by the PI and postdoc, but familiarity with some of the techniques would be helpful.

NOTE: The junior specialist rank is an entry level position; accordingly, it is inappropriate to hire applicants with advanced degrees in this field, or those with bachelor’s degrees and three years’ relevant work experience. (See APM-UCD 330)

SALARY RANGE: Step I - $39,500 annually

The University of California, Davis, is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer with a strong institutional commitment to the development of a climate that supports equality of opportunity and respect for differences. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, age or protected veteran status. For the complete University of California nondiscrimination and affirmative action policy see:

2019 Forbes Award: Best Employers for Diversity 2019 Forbes Award: America

Job location

Davis, CA


Document requirements
  • Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion - Contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit for guidelines about writing a statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 2-3 letters of reference required