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Junior Specialist-Genomic Variation Lab (GVL)

Position overview

Salary range: A reasonable estimate for this position is $51,300 at Step 1 or $54,600 at Step 2

Application Window

Open date: May 13, 2024

Most recent review date: Tuesday, May 28, 2024 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: Monday, Sep 9, 2024 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.

Position description

The department of Animal Science is looking to hire 2 Junior Specialists.
This position provides technical, scientific, and organizational assistance to Dr. Mandi Finger’s research at the Genomic Variation Lab (GVL) in the Department of Animal Science, which focuses on using molecular techniques to promote the conservation of threatened and endangered fish species in California and Nevada. The research is designed to address ecological and population genetics questions using a variety of genetic techniques. The research contributes to the generation of fundamental knowledge about fish and wildlife populations of interest. Many projects at the GVL also aim to inform collaborating agencies of genetic information to consider when making management decisions.
Research 90%
The Junior Specialist will be required to perform diverse molecular methods, maintain accurate and organized datasets, and effectively allocate work time between diverse tasks (ability to multi-task and manage time is a must). Resourcefulness, strong attention to detail, and the ability to adapt fluidly as research projects progress will be important for success. The candidate should have an understanding of fundamental ecological concepts as well as basic genetic principles. Technical skills required include DNA extraction, PCR amplification, fragment analysis, gel electrophoresis.
The Junior Specialist will learn to analyze data according to established protocols and assist the PI in formatting data for reports. They will learn to utilize various data and statistical analysis software programs, including GeneMapper, Cervus, STRUCTURE, PmX, R, and GenAlEx. They will keep detailed laboratory notebooks documenting benchtop work and write and edit Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s). They will conduct peer-reviewed literature searches related to developing projects in the GVL and collaborate with other members of the GVL and other researchers when appropriate. They will be able to effectively communicate with a diverse array of colleagues in written and verbal form.
The Junior Specialist will assist the laboratory manager in consistent maintenance of lab equipment, and general upkeep of lab space. They will track inventory of tissue and genomic DNA samples stored in the GVL specific to the PI projects. They will help the lab manager ensure that supplies are well stocked and order supplies as needed, recording all expenses. They will keep track of chemical and safety records.
Successful candidates will have excellent written and verbal communication skills, and a desire to learn from and work with other lab members as well as project stakeholders, who will include agency biologists. Junior specialists in the GVL often move on to be successful graduate students or agency biologists and are often coauthors on contributed manuscripts.
Professional Competence 5%
The Junior Specialist will be required to contribute to scholarly manuscripts by helping to write methods sections, performing literature searches, and providing feedback on manuscript drafts. These efforts will be recognized through co-authorship.
University and Public Service 5%
The Junior Specialist will have the opportunity to mentor high school and undergraduate students. Their duties may also include instructing visiting scholars, graduate students, staff, and volunteers in laboratory procedures.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

• Bachelor’s degree in Biology, Genetics, Ecology or related field

Additional qualifications (required at time of start)

• Valid driver’s license.
• Demonstrated experience conducting scientific research including evidence of ingenuity, resourcefulness, and adaptability to special and changing needs of activities.
• Demonstrated written verbal and communication skills, including scientific writing at the undergraduate level and email communication.
• Experience with standard molecular genetics techniques (e.g. DNA extraction, PCR, qPCR, genotype scoring, electrophoresis)
• Demonstrated experience multitasking and fluidly switching between projects.
• Willingness and interest in learning new techniques.
• Must speak and write fluent English.
• Demonstrated computer skills in word processing, data analysis, and statistical software: Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint) and R.
• Demonstrated interpersonal skills necessary to collaborate with and train a diverse team from different backgrounds and with varying skill levels.
• Ability to conduct library and database searches.

Preferred qualifications (other preferred, but not required, qualifications for the position)

• Ability to prepare RAD-seq or other high throughput sequencing libraries.
• Experience handling large data sets (preferably genetic data)
• Experience organizing tissue samples
• Bioinformatics skills
• Prior experience with chip-based high throughput SNP genotyping systems (Fluidigm preferred)
• 1+ years’ experience with all tasks described here within.

Application Requirements

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

  • Cover Letter

  • Statement of Research (Optional)

  • Statement of Teaching (Optional)

  • 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
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)
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Job location

Davis, CA