Position Description:We are seeking a motivated Junior Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California Davis, to help conduct etiological and applied ecological research to more effectively co-manage diseases, water use and soil health as interacting components in agricultural systems. Current projects include characterizing new bacterial and fungal pathogens present in California crops, evaluating the role of cryptic hosts in promoting long-term pathogen survival and managing disease risks associated with deficit irrigation methods and use of poor quality groundwater. Additional information can be found at: http://swettlab.faculty.ucdavis.edu/research/.
Applicants are expected have an interest in disease diagnosis, microbiology, pathogen ecology, or a related field. The incumbent must be a motivated, organized, independently driven individual who is able to work and collaborate with members of the lab in a professional manner. She/he must therefore have excellent organization skills, including abilities for short term and long term time management. As the major contributor to research studies, the incumbent expected to contribute to scholarly manuscripts, outreach publications and reports, and present work at local, statewide and national meetings. Work will be conducted in the lab, in campus greenhouses, field research stations on and off campus, and on tomato, rice, lettuce, and melon farms (among other crops) throughout California.
The incumbent of this position will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities through the following roles and duties:
• Assist the PI in discovery and documentation of new pathogens through analyses of unknown diseases present in vegetable and field crops in California, pathogen characterization (molecular identification and koch’s postulates) and preparation of outreach articles for trade journals and first reports for publication in peer reviewed journals.
• Assist the PI in development and establishment of field and greenhouse trials (experimental design, study set up), data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and contribution to resulting reports, outreach articles for trade journals, and scholarly manuscripts for peer reviewed journals.
• Independently develop and conduct laboratory and greenhouse trials to test hypotheses relating to fungal pathogen ecology and management (analysis of management strategies, pathogen-host-environment interactions) through design, study installation, data collection and analysis, and preparation of scholarly manuscripts and reports—either relevant sections, or entire manuscripts, based on the extent of the contribution.
• Project development will involve active engagement of literature in project development and interpretation beyond that expected in a purely technical capacity, including use of literature for hypothesis development, development of literature reviews, development and optimization of protocols and analytical methods, and development of introductory and discussion material in the preparation of manuscripts and reports. Some literature will be provided (books, articles), but it is expected that the incumbent will conduct literature searches to identify additional materials.
• Present research at both statewide outreach meetings, regional plant pathology meetings (eg. Soil Borne Pathogens Conference, American Pathological Society, Pacific Division) and national meetings (eg. American Pathological Society Annual Meeting). Presentations will be delivered in poster and oral presentation formats. The incumbent will have opportunities to develop presentation abilities in laboratory meetings and the UC Davis plant pathology department retreat and other local (on-campus) events.
• 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.
• 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.
• The incumbent will present research at both statewide outreach meetings, regional plant pathology meetings (eg. Soil Borne Pathogens Conference, American Pathological Society, Pacific Division) and national meetings (eg. American Pathological Society Annual Meeting). Presentations will be delivered in poster and oral presentation formats. The incumbent will have opportunities to develop presentation abilities in laboratory meetings and the UC Davis plant pathology department retreat and other local (on-campus) events.
• The incumbent will be encouraged to have membership with the American Phytopathological Society, Pacific Division and national.
University and Public Service
• As part of UC service and service to the public, the incumbent were help serve critical disease diagnosis needs for crop producers as well as for research scientist at UC Davis, and within UC cooperative extension. These diagnosis services are conducted free of charge, representing a significant service to the agricultural producers research community.
• As a component of university service, the incumbent will also be asked to serve on one or more department committees, such as the Department Safety Committee or the Facilities Committee.
• As a public service, the incumbent will also be encouraged to deliver oral presentations at public events, such as those held by California Department of Water Resources and Sonoma County Mycological Association meetings.
• She/he is also encouraged to participate in public disease diagnosis clinics run by UC Davis—this is a public diagnostic service for the community, held at the UC Davis Arboretum Plant Sales.
Requirements and preferences
• This position requires at least a B.S. in Microbiology, Plant Biology, Biology, Sustainable Agriculture, Global Disease Biology, or related discipline.
• Previous research experience in a related area; minimum of one year research or clinical experience strongly preferred; experience working with bacteria, fungi, or in a clinical context highly desirable.
• Must have a valid California driver’s license, as substantial travel within California is required.
• Must also be able to lift at least 30 lbs and work out of doors under challenging environmental conditions.
• Must have basic knowledge of microbiology and culture maintenance.
• Must have basic experience with aseptic technique; experience with bacterial culture techniques preferred.
• Must have basic skills with word processing, excel and powerpoint; some experience with statistical analysis strongly preferred.
• Must have excellent written and oral communication skills, ideally with experience with both outreach and professional communication styles.
• Experience with molecular biology highly desirable.
• Must be able to minimally commit one year to this position.
• Hours: 40 hours per week
• Location: UC Davis campus
The ideal candidate will have strong interpersonal, communication, and decision-making skills; as well as the ability to work well independently and as part of a team.
UC Davis is an affirmative action/equal employment opportunity employer and is dedicated to recruiting a diverse faculty community. We welcome all qualified applicants to apply, including women, minorities, veterans and individuals with disabilities.
UC Davis is a smoke- and tobacco free-campus effective January 1, 2014. Smoking, the use of smokeless tobacco products and the use of unregulated nicotine products (e-cigarettes) will be strictly prohibited on any property owned or leased by UC Davis -- indoors and outdoors including parking lots and residential spaces.
Curriculum Vitae - Your most recently updated C.V.
Cover Letter (Optional)
Statement of Contributions to Diversity - Diversity contributions documented in the application file will be used to evaluate applicants. Visit http://academicaffairs.ucdavis.edu/diversity/equity_inclusion/index.html for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.