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Junior Specialist/Rizzo Lab

We are no longer accepting applications for this recruitment


Overview of Main duties: Support field and laboratory experiments aimed at restoring plant communities impacted by pathogens. Assist collection and analysis of plant pathogens, especially Phytophthora species, and their impacted hosts. Organize samples and data collected at multiple study sites as well as contribute to statistical analysis of these data. Isolation of pathogens from field samples and molecular identification of Phytophthora species.
This position requires a strong interest in field ecology, microbiology, and phylogenetic analysis. It includes field sampling for Phytophthora, sample processing including pathogen culturing, molecular analysis and phylogenetic analysis. The Jr Specialist will provide support in research experiments including sampling design and input on phylogenetic analysis. Engagement in research activity is an essential part of this position including tasks such as contribution to academic publications and working with the PI, greater research team, and project stakeholders to discuss current and future research directions. Contribute to the drafting/editing of manuscripts, grant proposals, research reports and summarization of data collection to produce academic publications for peer reviewed journals. Contribute to drafting analysis for presentations at professional conferences. Work with undergraduate students and other lab staff including assisting with maintaining laboratory safety standards.
Specific Responsibilities
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 collection and identification of plant pathogens, especially Phytophthora species, for publication in peer reviewed journals.
• Assist the PI in development and establishment of experiments to identify and analyze Phytophthora species complexes including associated data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and contribution to resulting reports, outreach articles, and scholarly manuscripts for peer reviewed journals.
• 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 using on-line and hardcopy university resources.
• Present research at statewide specialized meetings on forest pathogens and national meetings (e.g., Sudden Oak Death Science Symposium). Presentations will be delivered in poster and/or oral presentation formats depending on the meeting and the state of research progress. The incumbent will encouraged and mentored to develop presentation abilities through laboratory meetings, 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 efforts led 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.
Professional Competence:
• The incumbent will present outreach research for local stakeholder groups, regional meetings, and appropriate national meetings. Presentations will be delivered in poster and/or oral presentation formats.
• The incumbent will be encouraged to have membership with the American Phytopathological Society or similar professional society.
University and Public Service
• The incumbent will work with University Extension technicians and researchers to communicate research findings by attending informal meetings and provide summarized unpublished research results as appropriate.
• The incumbent will work with department-wide safety officers to assist in dissemination of new laboratory and/or departmental safety policies. This will include involvement in the Plant Pathology Department Safety Committee should a vacancy on the committee occur.
• As a public service, the incumbent will also be encouraged to deliver oral presentations at public events, such as those held by local conservation organizations, tribal groups, and state or federal agency working groups.

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.

*This position requires at least a Baccalaureate or similar degree in Plant Pathology, or related discipline. 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)**

Hours: 40 hours per week
Location: UC Davis campus

Job location

Davis, CA


Document requirements
  • 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 for guidelines about writing a diversity statement and why one is requested.

Reference requirements
  • 3-5 required (contact information only)