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Junior Specialist/Falk Lab

Recruitment Period

Open date: November 26th, 2018
Last review date: December 10th, 2018
Applications received after this date will be reviewed by the search committee if the position has not yet been filled.
Final date: January 4th, 2019
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.


We are seeking a motivated Junior Specialist in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California Davis.
Research (80%):
The incumbent of this position will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities through the following roles and duties:
• Assist the Lab Manager, postdocs and graduate students with research on viruses affecting cucurbits and Asian citrus psyllids (ACP). Maintain viruses and plants in the UC Davis Contained Research Facility, a Biosafety 3P – shower out facility. Take responsibility for research reports and preparation of outreach articles for trade journals and first reports for publication in peer reviewed journals.
• Assist the Lab Manager, postdocs and graduate students with greenhouse trials on Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum (experimental design, study set up), data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and contribution to resulting reports to funding agencies.
• Independently conduct laboratory and greenhouse trials to test hypotheses relating to host range and seed transmission of cucurbit tobamoviruses. Assess host plant 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.
• Independently manage colonies of the potato psyllid (Bactericera cockerelli) for use in bioassays with Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum and tomato plants. Evaluate potential inhibitors on Candidatus Liberibacter solanacearum titer in plants by performing quantitative qPCR assays. Keep accurate records of lab and greenhouse activities for funding reports.

• 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, meetings with funding agency, regional plant pathology meetings (eg. 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 with the 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.
Professional Competence (10%):
• The incumbent will present research at both statewide outreach meetings, regional plant pathology meetings and national meetings. 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, acific Division and national.
Preferred qualifications
• Experience with nucleic acid extraction, PCR, agarose gel electrophoresis
• Experience with computer programs for the analysis of nucleic acid sequences (e.g. Mega 7, Snapgene, Geneious, etc.)
• Ability to care for plants and attention to detail with regards to record keeping
University and Public Service (10%)

• 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 Food and Agriculture

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)

How to apply

  1. Create an ApplicantID
  2. Provide required information and documents
  3. If any, provide required reference information
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