NATURE AND PURPOSE The position of Jr. 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 Jr. 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 Jr. Specialist is expected to provide leadership, facilitate teamwork and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to supply input into the planning of research and educational programs. Jr. Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status.
This position will be involved in interdisciplinary research projects studies focusing on questions in microbiology, veterinary epidemiology, food safety, animal health and laboratory methods. It will be necessary to occasionally work odd hours as necessary to conduct farm visits and meet deadlines. 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.
MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES AND DESIGNATED AREAS OF EXPERTISE I. RESEARCH IN SPECIALIZED AREAS (80% EFFORT) This position requires organizational, technical, and research assistance to Dr. Richard Pereira's research lab in the Department of Population Health and Reproduction. The Pereira lab is focused on animal health, antimicrobial resistance, and sustainable herd practices for dairy cattle. This research has impacts both for supporting sustainable dairy production systems, animal health and wellbeing, and a safe food production system. The Junior Specialist will be required to coordinate, conduct, and oversee field research conducted at commercial dairy herds in California. This requires resourcefulness, quick problem-solving skills, animal handling skills, communication skills and mechanical skills, as well as knowledge of dairy production systems. Additionally, responsibilities will include conducting surveys, delivering training materials to farm workers, field collection of samples, processing of samples, and conducting microbiological and molecular laboratory activities. Reporting research developments, study progress, and summarizing and interpreting data to graduate students, sponsors, and PI. Assisting in field and laboratory data collection and assist in preparing manuscripts for publication and presentations. The Junior Specialist will also take a lead in managing laboratory training and record keeping, as well as keep records and inventory up to date for laboratory inspections. Other responsibilities will include project management and lab maintenance including purchases, preparation of material for field activities, inventory reports and sampling, organization of lab storage facilities, clerical work, and shipping of samples. The Jr. Specialist will be expected to assist in any ongoing research trials the lab is conducting. The ideal candidate will have good communication skills, good animal handling skills, particularly with dairy cattle, experience with conducting microbiological work, including plating samples (e.g. fecal) for isolation of bacteria, conducting antimicrobial susceptibility testing, processing samples for DNA extraction and submission for sequencing. It is also expected this person will have good problem solving skills, and the ability to work independently. Perform laboratory activities including organization, development of microbiological and molecular protocols, and protocol troubleshooting. Laboratory testing such as traditional microbiological culture and PCR testing. Process environmental and animal samples (e.g., fecal samples, manure, soil, water, produce, etc.). from field projects, detection of foodborne pathogens (e.g., Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli, Campylobacter) and indicator bacteria using standard microbiological and molecular procedures. Mentor undergraduate students working in the laboratory. Communicate with stakeholders and participating clientele/farmers. Create and maintain databases of data from research projects. Conduct statistical analyses and summarize the findings in progress reports, manuscripts, and grants. Ability to drive using research vehicle to farms and independently collect samples, conduct surveys, and other needed communications. Other responsibilities include:
Coordination and planning of research projects, which includes field and laboratory work, manuscript and grant writing.
Research activities including collaborate/assist the PI and/or Post-doctoral researcher with study design, implement and conduct research on pre-harvest in farm environment. Coordinate with collaborative stakeholders (e.g., farmers, ranchers and other industry and governmental partners) the implementation of field work, sampling of biological samples and summarize research findings.
Perform laboratory activities including organization, development of microbiological and molecular protocols, and protocol troubleshooting. Laboratory testing such as traditional microbiological culture and PCR testing. Process environmental and animal samples (e.g., fecal samples, manure, soil, water, produce, etc.) from field projects, detection of foodborne and livestock animal pathogens (e.g., Salmonella, E. coli, Manhemia sp, Pasteurella sp) and indicator bacteria using standard microbiological and molecular procedures. Mentor undergraduate students working in the laboratory.
Communicate with stakeholders and participating clientele/farmers. Create and maintain databases of data from research projects. Conduct statistical analyses and summarize the findings in progress reports, manuscripts and grants. Participate in writing and publication of manuscripts in collaboration with the PI and/or the Post-doctoral researcher.
II. PROFESSIONAL COMPETENCE AND ACTIVITY (10% EFFORT) Summarize and present findings in internal lab meetings and stakeholder meetings.
III. UNIVERSITY AND PUBLIC SERVICE (10% EFFORT)
Other responsibilities include: Provide general laboratory procedures training to staff, students, and visiting researchers, sterilize equipment and supplies using an autoclave, assist in data entry, maintain complete and detailed records of all experiments conducted, and work with hazardous equipment such as centrifuges, autoclaves.
University and Public Service: The Junior Specialist will participate in training activities with the lab.
Bachelor's degree in Animal Science or related field.
UC Davis is the home of the Aggies — go-getters, change makers and problem solvers who make their mark at one of the top public universities in the United States. Since we first opened in 1908, we’ve been known for standout academics, sustainability and Aggie Pride as well as valuing the Northern California lifestyle. These themes are woven into our 100-plus-year history and our reputation for solving problems related to food, health, the environment and society.Our 5,300-acre campus is in the city of Davis, a vibrant college town of about 68,000 located in Yolo County. The state capital is 20 minutes away, and world-class destinations such as the San Francisco Bay Area, Lake Tahoe and the Napa Valley are within a two-hour drive.