The position of 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 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 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.
Under the direction of the project PI, the Assistant Specialist will carry out molecular biology research in almond breeding. The goal of the project is to assist in the testing and development of molecular markers for a number of economically important industry traits. The Assistant Specialist will work directly with PI, post-doc, graduate students, field crew, and the Almond Board of California; will stay apprised of emerging problems; and will maintain technical competence through lab work, field work, and with data curation. They will actively contribute to the advancement of parent and offspring selection in the breeding program and be involved in publishable material.
Normally, Specialists do not have Principal Investigator (PI) status but may obtain permission by exception and/or collaborate with a PI in preparing research proposals for extramural funding. The Specialist is evaluated for merit and promotion using three basic criteria outlined below.
MAJOR RESPONSIBILITIES AND DESIGNATED AREAS OF EXPERTISE Research (90%) A. Under the direction the PI, the Specialist will organize, coordinate and carry out molecular biology lab research including ordering any necessary supplies needed for research. Lab research will include PCR, DNA library preps, DNA extraction and quantification working with the PI to publish data as a co-author. Specialist will also participate in GPS/GIS field mapping and cataloging of seedling trees in the almond breeding program. Evaluation of performance in research to the project in specialized areas, as documented by any of the following:
Contribute to, and gain authorship on, peer-reviewed publications through data acquisition, interpretation, and writing.
Present research findings through presentations, reports, and/or posters at local or regional meetings with Almond Board and farm advisors, Annual Almond Conference, UC Davis Plant Science Symposium or Plant Breeding Retreat.
Actively disseminate information about molecular breeding in almond through lab tours, presentations, and by training visiting scientists and student interns, industry and extension personnel.
B. Serve as a research coordinator to conduct lab activities as well as field collection data conducted by PI in the department, as resources permit. Responsible for ensuring uninterrupted communication between individual laboratories, data management and preparation of reports tailored to meet the needs of the requesting individual(s). The Specialist will be expected to contribute materially to the collection and management of yearly data for fruit and nut quality, well as to conduct statistical analysis and interpretation of the data.
Professional competence and activity (5%) A. Attend seminars on topics related to fields of interest including quantitative genetics, plant breeding and genomic technologies. B. Participate in genetics training programs to enhance knowledge and skills.
University and Public Service (5%) A. May maintain liaison and respond to the needs of the Almond Board of California. B. Give presentations to undergraduate and graduate students, and provide training and oversight to visiting scientists or students.
QUALIFICATIONS: A master's degree (or equivalent degree) in Horticulture, Genetics, Plant Biology or related field or five years of experience demonstrating expertise in laboratory experience performing RNA (Purelink) and DNA extractions (Omega Biotek kits) in plates and quantification (Qubit and Experion bioanalyzer) and KASP genotyping with molecular markers. Experience based qualification requires a Bachelor's degree.
Preferred qualifications: Ability to harvest plant materials independently At least 1 year of experience using R statistical software At least 1 year of experience with building and maintaining databases At least 1 year of experience with using GPS and GIS platforms At least 2 years of experience taking post-harvest measurements for fruit firmness, color and size
TERM: One year appointment with the possibility of extension depending on funding and performance.
SALARY: Salary will be commensurate with experience.
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.