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Plant Biology

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Plant Biology

Life Sciences Addition
room 1002

Univ. of California, Davis
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616

(530) 752-0617

Junior Specialist Position: Plant molecular geneticist, AB Britt lab, Dept. Plant Biology, UC Davis


The position of Junior 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 Junior 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 Junior Specialist is expected to provide leadership, provide creative input and intellectual independence to develop research ideas, prepare scholarly manuscripts, facilitate teamwork and develop collaborative relationships with colleagues and to supply input into the planning of research and educational programs. 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 Junior Specialist is evaluated for merit and promotion using three basic criteria outlined below.

Overview: The Britt lab conducts research in genome editing technologies and accelerated breeding for plants. The Junior Specialist will assist the Principal Investigator in a research project involving genetic modification of protein components of the centromere- a locus on each chromosome that controls segregation during mitosis. This project uses the small plant Arabidopsis as a model system. Primary duties will involve sample collection, preparation of DNA and analysis of genotype via PCR, propagation of plants, extensive controlled crosses, phenotyping of plants, and FACS analysis of ploidy (number of sets of chromosomes per cell). Additional duties will involve media preparation and microbial culture, and data processing. The incumbent will have opportunities to develop presentation abilities in laboratory meetings and the department retreats and other on-campus events. The incumbent will also have the opportunity to mentor undergraduate interns.

Research (80%): The incumbent of this position will be actively and significantly involved in publishable research activities through the following roles and duties:

Sample collection, preparation of DNA for sequencing, analysis of genotypes via PCR and restriction digest with gel electrophoresis, and sequence analysis.

Propagation and crossing of Arabidopsis plants. It is emphasized that a substantial number of controlled crosses will be performed in order to assay the rate of haploid induction.

Propagation, crossing, and seed harvest from tomatoes. This work will take place in the greenhouse.

Record-keeping of bacterial and plant stocks

Microbial culture, including media preparation, subculture, and plasmid verification (e.g. PCR and other molecular techniques).

Data collection, data analysis and interpretation, and contribution to resulting reports and manuscripts for peer-reviewed journals.

Assist in manuscript preparation, including but not limited to: reading scholarly literature, writing methods and results sections, and revising manuscripts based on work conducted in the laboratory.

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.

Professional competence (15%):

The incumbent will present research findings in oral at lab and inter-lab meetings, and with visiting scientists. There may be opportunities for oral or poster presentations at larger meetings.

The incumbent will be encouraged to read appropriate literature and discuss during laboratory meetings.

Participation in outreach activities will be encouraged.

This position includes responsibility for maintaining safety standards and meeting regulatory requirements, staff training, and general laboratory management.

University and Public Service (5%)

The incumbent is encouraged to participate in clubs and committees that promote the research, teaching, and outreach goals of this University.

Baccalaureate degree (or equivalent degree) in Genetics, Plant Biology, or a related discipline. PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

Experience in DNA isolation, PCR, gel electrophoresis of DNA, analysis of sequence data via Snapgene or a similar program, Mendelian genetics, and crossing/propagation of Arabidopsis and tomato.

Training for the techniques/background above can be provided, but familiarity and experience with techniques, as applied to Arabidopsis and tomato, is desirable. An understanding of the molecular biology of centromeres/kinetochores in plants is also helpful.

To apply:
Qualified applicants should upload all materials via the web-based online submission system ( Required materials include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, 3 references, and a statement of contributions to Diversity. The deadline for full consideration is Nov. 4, 2019

Please direct questions to Dr. Anne Britt,

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