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Schedule and conduct specific routine seed health assays, as assigned. Set up, perform and evaluate specific tests. Record and enter data. Isolate and store plant pathogens and perform cleanup duties. Assist in other pathology activities, as requested.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES*:
- Conduct routine seed health assays including test application, materials preparation and cleanup. Evaluate specific tests and record test data. Assay methods include extraction of pathogens from seed, liquid plating seed wash, ELISA, PCR, blotter assay, grow-out and other seed health testing procedures.
- Conduct greenhouse bioassays for determining virulence of bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens, including host propagation, inoculation, evaluation and data recording.
- Enter submitted seed samples into the LIMS database and Pathology ACCESS databases and assist with the scheduling of specific routine seed health tests. Perform basic computer station work that may involve sample entry, data entry, data retrieval and word processing.
- Isolate and culture plant pathogens, help maintain the culture collection, prepare media, buffers, and other reagents used in plant pathology activities.
- Assists in research and development projects in seed health, seed production and breeding support, as requested.
- Assists in daily supervision and training of personnel such as temporary staff, trainees and interns.
- Other duties as assigned.
- Basic knowledge of chemistry, math and biology.
- Good oral and written communication skills and good organizational skills.
- Ability to develop excellent laboratory skills in microbiology and chemistry.
- Ability to quickly adapt and be receptive to changing work demands, techniques, and/or approaches.
- Able to do accurate and detailed work under time constraints and deadlines, and able to adjust to seasonal surges in workload.
- Ability to do routine and repetitious work for several hours in the laboratory or greenhouse.
- Ability to work both independently and in a team.
- Accuracy, efficiency, good dexterity and visual acuity are critical.
- Competency in data management and use of computer applications.
- Willingness to take on a wide variety of tasks and duties.
- Able to train and lead personnel in specified technical applications.
- Bachelor’s degree in microbiology, biology or related field. Associate degree with demonstrated competence may substitute for the bachelor’s degree.
EXPERIENCE AND BACKGROUND:
- No direct work experience required, but background or experience in a laboratory setting in the biological sciences or related field desirable.
WORKING CONDITIONS/PHYSICAL DEMANDS:
- Must be willing to work overtime hours, including some weekends and holidays, as requested.
- Must be able to work with laboratory chemicals, pesticides and other possibly irritating substances.
- Must be able to wear personal protective equipment (e.g., gloves, respirator, and lab coat) when necessary and/or required.
- Must be able to stand, sit and/or bend for several hours at a time.
- Must be able to do some lifting of lightweight (< 50 lbs.) items.
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