At the Monterey Bay Aquarium, we are passionate about creating an inclusive workplace that celebrates and values diversity. We firmly believe that having a team of diverse backgrounds and voices, working together, increases our capacity to serve our visitors and fulfill our mission. We welcome people from all walks of life into our team and strongly encourage people of color, LGBTQ+ individuals, veterans, and people with disabilities to apply.
Under limited supervision, oversee and develop the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s marine and aquatic applied microbiology and molecular biology programs. Design, schedule, perform, and communicate up-to-date regulatory-required bacterial testing for systems housing sea otters, turtles, birds, and for both internal and public dive programs. Monitor changes in USDA, AZA, FWS, and health regulations and develops new techniques and protocols accordingly. Design, execute, and publish relevant marine and fresh water microbiology and molecular biology research projects, including those related to marine microbiomes and animal health. Coordinate design and publication of relevant research projects in adjacent fields with other aquarium staff, such as animal care, education, and veterinary staff. Assist with daily laboratory tasks as needed, to include chemistry testing and instrument maintenance. Perform other duties as required.
- Design and develop relevant testing procedures/techniques for aquarium systems, animals, and environmental samples, to include use of microscopy, flow cytometry, qPCR, sequencing, particle analysis, cell cultures.
- Develop schedule and resource requirements for: regulatory bacterial quantification in sea and fresh water using IDEXX Colilert, air spore testing in service areas and public spaces, and other microbial and molecular studies.
- Publish research papers and technical reports (e.g., draft publication, incorporate data charts/analytics, coordinate peer review submission, etc.).
- Analyze data for distribution to in-house and external clients.
- Maintain current knowledge and practical understanding of regulations and recommendations for animal care and human health (including, but not limited to, those provided by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA APHIS), US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Monterey County Health Department, Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and the Regional Water Quality Control Board).
- Perform sample collection and benchtop laboratory work, including distinguishing colors for analysis and using fine hand tools.
- Write SOPs, work instructions, and experimental protocols.
- Develop proper diver protocols when it comes to water-borne bacteria, in collaboration with the collaboration with the Diving Control Board and the Dive Safety Officers.
- Provide support for other lab efforts, including chemistry testing and instrumentation maintenance.
- Train and mentor new staff and interns.
Preferred Knowledge, Skills & Abilities (KSAs):
- Master’s degree or PhD in microbiology, molecular biology, biological oceanography, microbial ecology, or related field; or equivalent combination of education, training and experience
- Five years professional experience (for M.S) or 2-3 years professional experience (for PhD) in an environmental microbiology or molecular biology lab or research setting
- Demonstrated experience in publishing research papers
- Demonstrated experience in microscopy
- Demonstrated experience in cell culture techniques
- Advanced knowledge of sterile techniques.
- Working knowledge of microbiology regulations, recommendations, and regulatory bodies as they relate to human care of marine mammals, birds, and reptiles in an aquarium or rehabilitation setting.
- Working knowledge of flow cytometry
- Ability to analyze data and prepare technical reports, evaluate technical information, understand regulatory documents and laws, problem solve, and interpret and explain technical data
- Strong communication and collaboration skills
- Practical skills in sample handling
- Ability to work within, and maintain, Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Core Values
- Demonstrated commitment to Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Leadership Competencies
Physical Requirements to Perform Essential Job Functions:
- Equipment and tools used for daily operations are laboratory tools (pipettes, spectrophotometer, etc), pullies, sample collection equipment (van dorn samplers, bottles, tubing), microscope, computer
- Reaching, pulling, using fine laboratory tools like pipettes and microscopes
- Occasional unassisted lifting up to 20 lbs
- Work is performed in animal care spaces, laboratory, service areas, mechanical rooms, outdoors, office