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Research Assistant (Fixed Term)


We are looking for a Research Assistant for our exciting research project to study Antarctic snow algae communities. You will join and support our team who is studying the genomic and metabolomic composition of the field communities collected from our recent research expeditions to Antarctica. Your contribution to the project will be to isolate and culture field-collected polar algae for laboratory and pilot plant experiments, extract RNA and DNA from the field and laboratory grown samples for subsequent genomic (PCR, metabarcoding) analysis, and to extract metabolites for analysis by HPLC-MS and GC-MS. You will also support the project by maintaining and ordering equipment and materials. You will have experience with handling micro-organisms and/or expedition planning, and have excellent record-keeping and data input skills. You will also have the opportunity to give presentations and contribute to meetings within the group, at BAS HQ and at other meetings in the UK and internationally.

Snow algae live on snow fields in the Arctic and Antarctica, and may well be the most abundant primary producers in these regions. Despite their ecological importance however, our knowledge of their distribution and growth habits is limited to a few locations. This project will use remote satellite imagery, coupled with measurements in the field (ground-truthing), to estimate the area and biomass contributed by snow algae in several Antarctic locations. It will also carry out a detailed study of the genetic variation of these algae, and the composition of bacteria and other organisms found associated with snow algal communities. The project, funded by the Leverhulme Trust, has two complementary objectives: 1. to estimate the large-scale biogeographic distribution of snow algae, using satellite remote sensing, and by field biomass and carbon sequestration measurements; and 2. to determine the patterns of genetic and metabolic diversity in native communities of snow algae. Objective 1 will allow us to provide a first estimate of the overall contribution of snow algae to the carbon budget in regions of Antarctica, whilst Objective 2 will demonstrate the extent of endemism, and determine whether community composition affects the productivity of snow algae.

It is essential that you a degree (BSc or MSc) in a relevant subject (Biological Sciences, Biotechnology), have experience of working within a plant laboratory environment and ability to work safely in a team and individually with good laboratory management and record keeping skills.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for up to 2 years. If you start after 31st July 2018 your contract end date will be 31 July 2020.

To apply online for this vacancy, please click on the 'Apply' button below. This will route you to the University's Web Recruitment System, where you will need to register an account (if you have not already) and log in before completing the online application form.

Please note if you have not received any news from us 1 month after the closing date you should consider that on this occasion your application has been unsuccessful.

For further information please contact Dr Davey mpd39@cam.ac.uk

Please quote reference PD15833 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

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Further information

Apply online