Research Assistant

Northampton, Massachusetts
May 30, 2017
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Research Assistant

Biodiversity of Amoebae Isolated from Freshwater and Marine Sources

Biological Sciences

Smith College

Smith College is accepting a Research Assistant: Biodiversity of Amoebae Isolated from Freshwater and Marine Sources to utilize light microscopy and molecular tools to explore biodiversity of amoebae from both freshwater and marine environments.  The work will be divided between two projects: characterizing testate amoebae from local bogs and fens and assessing diversity of amoebae in nearshore environment.  Maintain data in a well-organized database, with attention paid to details of completeness and quality, while also supporting general lab functions.


Work as member of a team to isolate amoebae from field samples, and then to quantify and photodocument diverse amoebae.  Maintain databases of collected images and maintain some cultures of amoebae.

Prepare samples for molecular analyses by isolate DNA or RNA from individual cells and community samples; conduct PCRs using taxon-specific primers and sequence resulting product; prepare samples for high throughput sequencing; work as member of team to analyzes resulting HTS data.

Laboratory management: Maintain up-to-date database of DNA/RNA sequences (quality and quantity). Oversee maintenance of stock solutions, supply ordering, etc.; Administration:  maintain budget of grant by tracking costs of supplies and equipment.


Education/Experience:  Bachelor’s degree plus one year lab and bioinformatics experience.

Skills:  Must be highly motivated to collect and catalog information on diverse amoebae.  Basic understanding of the nature of microbial diversity also essential.  Experience with basic molecular skills (e.g. DNA extraction, PCR, cloning and sequencing); knowledge of HTS sequencing; experience with bioinformatics tools (e.g. biopython, ClustalW, RaxML); basic skills in light microscopy; and experience maintaining databases. Experience with single cell sequencing methods is desirable but not required.

Review of application will begin immediately.  To be considered for this position, apply on-line at

Smith College is an EO/AA/Vet/Disability Employer

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