Laboratory Specialist Senior

Job description

Present Position Number:


Role Code Title:

Laboratory & Research Spec II

Position Title:

Laboratory Specialist Senior

Position Summary:

Aquatic Health Sciences at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science (VIMS) invites qualified applicants to apply for the Laboratory Research Specialist, Senior position.

The successful incumbent will support lab and field studies and undertake research activities with various pathogens of fish and shellfish using culture techniques, histological assessments, field experiments, standardized molecular assays, and other scientific procedures.

The Laboratory Specialist, Senior carries out rigorous scientific assessments of diseases and disease agents that affect shellfish, other invertebrates, and fishes. (This will include field work to obtain shellfish and fish, and routine care and maintenance of aquaria and culture systems to maintain hosts and pathogens in experiments).

Reporting to the Professor and PI, the Laboratory Specialist Senior will also undertake experiments to determine transmission of marine pathogens under strict treatment and handling protocols. Data is used in conjunction with other tests to verify the presence of disease-producing organisms within the borders of the Commonwealth and elsewhere.

Specific duties include (but not limited to):

  • Process tissues and water samples to confirm results. Assess endpoints from experimental outcomes. Maintain minimum mortalities (<5%) in control groups when appropriate.
  • Dissect, fix and process biological specimens for histology. Read histological slides for pathology or etiology studies.
  • Prepare specimens for various analytical methods including spectrophotometry, microscopy, PCR or other techniques.
  • Undertake analysis of histological, microbiological and PCR data. Write reports on findings.
  • Undertake vivarium duties as needed. Obtain requisite numbers of shellfish and fish as needed.
  • Maintain colonies of shellfish and fish in quarantine for use in experiments. Perform daily maintenance on animal colonies.

Required Qualifications:


  • Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences or related field or equivalent combination of education, with training or substantive experience directly related to this type of research.
  • Valid Driver’s license.


  • Strong skills in sound laboratory practice and sterile techniques.
  • Working knowledge of molecular, histological, and microbiological techniques.
  • Strong working knowledge and use of laboratory equipment, histology, and microscopy. Skill in conducting experiments to examine toxicity, infectivity and pathogenicity of various marine pathogens.
  • Possess the ability and willingness to work in a Biosafety Level 2 environment.
  • Demonstrated ability in handling, working and dissecting fish and shellfish, particularly crabs and lobsters.
  • Proven ability to prepare samples using various analytical methods including microscopy, PCR or other techniques, with the demonstrated skills to perform analysis of histological, microbiological and PCR data and report of findings.
  • Proficiency with MS Office (specifically Word and Excel). Strong oral and written communication skills with the demonstrated ability to work closely with colleagues in a team environment as well as working independently in a laboratory setting.
  • Must be willing to travel to field sites, conduct field work and work on boats.
  • Must be able to lift heavy objects weighing at least 50 lbs.


  • Demonstrated experience working in the biology, microbiology, chemistry or related field.
  • Demonstrated experience working in MS Word and Excel at the intermediate proficiency level.
  • Prior experience using laboratory equipment. Understand GLP.

Preferred Qualifications:

Master’s degree in Biology, Microbiology, Chemistry or Molecular Biology is preferred.


  • Knowledge of water quality measurements.
  • Strong working knowledge and proven skills in histology or tissue processing is highly desirable.
  • Demonstrated skills in animal maintenance is desirable.


  • Proven experience in PCR techniques, microscopy.
  • Experience maintaining aquaria in both small and large volumes.
  • Experience conducting analysis and reporting on findings.
  • Demonstrated experience using statistical software packages; and producing reports both narrative and with graphics is highly desirable.
  • Prior database management experience is plus.

Advertised Pay Range:

Up to $36,000, commensurate with experience.


171100 Aquatic Health Science


VIMS - Gloucester

University Salary Range:


Job Open Date:


Job Close Date:


Open Until Filled:


Employment Category:

Full Time Operational

Position Term:


Conditions of Employment::

  • This is a non-exempt position, eligible to receive overtime in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. This position may be subject to overtime during high peak times, etc. as directed and approved by the supervisor.
  • Must be able to lift heavy objects weighing at least 50lbs.
  • Ability to work in field settings.
  • Must be willing to drive to field sites and drive a VIMS/state vehicle.
  • Valid driver’s license and a satisfactory driving record.

EEO Statement:

William & Mary values diversity and invites applications from underrepresented groups who will enrich the research, teaching and service missions of the university. The university is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and encourages applications from women, minorities, protected veterans, and individuals with disabilities.

Background Check Statement:

William & Mary is committed to providing a safe campus community. W&M conducts background investigations for applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include reference checks, a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial (credit) report or driving history check.




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Job No:
Posted: 11/10/2020
Application Due: 11/24/2020
Work Type: