We are searching for a motivated research to join our lab as a junior specialist.

For more information, see below:

Basic qualifications:

  • BS in microbiology, molecular biology, or other related field
  • Experience in microbiological research
  • Experience in basic laboratory practices including sterile technique, serial dilutions, plating, pipetting, etc.
  • Excellent communication and organizational skills

Preferred qualifications:

  • Knowledge of plating methods for propagation, enumeration and isolation of bacterial species
  • Experience in environmental DNA extractions and PCR
  • Experience using PCR and quantitative real-time PCR
  • Species identification by the analysis of 16S rRNA gene sequences (bacteria)
  • Identification of bacteria in mixed communities (high-throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatics)
  • Protein analysis by Western blot
  • Comfortable working with biological human and animal samples.


The position of Junior Specialist provides technical or specialized expertise in the planning and execution of a research project. The Junior Specialist stays apprised of the research area and maintains technical competence in the designated area(s) of specialization. We are seeking a Junior Specialist to join our research team studying food and gut microbiomes. Our team is interested in understanding the relationships between microbes in foods that impact food quality and taste. We are also investigating the relationships between microbes in the mammalian digestive tract, including those microbes ingested in foods and beverages. Specifically, our research focuses on fundamental biology of microbial interactions with each other and their environments. Outcomes of our research includes improvements in food processing methods and methods to improve gut health through nutritional and other approaches. The role of this position is to provide specialized expertise in microbiology and molecular biology for the lab of Prof. Maria Marco at UC Davis. The Junior Specialist is to be actively and significantly engaged in research involving several projects on foods (dairy foods, fermented foods) and gut microbiomes (human and animal). This research may also use animal and cell culture models to understand the ecological fitness of potential probiotics and their interaction with the gut microbial communities and the host. The Junior Specialist will have the opportunity to have creative input into the design of and selection of experiments to meet the study objectives. The Junior Specialist will be expected to analyze and interpret data he/she collects and then, through critical thinking, propose next steps (experiments) to be discussed with the PI. The incumbent will contribute significantly to the advancement of the projects, and creatively contribute proposals of experimental steps that result from research findings. These activities may lead to manuscripts published in peer-reviewed microbiology journals. This is an inherently creative process that requires good to excellent experience of the field and appropriate research literature. As the Junior Specialist will be consulted during study design, candidates are expected to have previous experience in microbiology or molecular biology with basic microbiological and laboratory practices including sterile technique, serial dilutions, plating, pipetting. Preferred qualifications include plating methods for propagation, enumeration and isolation of bacterial species, DNA extractions from feces and other environmental samples, PCR, qPCR, high-throughput DNA sequencing and bioinformatics analysis, eukaryotic cell culture techniques, and Western blotting. The successful candidate needs to have excellent communication and organizational skills. The candidate should be able to work independently after initial training, be meticulous and alert, and be comfortable with automatic, repetitive tasks. The Junior Specialist will also contribute to the day-to-day laboratory management duties, including supplies acquisition, safety reporting, and equipment maintenance. The junior specialist will also lead the training and mentoring of undergraduate assistance, training them in basic microbiology skills. In addition to research, the Junior Specialist will participate and present in weekly Marco Lab meetings. If the results warrant, the Junior Specialist may have the opportunity to attend and present their research they were involved in local and international research conferences.