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We are looking for an enthusiastic full-time Research Assistant to work with Dr Susie McLaren on the development of key species interactions in coral reef ecosystems, based in the Xiong group at the Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.

Who we're looking for

The successful candidate will be involved in studies of symbiont-host cell interactions, morphogenesis and tissue mechanics during coral embryo development and symbiosis establishment with dinoflagellate algae.

This research seeks to uncover novel mechanisms in the development of Cnidarian-Plankton symbiosis and the unexplored interplay between symbionts and corals during cnidarian morphogenesis with an aim to inform our understanding of fundamental biological processes and coral reef ecosystem recovery approaches.

Using molecular, cellular, physical and theoretical approaches, the candidate will work closely with the PI and researchers in the lab to assist the completion of projects and upkeep of organisms. In addition to working on the development of key ecological interactions, the candidate will have the chance to work in an exciting interdisciplinary environment and engage with members of the host lab, which focuses on understanding the physical mechanisms of development using the chicken embryo as a model system.

There will also be opportunities to receive training in a variety of techniques including imaging, computation, biophysics, cell and developmental biology and engineering approaches and will receive co-authorship credits on publications. Furthermore, the candidate will receive support if they wish to take on career development activities including appropriate professional courses while in the role. This is an excellent opportunity for someone looking to contribute to and develop their experience in research at the intersection of developmental biology and ecology with important implications for ecosystem conservation approaches.

The position is available immediately. It is essential that the candidate has excellent communication and teamwork skills. Experience and a good understanding of working in research labs are required. Prior lab technician experience is desirable. Main duties include:

  • Perform experimental and analysis work on different projects depending on project needs;
  • Perform and develop methods for maintenance and handling of organisms (Cnidarians, algae, copepods);
  • Master and maintain lab protocols and prepare common reagents;
  • Coordinate with the PI;
  • Provide technical guidance and training to new lab members;
  • Participate in regular group meetings and other group activities.

Fixed-term: The funds for this post are available for 1 year in the first instance.

How to apply

Applications are welcome from internal candidates who would like to apply for the role on the basis of a secondment from their current role in the University.

Click the 'Apply' button below to register an account with our recruitment system (if you have not already) and apply online. Please quote reference PR41264 on your application and in any correspondence about this vacancy.

The University actively supports equality, diversity and inclusion and encourages applications from all sections of society. The University has a responsibility to ensure that all employees are eligible to live and work in the UK.