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Postdoctoral Research Officer - Bluefish Project

Bangor University

Bangor, United Kingdom

Purpose of the Job

This is a full time postdoctoral position, part funded by Ireland Wales INTERREG funding. The post will be mainly research-focussed but will need to engage with SMEs and Intermediary Bodies. The post-holder will participate in project activities investigating interactions between shellfish, climate change, microbes and toxins.

The candidate will be expected to work closely with the shellfish, fish and aquaculture industry in both Ireland and Wales as well as with our Welsh and Irish partners. The candidate is also expected to have a good knowledge of shellfish and marine microbes.

The work in Bangor University will be headed by Dr Shelagh Malham and Dr James McDonald.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

The Candidate will be expected to take a lead role in liaison with Partners and with industry and intermediary bodies both in Ireland and Wales. The candidate will also be expected to work under the following main activities: 

  • To engage with shellfish-related SMEs in the INTERREG area;
  • To work closely with collaborating Partners and disseminate information to SMEs and intermediate bodies;
  • To identify emerging pathogens and toxins;
  • To apply molecular methods to screen shellfish for both shellfish and human pathogens;
  • To undertake climate change experiments in mesocosms with microorganisms and shellfish;
  • To produce risk maps associated with toxins, pathogens and shellfish;
  • To assess shellfish for climate change resistance and/or mitigation;
  • To attend project meetings and ensure regular updates are completed and reported;
  • Engage in any other duties as required. 

The successful applicant will be based in the College of Natural Sciences in the Environment Centre Wales building and in the new Marine Centre Wales building at Bangor University and suitable IT equipment will be provided.

Other Duties and Responsibilities

  • The post holder will be expected to participate in performance review and developmental activities;
  • The post holder will be expected to comply with the University’s equality policies and statements, Dignity at Work and Study Policy and the University’s Welsh Language Scheme;
  • The post holder has a general and legal duty of care in relation to health, safety and wellbeing and must take all reasonable steps to ensure a safe and healthy working environment for him/her self and for other members of staff, students and visitors affected by his/her actions or inactions. The post holder is also required to comply with all applicable health and safety policies, procedures and risk assessments;
  • The post holder must comply with relevant legal and financial policies and procedures and be aware of their responsibilities in terms of the legal requirements of their posts.

Person Specification

Qualification/Training

Essential 

  • A PhD in Marine Molecular Microbial Ecology or a related discipline;
  • Proven ability of working with academic, industry and Intermediary bodies;
  • Experience of shellfish and aquaculture industries;
  • Experience of molecular microbial DNA and RNA extraction and characterisation;
  • Experience of experimental design of laboratory and field work;
  • Experience in the cultivation of microorganisms, DNA/RNA extraction from environmental samples, PCR, quantitative PCR, Reverse-transcriptase PCR, and molecular fingerprinting methods such as ARISA, T-RFLP and DGGE;
  • Experience in some aspects of virology;
  • Experience of maintaining shellfish in tanks. 

Experience/Knowledge

Essential

  • Research experience;
  • Experience and skills in microbiology;
  • Experience in molecular/genetic work associated with shellfish;
  • Experience in field-based collection of coastal/marine biological and environmental data;
  • Experience of collaborative research with businesses and dissemination of information to SMEs;
  • Proven track record of publications in quality journals;
  • Experience in presenting research outputs at group meetings and international conferences;
  • Good general computing competency;
  • Good statistical skills including general statistical methods;
  • Ability to communicate effectively at all levels from academia to business to the general public.

Desirable 

  • Experience and skills in coastal ecological sampling or monitoring;
  • Experience of Quorum sensing;
  • Experience in working as part of a wider group, on international projects;
  • Experience of supervision of undergraduate and MSc students;
  • Experience in multivariate statistics. 

Skills/Abilities

Essential

  • The ability to work independently to deadlines, and to take responsibility for research outcomes;
  • Motivation and enthusiasm about the aims of the project;
  • Ability to engage with marine and coastal SMEs and disseminate scientific information clearly and succinctly;
  • Good time-management skills, and ability to maximise personal research output;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills, including willingness to coordinate with others and the ability to work as part of a team;
  • Good organisational skills in relation to research at the bench and report writing;
  • Appreciation of the importance of Health and Safety at work;
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the bilingual nature of the institution and the environment.

Other

Essential

  • Full UK Driving licence (required for the position as a vehicle is the only option for the collection and rapid transport of live animals. No other form of transport can be used to collect live marine samples and deliver to the laboratory in the required time);
  • Travel between the Joint Beneficiaries and between Ireland and Wales will be required at times.

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