Please login/register to apply for this job.
7 Feb 2023

Full-Time Insect Barcoding Lab Technician

California Academy of Sciences – Posted by Calacademy San Francisco, California, United States

Job Description

About the Opportunity
We have an exciting opportunity for an Insect Barcoding Lab Technician, supporting genomic research characterizing insect biodiversity in California, as part of the Thriving California Initiative and a grant from the State of California through the California Institute of Biodiversity to digitize and sequence insect collections. This five-year strategic initiative is a coordinated effort of scientific research, cross-sector collaboration, and widespread education and engagement focused on California biodiversity. This is a temporary full-time, 40-hour per week position for a duration of 2 years.

The Insect Barcoding Lab Technician will support our efforts to digitize and barcode every named-species of insect in California. The Insect Barcoding Lab Technician will work as part of a large collaborative team, and will coordinate across insect collections in the state of California and the Academy’ Center for Comparative Genomics with the goal of DNA barcoding 80,000 archival insect specimens in the next two years. The Insect Barcoding Lab Technician will manage incoming insect samples, and will undertake laboratory work including DNA extraction, PCR, Oxford Nanopore library preparation, MinION sequencing and general sample preparation for external sequencing providers. They will also be responsible for following sample and data pipeline and for using established protocols. The successful applicant will be meticulous in their approach to handling and processing samples and data and have good all-round experience handling samples for genetic analyses.

Organizational Culture:
Join a team dedicated to the Academy’s mission, vision and values! Currently, the Academy has a new strategic plan including three initiatives – Hope for ReefsThriving California, and Islands 2030 – that leverage biodiversity science, environmental learning, and collaborative engagement to regenerate fragile ecosystems around the world. Learn more at

We hope you are inspired by what we do and are excited to contribute to our mission. The mission of the California Academy of Sciences is to regenerate the natural world through science, learning, and collaboration. The Academy is looking for candidates who do great work, and we know they may come from a number of different backgrounds and experiences. We encourage you to apply even if you do not believe you meet every one of the qualifications for the position.

This position is based in San Francisco, California. Please do not apply if you are not able to work onsite. Candidates are required to have up-to-date COVID-19 vaccination, including receiving a booster shot, as a condition of employment, absent qualifying exemptions in accordance with applicable laws. Individuals receiving a conditional offer of employment from the California Academy of Sciences will be provided the full text of the vaccination policy.

About the Thriving California/ Entomology Team
Thriving California is a major new Academy initiative that will harness scientific data and mobilize diverse communities to fight climate change, stop biodiversity loss, and advocate for nature in the Golden State. Our Entomology department oversees one of the largest insect collections in the world, containing over 17 million specimens, many of which are from the State of California

Key Responsibilities

  • Collaborate with a team based at the Academy to obtain COI barcodes from insect specimens in our collections via MinION amplicon sequencing.
  • Prepare reagents and consumables, and stock lab consumables (tubes, tips, etc.)
  • Maintain an inventory of frozen gDNA, and intermediate products (i.e., PCR)
  • Conduct genomic lab work including DNA extraction, Amplicon sequencing via MinION (Oxford Nanopore)
  • Assist with barcoding database management and submission od barcode data to public databases
  • Train undergraduate interns in lab methods
  • Follow all Academy safety regulations
  • Other duties as assigned

A qualified candidate will possess a combination of the following experience and/or equivalent education:

  • Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences or equivalent.
  • Minimum two years’ experience in standard PCR/Sanger sequencing-based laboratory protocols
  • Experience in second and third generation sequencing techniques and protocols preferred
  • Experience working with museum specimens preferred
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills (English) and a strong background in science communication with diverse audiences.


  • Strong interest in biodiversity and ability to communicate that passion.
  • Ability to perform standard PCR and DNA sequencing lab work
  • Familiarity with second and third generation sequencing techniques
  • Works as a part of multi-disciplinary teams and diverse stakeholder groups
  • Committed to working on a team that is striving to be anti-racist in work, interactions, systems, and tools
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently, and as a member of interdisciplinary teams on cross-cutting issues
  • Demonstrated ability to successfully collaborate with non-scientists
  • Flexible and creative
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals
  • Ability to write routine reports and correspondence
  • Ability to lift 10 lbs. 
  • Ability to perform repetitive motions 20% of the time

Physical Environment: To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential job duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential job functions.

Compensation and Benefits
Hourly hiring range: $28.00-$29.00 per hour. Hourly rate will vary based on experience and relevant skills/knowledge set. The Academy offers a total compensation package that emphasizes both base salary and comprehensive benefits.
ScheduleTemporary Full-Time, 40 hours per week for a duration of 2 years.

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Review of applications will begin on February 2, 2023 and will continue until the position is filled.

The California Academy of Sciences will give full consideration for employment to all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance (SF Police Code, Article 49).

The California Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to ensure that all employees and applicants receive equal consideration and treatment, regardless of race, color, creed, gender (including gender identity or gender expression), religion, marital or domestic partner status, age, place of birth, national origin or ancestry, physical, mental or medical disability, height or weight, sex, sexual orientation, citizenship, military service status, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by state or federal law or local ordinance.

How to Apply

APPLICATION PROCESS: Please upload your resume and complete the brief online application on our careers page.

Job Types: Full-Time.

Job expires in 2 days.

34 total views, 1 today

Apply for this Job