Ernst Benary of America, Inc.

Job Info
  1. Job Title: Lab Manager
  2. Location: Watsonville, CA
  3. Number: 10313
  4. Post Date: 6/19/2018
Job description

The Lab Manager will play a critical role as the manager of both Plant Tissue Culture and Pathology labs for Ernst Benary of America, Inc., at our location in Watsonville, CA. The experienced candidate must be a “hands on” type of manager, and be experienced in various forms of in vitro micropropagation techniques and pathological disease testing. The candidate will employ a range of aseptic plant culture techniques including but not limited to media preparation, culture initiations, culture transfers for line maintenance, acclimating cultures to the greenhouse, plant growth and manipulation techniques, interspecific embryo rescue techniques, pathological media preparations, fungal/bacterial isolations, virus scouting and testing, lab and clean room maintenance, SOP and protocol development/modifications and safety procedures. The candidate should have excellent organizational skills, flexibility, and the ability to thrive in an efficient, highly interactive, goal-oriented research environment, and be able to effectively supervise and manage the lab team members on a daily basis. As leader of the lab team, you will work to support the tissue culture and pathology activities that impact the Benary breeding projects, production schedules, and interact with the breeders and other professional staff.


Essential Functions/Skills:

  • Initiate, scale-up and maintain cultures of multiple varieties across a wide variety of genetic backgrounds, by meristem/explant methods, using specifications and timelines as requested by breeding staff, and as provided by Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), chemical Safety Data Sheets(SDS’s) and lab protocols.

  • Candidate will employ various techniques for manipulating micropropagation, embryo rescues, and the transference of cultures back out to the greenhouse according to crop/timelines needs.

  • Able to research and experiment, maintain, manipulate and multiply various cultures and plants across a range of environments and conditions to produce desired differentiation responses, including but not limited to media types, hormones, lighting and temperatures. Be able to analyze that experiment data for changing protocols or planning the next set of experiments.

  • Ability to grow and maintain plants in growth chambers, grow-rooms or greenhouses.

  • Ability to schedule, manipulate and produce large quantities of cultures/plants in batches on a routine basis to meet breeding and/or any production schedules.

  • Candidate will work with the department’s technical teams to organize virus testing and sampling, dispatching samples, disseminating the test results to the team(s) and participate in action discussions as a result of the test results.

  • Be the point of contact with outside testing labs for testing requests, results and invoicing.

  • Familiarity and experience in viral symptoms, basic plant fungal and bacterial isolations to show possible disease issue(s) would be a plus.

  • Ability to organize and manage data, testing results and processes relating to lab activities.

  • Demonstrates excellent attention to detail, be proactive and can work quickly and accurately, organizing tasks and delivering quality work or products with efficiency, and be able to troubleshoot media, environment and culture/plant issues.

  • Demonstrates knowledge and efficient use of Outlook, MS Word, Excel and other database or computer related applications for key lab equipment.

  • Has experience in creating and writing lab and worker safety procedures, SOP’s and protocols as needed and required.

  • Ability to work at and maintain good relationships with other department co-workers, lab employees, and other company staff for close planning and execution of experiments and other related projects.

  • Ability to read and understand SOP’s, SDS’s and protocols (in English).

  • Takes initiative in responding to breeders/production needs as they may change at an expedited pace. 


Education/Experience/Proficiency requirements:

  • Minimum B.S. degree in Plant Tissue Culture, Plant Science or a closely related field

  • 2-3 years experience in a R & D or commercial tissue culture lab or closely related field

  • Experience in coordination and supervision other workers.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

  • Possess a valid work visa to be able to legally work in the US (if needed), or a valid passport to travel abroad for company collaboration and meetings.

Equal Employment Opportunity Employer. M/F/D/V.

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