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    The work in this position directly supports Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), Plant and Protection Quarantine (PPQ), Policy Management, Plant and Health Programs (PHP), National Identification Services' (NIS) pest identification with the use of molecular technology and provides support to the senior Molecular Biologists (Molecular Systematists) in finding cryptic pests and performing sophisticated laboratory procedures to identify exotic pests intercepted at ports of entries, and other pests that may come from domestic surveys.  You will be performing preliminary analyses and determinations using established criteria regarding the identity of organisms potentially affecting plant health for use in determining the identity of pests intercepted at ports of entry; to identify common problems and potential impacts; and to assist senior staff in cataloguing specimen collections and digital images to improve identification skills and tools for technical field personnel.   The analytical and curation functions and technical support and advice that the incumbent renders to laboratory officials further the objectives for the detection, monitoring, and control of pests that could be a threat to American agriculture and the environment.

    Salary Information:  First time hires to the Federal government normally start at the lowest rate of the salary range for the grade selected.

    APHIS is an emergency response agency. This means that all Agency employees may be asked or assigned to participate in rotating temporary duty assignments to support emergency programs at some time during their careers with APHIS. For details click: APHIS Emergency Response

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    The duties described are for the full-performance level. At developmental grade levels, assignments will be of more limited scope, performed with less independence and limited complexity.

    The duties may include, but are not limited to:

    • Responsible for the day-to-day operation of the diagnostic laboratory; plans, performing, and records molecular diagnostic activities aimed at identifying plant pests intercepted at ports of entries or from domestic surveys
    • Assists in compiling datasets of molecular sequences obtained from plant pests intercepted at ports of entries or from domestic surveys
    • Runs various tests following established protocols for standard polymerase chain reaction (PCR), real-time PCR, gel electrophoresis, sequencing, and sequence analysis to identify plant pests
    • Assists in developing, adapting, and implementing new laboratory protocols for identifying pests of regulatory concern
    • Assists in the deployment and use of molecular technology for pest identification within PPQ, among cooperators and collaborators
    • Keeps accurate and detailed experimental records and tabulates, statistically analyzes and summarizes data using appropriate software and computer equipment
    • Searches, reviews, and evaluates current foreign and domestic scientific literature and contacts colleagues for information on new and emerging exotic pests and diagnostic testing techniques

    Travel Required

    Occasional travel - Travel for training and work assignments may be required.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    US Citizens and Nationals; no prior Federal experience is required.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/469132200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.