Genetics Research Assistant
Job Details
Omaha Zoological Society - Omaha, NE
Full Time

Job Title: Genetics Research Assistant 

FLSA Status: Non-exempt 

Hours: Full-time 

 

About us: 

We are an equal opportunity employer that sets out to inspire, educate and engage people to serve as lifelong stewards for animals, their habitats and their conservation, both locally and from a far. Together, we can preserve and enhance the legacy of the zoo and its species for future generations to come! We are Nebraska's #1 tourist attraction and consistently ranked among the top zoos in the world! 

 

About the team: 

A team of about 300 full-time and 650 part-time staff members strong, Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium benefits the lives of more than 1,415 species across 162 acres of land. We also support the efforts of numerous field conservation projects and research projects that help ensure a future for endangered and critically endangered flora and fauna around the world, even right here in Nebraska! Our team makes a big impart and every role is essential to move our conservation mission forward. From the much-needed Keepers to care for our species to the important Food and Beverage employees helping us gain funds to further continue our mission. This is definitely a unique place to work, employees are exposed to a fun atmosphere, where each workday is never the same. Our zoo is world-class with unmatched scenery to help you get through your duties! 

 

About Omaha: 

There’s just something about living in Omaha. Something that makes you feel alive and in the moment. Maybe it’s the shorter drive times or the lower cost of living. Or maybe it’s the world-class dining, arts and entertainment that are never too far away. Most likely, it’s the combination of those things that help you settle in and show out, living your best life in one of America’s most up-and-coming cities. Here are a few things that make Omaha easy for us to call home! 

  • Work: The average commute is 20.2 minutes. #8 City for the Best Work-Life Balance. (Kisi, 2019) 

  • Cost of living: 27% less than the national average. A one-bedroom apartments rent is 21% below average. (National Association of Realtors, “Median Sales Price of Existing Single-Family Homes for Metropolitan Areas”) 

  • Hobbies: Home to 85+ miles of paved, interconnected trails for walking, jogging and biking. 30+ lake communities along with 14 state parks all within 40 miles. (Yelp, 2017) 

 

About the role:  

We are seeking a Genetics Research Assistant to participate in ongoing molecular and bioinformatics research. Importantly, the assistant will utilize sophisticated computer programs during the analysis of datasets from next generation sequencing. This assistant will develop high-throughput solutions to improve scalability of in-house genetic interpretation tools. The assistant will be responsible for developing a pipeline for genomic analyses and database monitoring and maintenance. Early-career assistants will have the opportunity to gain on-the-job training regarding bioinformatics. This position reports directly to the Director of Conservation Genetics. 

 

Duties and Responsibilities (include but not limited to): 

  • Maintain department’s server. 

  • Confer with research staff to determine data needs and programming requirements and to provide assistance with database-related activities.  

  • Utilize bioinformatics techniques to analyze or manipulate large datasets from next generation sequencing in a Unix/Linux environment.  

  • Sophisticated computer programs will be used to gather, analyze, and track data regarding biological functions or characteristics to gain a better understanding of computational evolutionary biology and comparative genomics.  

  • Develop high throughput solutions to improve scalability of in-house genetic interpretation tools.  

  • Gather information from the scientific literature to provide background knowledge to streamline bioinformatic investigations.  

  • Writing or modifying existing computer code to perform analysis of high-throughput sequencing data including the analysis of whole genome sequencing data.  

  • Develop a pipeline for genomic analyses as well as a system for monitoring database performance and perform any necessary maintenance, upgrades, or repairs.  

  • Complete statistical analyses and prepare reports on related findings.  

  • Assist multiple research projects as well as routine maintenance within the laboratory.  

  • Participation in group activities such as grant preparation and reporting, literature searches, and manuscript writing efforts will be expected.  

  • All laboratory staff will maintain cleanliness and sanitation while complying with safety procedures in their employed laboratories. 

  • May assist with the supervision of research students and volunteers, which includes training in analysis methods and database usage, performance evaluation, work allocation, and problem resolution.  

  • Responsibilities include enhancing research students’ professional growth and understanding of bioinformatics, as well as participation in educational programs with general public and schools. 

 

Qualifications, Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in the Genomics, Genetics, Bioinformatics or Computer Science or related field is required.  

  • Ideal candidates will have a proficiency in Linux, programming experience in at least one of the following programming languages: C, C++, Java, Perl, or Python. 

  • Thorough knowledge of bioinformatics, high throughput sequencing and related techniques, and a good understanding of biological sciences. 

  • Knowledge of parallel processing and computing and the use of R statistical software would be beneficial. 

  • Bioinformatics-based investigations require a more advanced understanding of mathematics and statistics. 

  • Must have excellent reasoning ability and organizational skills. 

  • Must be able to communicate clearly in English in both written and spoken form.  

  • Must possess the skills to write, as well as understand, articles published in scientific journals.  

  • Communicate regularly with associates, students, and volunteers, as well as to regularly report the progress of the research projects to Director. 

Candidates might be required to pass a pre-employment background check, drug test, negative TB test, and possess a valid driver’s license with a good history. 

 

Working Conditions and Physical Effort: 

  • Will sometimes work extended/odd hours including weekends, holidays and some night programs. 

  • Must be able to walk long distances across the zoo. 

  • Work is normally performed in a typical interior office/lab work environment. 

  • In addition, all laboratory staff is exposed to dangerous chemicals and must take proper precautions to avoid health risks.  

  • Under certain circumstances, fieldwork may be assigned, thus requiring physical ability and tolerance to varied environmental conditions. 

  • Must be able to stand, sit, kneel, bend, twist, reach above head and climb. 

  • Will lift, push, pull, and/or move up to 25 pounds and occasionally up to 50 pounds using safe and proper lifting methods. 

 

Employee Benefits: 

Eligible employees at Omaha's Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium are provided a wide range of benefits. Throughout the hiring process we will provide you with more benefit details and which ones apply to your role. 

Full-Time 

  • 401(k) savings plan. 

  • Flexible spending account. 

  • Medical insurance. 

  • Dental insurance. 

  • Vision insurance. 

  • Employee assistance program. 

  • Life insurance. 

  • Long-term disability. 

  • Voluntary term life insurance. 

  • Vacation, sick leave, holiday and paid-time off (PTO) accrual. 

  • Uniforms are provided. 

  • Free annual tickets for rides. 

Part-Time (the benefits below also apply to full-time staff) 

  • Free Zoo and Wildlife Safari Park membership for you and your immediate family. 

  • Employee discounts. 

  • Behind-the-scenes sneak peek at new exhibits. 

 

DISCLAIMER 

The information presented indicates the general nature and level of work expected of employees in this classification. It is not designed to contain, nor is it to be interpreted as, a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities, qualifications and objectives required of employees assigned to this job.  

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium is an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer as defined by the EEOC. 

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