Marine Invasions Research

Principal Investigator

Biological Technician (Marine Invasions)

Deadline: Open until the position is filled. Reviews begin October 1, 2021. 

Location: This position is based out of the Marine Invasions Lab at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Maryland. SERC is a research center of the Smithsonian Institution, located on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay, approximately 10 miles south of Annapolis, 35 miles west of Washington D.C., and 35 miles south of Baltimore. The 2,650-acre SERC campus contains a laboratory and office complex, as well as educational and waterfront facilities. 

Starting Salary: $39,684/year plus benefits

Schedule: Full-time, 40 hours/week. Non-standard schedule includes some weekend work year-round.

Description: We are seeking a Laboratory Technician to work principally in a small-scale hatchery raising adult and larval forms of multiple invertebrate species. Cultured organisms support research projects focused on marine invertebrate lifecycle biology. Production of larval forms of invertebrates supports research in partnership with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL). In addition to hatchery work, the employee will work with other teams across multiple concurrent research projects in the Marine Invasions Laboratory at SERC. These projects may involve laboratory-based, field-based and data-driven research related to aquatic invasions. As such, the employee will be expected to work well as a member of several teams across multiple concurrent research projects. This will be a year-to-year appointment. Renewal is dependent on performance and funding availability.

Duties will include: 

  • Working with a team of technicians and ecologists to maintain cultures of shellfish, microalgae (including sterile techniques), barnacles and possibly other invertebrates.
  • Contributing to development or refinement of culturing protocols for a variety of microalgae and aquatic invertebrate species.  
  • Data entry to support projects related to biological invasions by non-native species in coastal ecosystems. 
  • Support of field-based projects, including collection and processing of biological samples from various types of field sites.
  • Use of dissecting and compound microscopes to identify and enumerate aquatic organisms from laboratory and field-based samples.   

The Smithsonian Institution is an equal opportunity employer, committed to a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of race/ethnicity, national origin, sex, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, age, religion, marital/parental/caregiver status and disability. The SERC community recognizes the value of diversity in promoting innovative science and creative solutions, and we strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply. We recognize that each applicant for this role will bring unique skills, knowledge, experiences and background to this position. Competitive candidates will have some, but not necessarily all, of the listed qualifications and experiences, and we anticipate some on-the-job training will be provided.

Desired Qualifications and Experience: 

  • Bachelor’s degree in biology, aquatic or environmental studies. 
  • Demonstrated competence with dissecting and compound microscopes.
  • Experience raising aquatic organisms in a laboratory setting.
  • Competence with wet laboratory culture systems including confidence in the use of piping, valves and equipment used in a hatchery.
  • Working knowledge of computer programs such as: MS Excel, MS Word or like word processing program, presentation software such as MS PowerPoint or similar.
  • Ability to relate to and communicate with people of diverse backgrounds and ages. 
  • Ability to work as a team member on multiple projects. 
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and responsibility. 
  • Interest in aquatic invasion biology.

To Apply:  Applications should include a cover letter that clearly describes your work experience, working independently as well as a member of a team, and training/education as these relate to the position. A current resume and an unofficial copy of your college transcript should also be included. Applications should be submitted by email to Laura Falsone (, with Biological Technician as the subject line.