Purpose of the role

Overview of the role:  

To lead a new initiative within the pathology team in ZSL’s Wildlife Health Services department. We are looking for an experienced molecular biologist to design and run a molecular laboratory dedicated to the diagnosis of diseases within our living collections and for our zoo-based conservation teams. This would involve developing (designing or adapting), validating and running molecular assays such as qPCRs and ELISAs for important direct and serological detection of wildlife pathogens such as elephant endothelial herpesvirus, encephalomyocarditis virus, Chlamydia spp., Mycobacterium spp., Toxoplasma gondii. This work will initially be performed on equipment shared with the Institute of Zoology, but the successful applicant will be expected to outfit their own laboratory over time. The successful applicant would also be expected to develop their own research questions in the field of wildlife diagnostics and supervise MSc students.

Key responsibilities:  

  • To design, set up and run a molecular diagnostic laboratory.
  • To develop and conduct molecular diagnostic assays on samples collected from animals held in ZSL’s zoos and possibly elsewhere. This will involve DNA and RNA extraction, conventional PCR, real-time PCR, reverse transcriptase PCR, NGS, LAMP, and interpretation of sequence data.
  • To develop serological assays (e.g. ELISA, AGID etc.) for retrospective diagnostics on stored samples
  • To be responsible for the safe running of the molecular diagnostic laboratory, ensuring compliance with Health and Safety protocols and procedures.
 

About You

Key experience and skills: 

About Us

We’re ZSL, an international conservation charity. Through our unrivalled animal experts in our two zoos (London Zoo and Whipsnade Zoo), the work of our pioneering scientists, our dedicated conservationists, our purpose is to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wild animals going extinct. Our vision is a world where wildlife thrives and we’re working every day to achieve this. From investigating the health threats facing animals, to helping people and wildlife live alongside each other, we are committed to bringing wildlife back from the brink of extinction.  

What do we offer?  

At ZSL, we are proud of our approach to employee benefits. Our benefits include: 

  • Our vision and purpose - you’ll work alongside colleagues who are passionate about science-led conservation, knowing that you will help us to inspire, inform and empower people to stop wildlife going extinct  
  • Pension scheme - we offer a generous pension scheme with up to 12% contributory pension
  • Flexible working – talk to us about your flexible working requirements and we will do everything we can to make sure you work in a way that suits you  
  • Holidays – 25 days annual leave allowance, plus UK bank holidays  Wellbeing – access to a blended programme of wellbeing initiatives, including confidential access to our 24/7 Employee Assistance Programme  
  • Life assurance – eligible employees will be enrolled in ZSL’s life assurance scheme from their first day 
  • Complimentary tickets – annual allocation of Whipsnade Zoo and London Zoo tickets, with a 30% discount in online and retail shops  
  • Cycle2Work - our cycle to work scheme enables you to lease a bicycle  
  • Season ticket loan - we offer an interest free loan for eligibly London-based employees to buy a season ticket for travel between home and work 
  • Family friendly policies – we offer enhanced maternity, paternity, and adoption packages  
NB: We reserve the right to close our advertisement early or extend the advertising date until a suitable candidate has been found.

What our team say...

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