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Aquaculture Research Technician - Seaweed

UMaine Darling Marine Center Walpole, ME



We are seeking a highly motivated and skilled Seaweed Aquaculture Research Technician - Seaweed to join our team. The Aquaculture Research Technician - Seaweed will work with members of the Aquaculture Research Institute (ARI), School of Marine Sciences (SMS), and collaborators in support of aquaculture related research activities based primarily at the Darling Marine Center (DMC) in Walpole, Maine. The integrated aquaculture research programs at the DMC support full cycle aquaculture research for bivalves and macroalgae from hatchery through grow out and this position will assist in supporting all facets of production and research.

As a Seaweed Aquaculture Research Technician, you will be responsible for assisting in the cultivation and maintenance of macroalgae gametophytes in a laboratory or controlled environment. Your primary goal will be to support research and development efforts related to macroalgae gametophyte culture, propagation, including exploration of field trials for crop performance and novel culture systems.

This is an exciting opportunity for individuals passionate about marine science and sustainability to contribute to cutting-edge research in macroalgae culture. Join our team and be part of the efforts to develop innovative solutions for a more sustainable future. Typical hiring range for this soft-money funded position is $40,000 to $50,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Macroalgae Nursery Culture: Perform routine tasks associated with the culture of macroalgae gametophytes, including inoculation, sterilization, media preparation, and maintenance of stock cultures.
  • Culture Monitoring: Monitor and maintain optimal growth conditions for macroalgae gametophytes, including temperature, light intensity, salinity, and nutrient levels. Conducted within the parameters of ongoing research and experimentation.
  • Data Collection: Record and analyze data on macroalgae growth rates, biomass, and physiological parameters to support research and development efforts.
  • Quality Control: Conduct regular assessments of culture health and identify and address potential issues such as contamination.


  • On-Farm Culture and Research: Assist in field performance trials of macroalgae seed from nursery culture experiments.
  • Farm Management: Assist with management and operation of the seaweed farms at both the University of Maine Aquaculture Research Farms and industry partners.


  • Experimental Design: Assist in the design and execution of experiments to optimize macroalgae culture techniques, explore cultivation parameters, and evaluate the impact of environmental factors on growth and reproduction.
  • Equipment Maintenance: Maintain and calibrate equipment used in macroalgae gametophyte culture, including photobioreactors, incubators, water filtration systems
  • Documentation: Maintain accurate and up-to-date records of experimental procedures, culture protocols, and laboratory inventories.
  • Collaboration: Collaborate with other team members, including scientists and technicians, to coordinate research activities and contribute to project objectives.
  • Safety and Compliance: Adhere to laboratory safety protocols and ensure compliance with regulatory guidelines for laboratory operations, waste disposal, and biosecurity.

Perform other related duties as assigned.

Knowledge, Skills and Qualifications:


  • Bachelor's degree in biology, marine science, aquaculture, or a related field.
  • Experience in culturing and maintaining macroalgae or other aquatic organisms in a laboratory or controlled environment.
  • Familiarity with laboratory techniques and equipment used in algal culture, such as photobioreactors, spectrophotometers, and autoclaves.
  • Basic understanding of algal physiology, growth requirements, and reproductive biology.
  • Strong attention to detail and ability to maintain accurate records and documentation.
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced research environment.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills.
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Knowledge of safety protocols and compliance with laboratory regulations.
  • Must be eligible to work in the United States within the timeline needed for the position start date.


  • A master's degree in biology, marine science, aquaculture, or a related field.
  • Significant experience in related research and project coordination.
  • Experience as an industry collaborator or direct experience with aquaculture or fishing industries.
  • Experience or familiarity with field research and small vessel operations around aquaculture farms.

Working Environment/Dynamics:

Work will be primarily performed at the Darling Marine Center in Walpole, Maine. Work will be conducted primarily in the Flowing Seawater Laboratory (FSL) and the Seaweed Bioreactor Nursery Laboratory, under limited general supervision. Work will involve general laboratory practices and involves working with flowing seawater systems, sterile techniques and quarantine protocols. In addition, work will regularly take place at the university Aquaculture Research Farm at the Darling Marine Center as well as other farms and regions of the state where we conducts industry-collaborative research.

Work Schedule:

Normal University of Maine business hours are Monday-Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Work outside of normal business hours will be expected to fulfill the needs and duties of this position and may include weekends, early mornings, and nights.

Position Type: Contingent on external funding.

Work Year: Full-time, fiscal year.

Supervisory Responsibilities: The incumbent will be directly responsible for managing undergraduate student employees.

Schedule for Evaluation: In the initial six months of employment and annually thereafter, in accordance with the UMPSA agreement.

Job Family/Salary Grade: 04/02.

To Apply:

Materials must be submitted via "Apply For Position" below. You will need to create a profile and application; upload:

1.) a cover letter which describes your experience, interests, and suitability for the position
2.) a resume/curriculum vitae
3.) contact information for three professional references

You will also need to submit the affirmative action survey, the self-identification of disability form, and the self-identification of veteran status forms. Incomplete application materials cannot be considered. Materials received after the initial review date will be reviewed at the discretion of the University.

Search Timeline is as follows:
Review of applications to begin: September 30, 2023
Interviews to begin no earlier than: October 15, 2023
Tentative start date: November 15, 2023

For questions about the search, please contact search committee chair Adam St. Gelais at [email protected].

The finalist for this position must successfully complete a pre-employment physical, and appropriate background checks will be required.

All UMS employees are required to comply with applicable policies and procedures, as well as to complete applicable workplace related screenings, and required employee trainings, such as Information Security, Safety Training, Workplace Violence and Sexual Harassment.