Plant Molecular Biologist/Virologist

The role of the Australian Department of and Water Resources is to develop and implement policies and programs that ensure ’s , , food and forestry industries remain competitive, profitable and sustainable. As part of this, the Department safeguards Australia’s animal and plant health status to maintain overseas markets and protect the economy and from the impact of exotic pests and diseases through risk assessment, inspection and certification, and the implementation of emergency response arrangements for Australian , food and fibre industries.

The purpose of Veterinary, Meat & Scientific Services is to safeguard Australia’s animal and plant health status to maintain overseas markets and protect the economy and environment from the impact of exotic pests and diseases, through risk assessment inspection and certification and the implementation of emergency response arrangements for Australian agricultural, food and fibre industries VEMS undertakes regulatory functions by providing certification and inspection for the import and export of meat, meat products, live animals and reproductive material in order to meet importing country requirements and Australian legislative requirements including the identification and diagnostic services for Plant and animal pest and diseases whilst providing communication and advice for policy and operational issues.

Operational Science Services (OSS) is a part of the Veterinary, Export Meat and Scientific Services and is a nationally dispersed network managed from Canberra. OSS scientists are based in laboratory facilities in Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth and Darwin. OSS’s current core activities include: identifying plant pests and diseases; developing and delivering training courses for inspectorate staff and other clients; providing on the spot operational risk management advice to inspectors; evaluating new technologies to improve biosecurity efficacy, management and security; developing and implementing operational policy; providing input into the Biosecurity Import Risk Analysis process; and providing advice to the inspectorate on quarantine treatments and inspection procedures.

Under the direction of the OSS Assistant Director, the Plant Molecular /Virologist will work with OSS and undertake the following duties at the National PEQ facility at Knoxfield/Mickleham: • Supervise a Technical Officer at the PEQ facility including performance review, training and development. • Independently conduct specialised services focussed on molecular techniques to detect and identify exotic plant pathogens and determine risk status. • Manage day-to-day operations of molecular laboratories including ordering, consumables, negotiating with suppliers, safety and record keeping. • Provide timely and science based risk mitigation advice including development and delivery of technical training to internal and external stakeholders. • Liaise, negotiate and effectively communicate with government agencies, industry bodies, R&D providers and other clients as necessary. • Participate in regional and national strategic and operational projects and reviews. • Identify and be responsive to biosecurity and business risks and implement innovative solutions to service delivery under broad direction from the OSS Director and Assistant Director. • Promote and ensure effective implementation of APS Values, Employment Principles and Code of Conduct, WHS and Rehabilitation policies.

Experience with plant molecular biology techniques, particularly PCR, QPCR, Sanger sequencing and nucleic acid extractions is mandatory. Experience with Next-Gen sequencing and/or plant pathology (particularly virology) will be highly regarded.

In addition to a high-level of technical proficiency, the candidate will be self-motivated and be able to work independently with minimal supervision. The candidate will manage a Technical Officer at the new national Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility and therefore must have good people interaction skills.

Duty Statement 2016/386

Candidate Information Package

How to apply:


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