Tucker Lichenologist-Santa Barbara Botanic Garden


The Tucker Lichenologist at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden is an endowed research scientist and curatorial position primarily responsible for performing lichenological research and curation in support of the Garden's mission. With ca. 35,600 specimens, the lichen collection at the Garden is the second largest in California and the fourth largest west of the Mississippi River. The Tucker Lichenologist will curate this important collection, serve as a regional lichen expert for western North America, and maintain an independent research program focusing on lichen biodiversity, taxonomy, systematics, and/or ecology. This position will also partner with other scientists at the Garden on projects, and may assist with curation of the non-lichen portion of the herbarium. Comprising an estimated 125,000 specimens of bryophytes, ferns, and seed plants, this part of the herbarium contains important regional collections centering on the Central Coast as well as the California Channel Islands. This full time (40 hours per week), exempt position reports to the Ken and Shirley Tucker Plant Systematist.

Website: http://www.sbbg.org/get-involved/employment/current-openings
Contact: mguilliams@sbbg.org

Essential Duties:

• Develop and maintain a current and in-depth knowledge of the lichens of western North America, with an emphasis on California, serving as a lichenological resource for the Garden as well as for other organizations and individuals in the area
• Perform lichenological field work in across California, including but not limited to the Central Coast and California Channel Islands
• Develop and maintain an externally-funded research program focusing on the taxonomy, systematics, or ecology of lichens, as appropriate for the expertise of the lichenologist
• Conduct other original scientific research appropriate to the Garden’s mission
• Collaborate with other Garden staff and research associates on research projects, as necessary
• Disseminate original research findings through formal presentations at scientific conferences and papers in thematically appropriate peer-reviewed scientific journals
• Curate the lichen herbarium at the Garden by leading day-to-day operations, managing the lichen database, responding in a timely manner to lichen loan requests, interfacing with herbarium users to provide access, seeking funding for long-term herbarium-related development projects in collaboration with other Garden staff, coordinating with country-wide lichen herbarium planning efforts through the Consortium of North American Lichen Herbaria, and promoting the herbaria as an invaluable resource to scientists and the local community
• Supervise herbarium and other research staff and volunteers, as necessary
• Work collaboratively and build relationships with Garden staff, volunteers, and members of the public to enhance knowledge of California lichens and to foster an understanding of the value of the herbarium and living collections at the Garden; activities may include leading appropriate training sessions, participating in education and public outreach programs, giving lectures, and teaching classes related to plant systematics and/or herbarium curation
• Disseminate timely information, in collaboration with Garden publicity staff as necessary, including professional meetings, website and social media postings, and news releases
Knowledge and Abilities:

  • Expert knowledge of North American lichens; experience in western North America preferred
  • Expert knowledge of one or more of the following areas: molecular phylogenetics, population genetics, lichen ecology, geographic information systems, species distribution modeling
  • Working knowledge of plant taxonomy and systematics
  • Experience working in herbaria and with natural history collections
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and expertise in database management
  • Excellent organizational skills
  • Excellent time management skills 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to occasionally work weekends and evenings
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team to further the goals of the organization
  • Comfortable in a fast-paced environment that requires quick turnaround and flexibility

Qualifications and Experience:

• Ph.D. in biology with a demonstrated focus on lichenology preferred
• Demonstrated success in obtaining external research funding
• Experience teaching in academic and/or public settings preferred
• Experience managing staff and/or volunteers preferred

Certificates and Licenses:

  • Must have or be eligible for a valid California driver license and maintain an acceptable driving record

Physical Functions: 

Must be capable of occasional strenuous physical work including:

  • Sitting for up to 2.0 hours at a time and using computer and phone for lengthy periods
  • Standing/walking for extended periods of time
  • Lifting and carrying 50 lbs., bending, squatting and walking stairs and the SBBG trails
  • Tolerance of an outdoor work environment including exposure to outdoor environmental conditions, including extreme temperature fluctuations, rain, dust, allergens, poison oak, insects, small wild animals, and sun exposure. Occasional backpacking and primitive camping may be required.
Permalink: https://aspt.net/news-blog/2018/tucker-lichenologist-santa-barbara-botanic-garden