Research Museum Collection Manager – Fungi

Published by Cori VanGalder on

Research Museum Collection Manager - Fungi

Note, considerations due to the current COVID-19 pandemic

We realize that due to the current outbreak of COVID-19 that travel to and from Ann Arbor may be a limitation. We will utilize virtual interviews when necessary and will be closely monitoring the situation to provide flexibility to applicants. Please contact tyjames@umich.edu with any questions relating to the application, including timing of interviews or the job requirements.

How to Apply

A cover letter is required for consideration for this position and should be attached as the first page of your CV. The cover letter should address your specific interest in the position and outline skills and experience in the context of the Responsibilities and Qualifications listed below. Applications should be submitted online

Job Summary

The Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology (EEB) is seeking a Collection Manager of Fungi. The fungarium is part of the larger MICH Herbarium, located at the new state of the art Research Museums Center (RMC) in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The MICH fungarium develops and maintains fungal collections explicitly for use in research and education and facilitates specimen-based research on campus and at other institutions. EEB has an outstanding, diverse and collaborative group of researchers in evolutionary biology, ecology, and biodiversity science.

The MICH fungarium contains ~280K preserved fungal specimens, which have been largely digitally databased. The fungarium is extraordinarily strong in North American higher fungi, with, among others, the collections of A. H. Smith (agarics, boletes, and gastromycetes), C. H. Kauffman (agarics), D. Baxter (polypores), R. L. Shaffer (agarics), and R. Fogel (hypogeous fungi). The personal herbarium of F. K. Sparrow, which contains mostly specimens of the parasitic genera Physoderma and Urophlyctis as well as a microscope-slide collection of aquatic fungi, is also included. The fungarium has recently developed a cryopreserved collection of living zoosporic true fungi which represents the largest collection of chytrid fungi, including hundreds of strains of the amphibian pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis. The collection manager will also be responsible for maintenance of use of a collection of ~57K lichen specimens.

We seek candidates with a strong commitment to curation of fungi, facilitation of specimen based research, and promotion of knowledge about fungi. The position offers exciting opportunities for mentoring, and career development, including limited research within the context of the fungarium’s curatorial priorities.

Responsibilities

  1. Growth, maintenance, and digitization of the collection. Activities may include accessioning and collecting new specimens, upkeep and organization of the collection, and improving specimen metadata, such as through photography and georeferencing.
  2. Training and supervision of staff volunteers, work-study students, graduate curatorial assistants, and when needed, visiting researchers in all aspects of specimen research and conservation practices, database use, geo-referencing and digital imaging of specimens and routine collections maintenance tasks.
  3. Maintenance and growth of the living chytrid collection (CZEUM) in the Liquid Nitrogen Facility. This activity involves the accessioning of new samples, revival and distribution of cultures for research at U. Michigan and other institutions, and developing genetic barcodes of samples.
  4. Working with faculty curators to develop and implement policies, standards, and procedures. This involves, as necessary, developing standard operating procedures for acquisition, accessioning, databasing, archival and use of new or emerging genomic, digital resources and other ancillary collections. Reviewing, updating, and enhancing the fungal collections management plan.
  5. Support of and coordination with faculty curators, student researchers and visiting collaborating researchers to plan and develop research projects utilizing the research collections and/or enhance collection resources.
  6. Participating or leading grant writing to secure funding for projects that enhance collection utility and infrastructure.
  7. Coordinate and process inter-departmental and inter-institutional loans and exchanges. Activities include the packing and unpacking of loans and working with Herbarium staff to ensure the proper permitting is available for herbarium transactions.
  8. Routine maintenance and updating of the data portals through which our holdings are made accessible to researchers across the world. This activity is performed in ongoing coordination with faculty curators and requires regular attention to both our electronic, searchable database and a server that connects us to the international community. Currently most data is served through mycoportal.org
  9. Maintenance of the collection areas and equipment to make them suitable for research, outreach, and use by visitors, either on site or remotely through online communication.
  10. Participation in and coordination of herbarium outreach activities.

Required Qualifications

An advanced degree (master’s or doctoral) in biology, mycology, or related fields with 3-5 years of experience working with fungal collections is desired. Experience with database construction, use, and management is strongly preferred. Experience working with both preserved and living fungal collections is strongly desired. Familiarity with research collections is required, as is expertise with mycology; expertise in working with chytrid fungi is highly desirable.

Application Deadline

Review of applications will begin immediately. The projected start date in Ann Arbor, Michigan is August 1, 2020.

Additional Information

Higher salary possible for exceptionally qualified candidate.