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Technical Curator

Department: Biology Effective Date: August 1, 2008


30 hr/wk

Reports to: The Assistant Director of the Canadian Phycological Culture

General Accountability

The Technical Curator is accountable to the Assistant Director of the Canadian Phycological Culture Centre (CPCC) and to the Manager of the CPCC.  

Nature and Scope

The incumbent is responsible for the efficient operation and maintenance of the Culture Centre including all cultures and growth chambers.  The CPCC provides cultures and related services to clients in academic, government and commercial laboratories worldwide. The supply of research quality cultures for distribution to these users, for undergraduate courses and faculty research is achieved through planning, co-ordination, technical expertise and facility management.

Size of the Facility

Primary role is propagation, growth and care of research quality cultures of algae, cyanobacteria and aquatic macrophytes housed in controlled environment chambers and provision of these cultures to clients on an international basis.  The position also requires the incumbent to deal with various clients on ongoing projects; to tailor services to the client’s needs and encourage repeat business and referrals. The quality of the cultures and services provided can affect the reputation of the CPCC, the Department and the University.

Duties include

Many species of algae and cyanobacteria are fastidious, difficult to keep in long-term culture and/or to keep healthy in an axenic state. Isolation and purification of microorganisms is highly demanding and unpredictable in outcome requiring great hand-eye coordination and patience.  Careful preparation of cultures to ensure safe delivery in optimal condition to international users is of utmost importance.

Additional responsibilities include:  

Maintenance of Facility

Cleaning and disinfection of growth chambers as well as basic repairs and scheduled maintenance of all equipment including growth chambers, microscopes, laminar flow hood.

Computer Systems

Basic computer knowledge, Excel, Word and Access and knowledge of website management will be required


Together with the Manager of the CPCC, the Curator is jointly responsible for training and supervision of Work-Study and Co-op students and volunteers, giving specific detailed instructions and reviewing completed work to ensure accuracy.

Statistical Data

Annual number of requests for services


Annual number of clients


Annual Operating Budget


Specific Accountabilities

Working Conditions

Much of the time is spent in a clean laboratory space. The work requires a combination of sitting and standing. Microscopy is performed on a daily basis and requires good eye-hand coordination, concentration and attention to fine details. There is a frequent need to give close attention to various stimuli such as written material and information given verbally to co-workers. The work is varied.  There are deadline pressures, while at the same time there is a demand for thoroughness and accuracy. Time management is of critical importance to ensure that the health of the cultures is maintained and clients are not inconvenienced.