Conservation Lab Technician (Memphis Zoo)

The Memphis Zoo is seeking a qualified individual to fill the open position of Conservation Lab Technician within the Zoo’s Conservation & Research Department.  This position provides technical, scientific and organizational assistance to the Conservation & Research Team and is based in the Zoo’s laboratory.  The Conservation Lab Technician will assist with monitoring reproductive cycles and developing protocols for monitoring a variety of species of animals.   The Conservation Technician is required to maintain accurate and organized record of laboratory work, and effectively allocate work time between diverse tasks.

Species of research include:  Giant pandas, ursids, elephants, canids, felids, amphibians, and reptiles

Essential Functions:

•    Maintains laboratory cleanliness, equipment maintenance, in-house enzyme immunoassay stocks and quality control, biomaterial sample organization, assay records, and maintains the Memphis Zoo’s frozen genome and gamete bank.

•    Conducts routine hormone fecal extractions and enzyme immunoassays and disseminate results.

•    Maintains detailed records of all assays performed and presents descriptive analysis in graph format with interpretation to assist animal departments in husbandry and reproductive management.

•    Develops and validates hormone assays protocols, extraction procedures, and monitoring schedule for new species or hormone of interest.

•    Maintains quality control records and stocks for all antibodies, standards, controls, regents, supplies, and equipment needed for enzyme immunoassays.

•    Troubleshoots technical difficulties with laboratory equipment and laboratory procedures to maintain assay quality control.

•    Maintains purchasing records and communication with commercial supply vendors; maintaining laboratory freezers and equipment; maintaining safety records and procedures for the research labs

•    Maintains liquid nitrogen tanks containing the Memphis Zoo’s tissue and gamete resources.

•    Ensure laboratory equipment is regularly and properly serviced and maintained. Maintain a clean, safe and functional laboratory. Keep informed of new technologies and procedures.

•    Maintain laboratory safety manual, safety procedures, and MSDS chemical safety information within the Conservation & Research Department’s facilities.

•    Assists with semen collection, sperm cryopreservation, artificial inseminations, in vitro fertilizations, reproductive hormone therapies, and other techniques.

•    Conduct duties with strong attention to detail, and the ability to adapt fluidly as research projects and animal monitoring needs quickly change.

•    May participate in many assisted reproductive technologies used by our team to establish or enhance captive breeding programs, such as semen collection, artificial insemination, exogenous hormone stimulation, in vitro fertilization, semen cryopreservation and other methods.

Minimum Requirements:

•    Bachelor’s degree in Zoology, Biology, Biochemistry, or a related field.

•    Experience in a medical, veterinary, or biological lab conducting chemical analyses or assays.

•    Experience using basic laboratory equipment, including micropipettes, centrifuges, microscopes, plate-washers, and spectrophometers.

Preferred Qualifications:

•    Master’s degree in Zoology, Biology, Physiology, Biochemistry, or related field.

•    Prior experience in a zoo research lab.

•    Extensive experience and knowledge of basic immunoassay techniques.

•    Ability to troubleshoot technical difficulties with laboratory equipment and laboratory procedures.

•    Experience handling datasets.

Experience in inventory management and purchasing

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work:    This is a full-time position that works up to 40 hrs per week and regularly requires weekend and holiday work.


•    Written and oral communication proficiency.

•    Proficiency in MS Office, Excel.

•    Records and reports creation and management.

•    Problem solving and analytical skills, including the interpretation of complex chemical and physiological data.

•    Stress management/composure.

•    Teamwork orientation.

Reporting Structure: Reports to the Senior Conservation Scientist.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform essential functions of this job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, talk, and hear. The employee is constantly required to use hands and fingers to feel, handle, or operate objects, tools, or controls, and to reach with hands and arms. The employee is occasionally required to climb, balance, stoop, kneel, crouch, crawl, and walk. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision, peripheral vision, color vision, and the ability to adjust focus.

Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Other Duties: Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

To Apply:

Please submit application via the Memphis Zoo website