Field technician position for vector ecology project in San Francisco, CA

The Swei lab at San Francisco State University seeks two (2) research technicians with field ecology experience to work with graduate and undergraduate students in a vector and pathogen ecology study in San Francisco, California. This research is part of an NSF-funded study to investigate small mammal host and pathogen genetic diversity of tick-borne pathogens such as Borrelia burgdorferi and Borrelia miyamotoi. The successful candidate will conduct animal population surveys and pathogen infection monitoring in small mammal, reptile, and ticks in the San Francisco Bay Area. Specific tasks include small mammal live trapping and handling, tissue collection, lizard trapping and handling, tick drag sampling, and wildlife camera monitoring and analysis. Additional tasks will include data entry and some laboratory work to detect and characterize pathogen infection and data analysis. The position is short-term from April 6th through June 5th, 2020.

Required Qualifications:

Coursework in biology (esp. ecology, entomology, mammalogy, or wildlife biology) and one year of technical research or field ecology work experience are required. Must be able to work well in a team under adverse, outdoor conditions. Must also be interested in and willing to learn field and molecular techniques.

Preferred Qualifications:

Preference will be given to candidates with experience conducting field ecology projects. In particular, experience handling and identifying vertebrates, especially small mammals is preferred. Additional animal handling experience and molecular lab experience will be given preference. Experience working both independently and as a part of a multidisciplinary team, and a demonstrated ability to problem-solve independently are ideal. A valid California driver’s license is preferred.


Salary for one full time research assistant from April 6th, 2020 through July 5th, 2020 is $3103/month. This position is based in San Francisco, CA but will involve extensive field work and occasional camping in more remote locations in northern California. The candidate is responsible for their own housing but costs for camping, when applicable, will be covered.

Application Instructions:

All interested, qualified persons must contact Andrea Swei at with a letter of interest, resume, and contact information for three references. The deadline for applying is March 15th, 2020; If you have questions regarding this position, please email Andrea Swei or refer to the lab website: