Job Listings

Lab Manager

Harvard University
Job Location:
Cambridge, 02138
Laboratory and Research
Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Job Summary

The Cavender-Bares Lab research focuses on the physiological and evolutionary dimensions of plant ecology that influence community assembly and ecosystem function. Her team investigates the genetic and evolutionary basis of variation in plant phenotypes and spectral properties that can advance remote sensing of biodiversity, particularly detecting change through time and its consequences for ecosystems.

Position Description

Major focuses of the group's work will involve developing spectroscopic methods for preserved plant specimens, measuring plant function in tree species and deciphering the consequences for ecosystems of variation in the function of trees and their susceptibility to disease. The position will require expertise and competence in spectroscopy and a wide range of physiological methods, including understanding and management of equipment used to measure plant function. It will also require the ability to manage large outdoor field experiments at the Harvard Forest as well as greenhouse experiments on campus investigating tree diversity and the responses of trees to global change factors.

Other specific duties include:

  • Organization of and assistance with field work, including plant growth and ecophysiological measurements.
  • Trains students and research assistants to work with equipment and to carry out field and greenhouse methods. Trains assistants with spectroscopy.
  • Manages and maintains project data.
  • Collects, enters and organizes data in various formats using Excel, FulcrumApp, R, GitHub and other platforms. Analyzes data in open source platforms including in R.
  • Processing plant and soil samples for pigment and nutrient analyses using a variety of techniques including high pressure liquid chromatography (HPLC) and other analytical methods.
  • Specimen preparation and measurement for long-term herbarium records.
Basic Qualifications

College background in biology, botany or related field. At least 3 years of experience working in a botany lab. Lab experience during education may count towards experience.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

Master's degree in biology is preferred. Candidate must be well-trained and self-motivated with excellent organizational, management, and communication skills. The ability to work as part of a team, problem solve, and be adaptable to new situations is also crucial. Experience running and troubleshooting equipment is a plus. Great independent judgement required.

Working Conditions

Office setting; lab and field site at the Harvard Forest.

Additional Information

In order to be considered for this position, a cover letter and resume must be submitted. 

This is a one-year term position with the possibility of an extension based on funding. We are unable to provide visa sponsorship for this position.

***All formal written offers will be made by FAS Human Resources.

Work Format Details
This position is based in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. 

About Us
OEB is a diverse and vibrant department with a broad range of research and teaching interests, ranging from the evolution and control of gene expression patterns within individuals and populations to the dynamics of ecosystems. Field and laboratory studies are key to understanding the evolution of organisms, how biodiversity is generated and maintained, how organisms work, and how organisms interact with their environment. OEB has close working associations with its allied institutions: the Museum of Comparative Zoology (MCZ) and the Harvard University Herbaria (HUH), as well as the Arnold Arboretum and the Harvard Forest. These institutions and their collections offer an unparalleled, rich set of resources for OEB students, faculty, visitors and staff.

We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website ( to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:
  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.
Job Function

Department Office Location
USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code
403125 Research Assistant IV (Lab)

Work Format


Salary Grade

Organismic and Evolutionary Biology (OEB)

55 - Hvd Union Cler & Tech Workers

Time Status

Pre-Employment Screening

Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging
Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement
We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.
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