Cultivation Lab Technician (Astaxanthin)

Cultivation Lab Technician (Astaxanthin)

Description Summary

This is a full-time, non-exempt position. Monitors algae culture health and determines harvest schedules. Responsible for a variety of duties related to operating, maintaining, and cleaning microalgae systems and  equipment. Position requires extensive attention to detail, adherence to SOPs, documentation, and  recordkeeping. Employees in this position will work a designated schedule including weekends and  holidays. Position pay range is $22-$25/hr.

Supervisory Responsibilities 

This is not a supervisory position. 

Essential Job Responsibilities 

  • Operates a variety of systems in the cultivation of algae (Haematococcus) including, columns, Bags, ponds, and photo-bioreactor systems. 
  • Assists with flask and carboy systems as required. 
  • Maintains clean cultures and adheres to aseptic culture SOPs. 
  • Provides sufficient inoculums for all incremental production stages. 
  • Prepares nutrient and trace stock solutions. 
  • Maintains inventory of all nutrient and chemicals ensuring that all items are in stock and ready for use  or on order. 
  • Cleans culture systems and sanitizes chemically and/or with steam/autoclave. Maintains systems database. 
  • Analyzes pond nutrient data and recommendations for nutrient additions. 
  • Monitors algae culture health. 
  • Monitors algae harvesting in coordination with Ax Pond Supervisor. 
  • Identifies problems and recommends solutions. 
  • Updates production protocols related to cultivation. 

Other Duties 

  • Reviews, revises, and validates SOPs and other GMP documentation via TMS.
  • Conducts Quality Control functions as needed and trained. 
  • Cross training to assist in Spirulina cultivation and/or R&D as workload allows.
  • Ensures that analytical testing is performed accurately and recorded in a timely manner. This includes pond monitoring, nutrient analysis, and feeding to meet set specifications.
  • Maintains consistent knowledge of Spirulina production system condition and health as it relates to optimal production output.
  • Maintains optimal Spirulina culture conditions through daily monitoring and adjustments.
  • Monitors visual quality of the Spirulina system via weekly full-farm microscopy.
  • Ensures necessary supplies are on site to perform duties.
  • Maintain laboratory and equipment in a clean and safe condition.
  • Maintains close communication with management, fellow department members and Spirulina Pond staff to optimize system operation.
  • Ensures accurate and timely data entry of information to network storage.
  • Operates a variety of systems in the cultivation of algae.
  • Monitors algae culture health and harvesting on time.
  • Maintains general housekeeping of work areas. 
  • Performs other duties that may be assigned. 

Physical Demands 

This position requires the ability to work outdoors in the sun, with extensive walking on uneven ground,  climbing platform ladders, and lifting up to 50 lbs. This is a physically demanding position. 

Working Conditions 

Most of the work is performed outside, in a sunny, hot climate. Protection from sun exposure may be  required. The daily duties may also include working in wet, slippery areas such as in ponds. Standing and  working at a lab bench for long periods of time may also be required. Handling of certain chemicals  requires use of a respirator or PPE. 


  • Bachelor’s degree in Aquaculture, Biology, Agriculture, Marine Science or other relevant discipline with experience in algal production, aquaculture or farming is preferred.  
  • Must have a valid driver’s license to be certified to operate forklifts. 
  • Previous experience in lab and microalgae cultivation techniques preferred. 
  • Demonstrated ability to work efficiently and cooperatively in a fast-paced farming/production environment. 
  • Proficiency with PC-based computer programs Microsoft Word, Excel, and Outlook.
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills, as well as attention to detail. 
  • Ability to multi-task and adapt to changes in work assignments. 
  • Able to work independently as well as part of a team. 
  • Strong verbal, written and interpersonal skills.  
  • Able to perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.

Management reserves the right to change this job with or without notice.

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