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The Duke University School of Medicine Zebrafish Core Facilities (Z-Core) is a shared resource that offers aquaculture services to ten biomedical research labs using fish as a model organisms.  Having gone through several expansions since its inception in 2003, the Duke Z-Core now houses over 12,000 tanks. The facility utilizes seven large multi-rack recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), a flow through system, and many small RAS units to house thousands of transgenic and mutant zebrafish and stickleback strains.  The facility staff provides fish husbandry and RAS maintenance in support of studies at the forefront of tissue regeneration, microbiota interaction, morphogenesis, cellular disease, immunology, and vertebrate evolution research.  The Z-Core’s growth and use of advanced aquaculture equipment creates a unique and growth-oriented environment for professionals looking to advance in aquaculture and aquatic science disciplines.


The Z-Core has an opening for an Aquaculture Manager (Lab Research Analyst 1) to be part of a dedicated husbandry staff. Candidates should have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline, with a master’s degree preferred.  Ideal candidates will have at least 2-3 years of experience working with zebrafish or in a biomedical aquaculture facility.  An advanced understanding of aquaculture, husbandry, and water chemistry is expected.


Work responsibilities include:

1.)  Provide support to Shared Resource Manager and researchers in the daily facility functions. 

2.)  Supervise and train technicians and student helpers on required duties.

3.)  Respond to emergency situations (this may include responding at night or on weekends).

4.)  Prepare stock solutions and track inventory necessary for research procedures and fish care.

5.)  Manage quarantine room to ensure biosecurity measures are being exercised and fish strains are transitioned properly into general holding.

6.)  Coordinate logistics of importing and exporting fish shipments.

7.)  Assist in developing or revising standard operating procedures.

8.)  Orient new facility users.  

9.)  Feed fish, maintain cultures, and clean tanks as needed.

10.)  Maintain facility cleanliness in tandem with the facility staff.

11.)  Handle requirements of quarterly sanitation testing.

12.)  Record, review, and/or adjust daily water parameters.

13.)  Perform daily health checks and work with veterinarians and staff to resolve any health abnormalities.

14.)  Ensure facility equipment is maintained, calibrated, and operating correctly.

15.)  Monitor embryo care, survival, and transfer of tanks on or off of nursery racks.

16.)  Maintain common wild-type, transgenic, and mutant fish stocks.

17.)  Participate and occasionally lead in bi-weekly staff meetings.

18.)  Contribute ideas on facility improvements regarding equipment, procedures, and techniques.

19.)  Interact and consult with facility users to ensure research goals are being met by the most humane and ethical methods in accordance with approved protocols.


Other duties may be required as necessary.   Training will be provided as needed.  Occasional weekend and holiday work is required.


Working conditions:

The Aquaculture Manager will be on his/her feet a majority of the time and will periodically need to lift items up to 50lbs.  Work will be performed in or around wet conditions that require extra caution.  Work may result in occasional exposure to malodorous smells, chemicals, and fish and bacterial waste. 



Candidates should have at minimum a bachelor’s degree in a scientific discipline related to aquatics or animal care, with a master’s degree preferred.  Two to three years of work experience contributing to an understanding of aquaculture equipment and maintenance, fish health and husbandry, and water chemistry is expected. 


Salary:  DOE/DOQ


If interested please send cover letter and resume to Jim Burris, Shared Resource Manager, at

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