Bivalve Shellfish Pathologist

Fish Pathologist (35 Hour) (Hybrid)

Recruitment #220701-3924EE-001


The State of Connecticut Department of Agriculture has one job opening for a Bivalve Shellfish Pathologist (Fish Pathologist) position, focusing on the state’s main aquaculture products, oysters and hard clams. This position will be assigned to the Bureau of Aquaculture. The Bureau of Aquaculture, with laboratory facilities in Milford, CT, is tasked with overseeing marine and inland aquaculture related production activities.

The primary responsibilities of the successful candidate will be to annually monitor natural and commercial bivalve shellfish populations for disease prevalence and intensity, and develop management recommendations for the Industry and the Bureau (natural bed and shellfish restoration management). The successful candidate will also partake in research collaborations with federal and state partners, such as the development of next generation oyster brood stock by assessing resistance to shellfish diseases through various hybrid crosses in local grow-out trials.


The mission of the Department of Agriculture is to foster a healthy economic, environmental and social climate for agriculture by developing, promoting, and regulating agricultural businesses; protecting agricultural and aquacultural resources; enforcing laws pertaining to domestic animals; and promoting an understanding among the state's citizens of the diversity of Connecticut agriculture, its cultural heritage and its contribution to the state's economy.

Position Requirement:

The selected incumbent will be required to obtain certification of program lab procedures.

Requirements for Shellfish Health Certification:

Applicant will be required to perform diagnostic molluscan shellfish pathology through annual statewide disease surveys and in support of aquaculture operations. Applicant must be able to prepare shellfish health certifications and interpret certifications on imported shellfish seed. The Bureau of Aquaculture Laboratory currently has the available technology for histologically and molecularly analyzing shellfish tissues for disease prevalence and intensity.


  • Monday - Friday
  • Full-time (35 hours per week)
  • First shift
  • Some telework available

The State of Connecticut offers a competitive starting salary, excellent state benefits package including health/dental insurance, generous paid time off, retirement plan options, alternate work schedules, and a culture that encourages work-life balance.

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Selection Plan

To Apply:

  • In order to be considered for this job opening, you must meet the Minimum Qualifications as listed on this job opening. You must specify your qualifications on your application.
  • The minimum experience and training requirements must be met by the close date on the job opening, unless otherwise specified.
  • Ensure that your application is complete and detailed before submitting it. In order to comply with Public Act 21-69, the State of Connecticut is no longer asking for resumes during the initial application process. You will not be able to make revisions once your application is submitted into the JobAps system.
  • Please select all location(s) and shift(s) you are willing to work on your application. Failure to do so may result in not being considered for vacancies in that specific location or shift.
  • All application materials must be received by the recruiting agency by the time specified on the job opening for the position for which you are applying. Late applications may not be submitted and will not be considered. Exceptions are rare and limited to documented events that incapacitate a candidate during the entire duration of the job posting time period. It is the candidate’s obligation and responsibility to request an exception and provide a legally recognized justification to accommodate such exception. Requests should be made to
Important Information After You Apply:

  • This posting may require completion of additional referral questions (RQs). You can access these RQs via an email that will be sent to you after the posting's closing date or by visiting your JobAps Personal Status Board (Certification Questionnaires section). Your responses to these RQs must be submitted by the questionnaire's expiration date. Please regularly check your email and JobAps Personal Status Board for notifications. Please check your SPAM and/or Junk folders on a daily basis in the event an email provider places auto-notification emails in a user's spam.
  • Although applicants will receive correspondence via email, as a backup they are also encouraged to sign on to their Personal Status Board on a daily basis to monitor their status, view all emailed notices and complete tasks required in the recruitment process.
  • Note: At any point during the recruitment process, applicants may be required to submit additional documentation which support their qualification(s) for this position. These documents may include: a cover letter, resume, performance reviews, attendance records, supervisory references, licensure, etc., at the discretion of the hiring agency.
  • Interviews will be limited to candidates whose experience and training most closely meet the requirements of the position.
  • The immediate vacancy is listed above, however, applications to this recruitment may be used for future vacancies in this job class.
Connect With Us:

Due to the large volume of applications received, we are unable to provide confirmation of receipt or status during the recruitment process. Updates will be available through your JobAps portal account. Should you have any questions pertaining to this recruitment, please contact Frank DeCusati at or 860-713-5176.


In the Departments of Agriculture and Energy and Environmental Protection this class is accountable for performing as a specialist in the development, design, implementation, coordination and oversight of a state fish and/or shellfish health management program and overseeing the fish health activities of state fish culture facilities, commercial hatcheries and the state's natural and/or marine waters.


Performs specialized duties in development, design, implementation and maintenance of state fish and/or shellfish health management program; serves as agency primary source of professional knowledge of fish and/or shellfish pathology; develops guidelines for prevention and/or minimization of spread of fish and/or shellfish disease; oversees all activities involved in fish and/or shellfish health including inspection of facilities and examination, diagnosis and treatment or disposal of diseased or parasitized fish and/or shellfish; implements fish and/or shellfish disease immunization programs; monitors environmental quality of water; performs activities necessary to certify fish, shellfish and fish eggs are disease free; prescribes corrective measures for water chemistry problems; prescribes changes in hatchery operations to improve fish health and utilization of materials and supplies; establishes disease status of state owned and commercial hatcheries; may oversee and/or conduct investigations of communicable fish and/or shellfish diseases and other fish and/or shellfish problems in natural and/or marine waters; may train hatchery staffs in use of guidelines for prevention, identification, treatment and control of fish and/or shellfish disease; performs related duties as required.


Considerable knowledge of principles and methods of salmonid culture or marine fisheries particularly in areas of prevention, identification, treatment and control of fish diseases; considerable knowledge of technical aspects of fish hatchery operations; knowledge of standard laboratory diagnostic methods including tissue culture procedures for virus detection and biochemical and serological techniques used for bacterial pathogen identification; knowledge of identification and treatment of parasites of fish and/or shellfish; interpersonal skills; oral and written communication skills; ability to prepare and maintain records; ability to utilize computer software.


Seven (7) years of experience in marine or inland fish pathology and methods for the control of fish and/or shellfish diseases or management of culture facilities with direct experience in the areas of prevention, identification, treatment and control of fish and/or shellfish diseases.


1. College training in the biological sciences may be substituted for the General Experience on the basis of fifteen (15) semester hours equalling one-half (1/2) year of experience to a maximum of four (4) years for a Bachelor's degree. Fifteen (15) semester hours must have been in pathology, microbiology, histology and/or biochemistry.
2. A Master's degree in the biological sciences or fish pathology may be substituted for one (1) additional year of the General Experience.


  • Experience or coursework in bivalve-shellfish pathology, including requirements for a shellfish health certification
  • Experience performing disease surveillance using molecular methods such as multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR), to detect the deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) of disease-causing organisms in shellfish samples
  • Experience or coursework using procedures to collect and preserve cross sections of bivalve shellfish tissue for histopathological examination of shellfish disease prevalence and intensity
  • Experience or coursework in selective breeding programs of shellfish
  • Experience performing fieldwork in biology, specifically marine biology


1. Incumbents in this class may be required to travel.
2. Incumbents in this class may be required to possess and retain a valid Motor Vehicle Operator’s license.


Incumbents in this class may be subject to some danger of injury or physical harm from environmental conditions and a moderate degree of discomfort from exposure to year round weather conditions.



The State of Connecticut is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and strongly encourages the applications of women, minorities, and persons with disabilities.