Plant/Seed Pathologist - Agriculture Industry

Estero, FL

Summary

Lipman Family Farms is the largest supplier of field-grown tomatoes in North America. Our success is dependent upon breeding superior tomato hybrids and producing F1 seeds for our farming operations. Plant pathology is integral to our seed development efforts. This pathologist position will be a key contributor to both breeding and seed production projects as part of our innovative R&D team. Key areas of responsibility will include but are not limited to: Germplasm disease screening, identification and introgression of novel resistances, population phenotyping as part of gene discovery and mapping projects, seed health/sanitation, plant and seed diagnostics and biological risk management.

Lipman R&D is looking for a highly motivated scientist with a strong background in applied plant and seed pathology. Knowledge and experience in supporting disciplines such as horticulture, breeding or genetics, molecular biology, IPM, hybrid seed production, embryo rescue and familiarity with tomato crop and phytosanitary requirements would be beneficial. The candidate will participate in a wide range of activities and experiments designed to expand our industry-leading tomato product mix. Regular exposure to all aspects of our dynamic farming, packing and sales operations are an essential part of this job.

This position reports directly to the Director of Breeding and Seed Production for Lipman R&D. The position will be located at our main R&D campus in Estero, Florida.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Pathogen isolation and maintenance of cultures and check lines for all disease screens.
  • Pathogen diagnostics for tomato breeding and seed crop health.
  • Germplasm/seedling disease screens in support of all breeding and seed production activities.
  • Greenhouse and growth chamber crop management for all disease screens.
  • Maintain and update all disease screen protocols and related experimental data in the R&D database.
  • Collaborate with breeders in gene discovery, phenotyping and mapping projects.
  • Conduct experiments designed to validate genetic marker accuracy.
  • Coordinate ongoing resistance/gene introgression and trait stacking experiments.
  • Assist staff with phytosanitary needs for stock and F1 seed shipments globally.
  • Assist seed production staff with stock seed health and purity projects globally.
  • Perform preventative crop disease scouting in R&D greenhouses, nurseries and breeding trials.
  • Attend professional and academic meetings to bolster knowledge of new farm risks, relevant new techniques and to better inform IPM activities at all levels of the business.
  • Assist the Director of Breeding with annual budgeting and requisite equipment procurement or facility modifications.

Qualifications

  • PhD in Plant Pathology or closely related discipline with a minimum of 3 years of experience in applied plant pathology research or M.S. with at least 5 years in an applied R&D setting.
  • The successful candidate should be proficient in the areas of pathogen diagnostics, culture isolations/maintenance, germplasm disease screening, and familiar with plant breeding techniques including population phenotyping with preference given to those with experience related to seed pathology and sanitation methods.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop, write, edit and follow pathology protocols and standard operating procedures for safe and efficient laboratory operations.
  • Familiarity with phytosanitary and seed health testing methods.
  • Demonstrated familiarity with common tomato disease diagnostic techniques such as ELISA, Immunostrips, PCR, SNP, microscopy, staining, streaming and other common methods.
  • Familiarity with embryo rescue and pollen germination techniques is not essential but would be a plus.
  • Ability to travel to meetings and trial sites both domestically and internationally for up to 12 days on an occasional basis as directed.
  • Experience using the Microsoft Office Suite and familiarity with manipulation of data in a relational type database for reporting and communication purposes.
  • Excellent leadership skills with ability to plan and execute projects in a team setting across multiple geographic locations while staying on budget and on task.
  • Credentialed to work in the U.S. permanently and to travel abroad freely.
  • Must possess a valid U.S. driver’s license and have a clean (verifiable) driving record.
  • Fluency in written and spoken English but ability to also communicate in Spanish is a plus.
  • Ability to work in varied agricultural and business settings that may be hot, cold, wet, bright, dark, uneven or sloped, with ability to type, climb, lift 30 lbs., walk, bend, stoop or kneel as such situations necessitate. Loud machinery may also be encountered occasionally.
  • Must be a non-smoker with no use of tobacco products (required).

Education

PhD in Plant Pathology or closely related discipline with a minimum of 3 years of experience in applied plant pathology research OR M.S. with at least 5 years in an applied R&D setting

Job Location

Estero, FL

*Required