Fruit Breeder/Trait Discovery Scientist

 

 

 

 

Sun World International is a California-based agriculture and technology firm engaged in fruit variety development, technology, intellectual property, and licensing. Technology and IP pursuits include one of the world’s leading fruit breeding/genetics programs, a broad-based portfolio of plant patents and trademarks and investments in agriculture technology start-ups benefiting its global licensees. Licensing consists of sharing new proprietary stone fruit and table grape varieties, and the IP they comprise, with like-minded fruit growers and marketers in more than 15 countries around the world.

The Company prizes creativity, innovation, and an entrepreneurial spirit. Its people strive for excellence by demonstrating leadership, passion, kindness, authenticity, courage, initiative, and curiosity. 

About the department
At the heart of Sun World’s business is a commitment to developing new fruit varieties that can be grown in a sustainable way and optimized for yield, flavor, and appearance. The Breeding and R&D program focuses on fast-moving technology and developing the next generation of fruit genetics to meet grower challenges and consumer expectations. The program is located at the Sun World Center for Innovation in Wasco, California -in the heart of San Joaquin Valley agriculture production. At Sun World you are part of a team that values passion, respect, and leadership to envision and create the
future.

About the opportunity 
Sun World seeks a dynamic breeder to leverage our industry leading pipeline and create the next generation of innovative products. The Fruit Breeder/Trait Discovery Scientist Position is responsible for breeding, evaluation, and selecting new cherry, and stone fruit cultivars for production in various growing regions around the world as well as varieties adapted for production in California’s San Joaquin and Coachella Valleys. The position will collaborate with Sun World Table Grape and Specialty Crop Breeders, the Biostatistics and Quantitative Genetics Lead, the Molecular Breeding Research Scientist to develop and implement methods and strategy to support the Sun World breeding pipelines and will work cross-functionally to incorporate state-of-the art technologies in breeding programs. The Position will partner with our Global Technical Services, Licensing, Legal, and Marketing teams to deliver industry-leading varieties in an accelerated timeline. 

Personnel supervised: Permanent and seasonal labor assisting in data collection
Reports to: Chief Science Officer
Works with: Sun World R&D, Marketing and Licensing, Global Technical Services agronomists, and IP and Legal team
Hours: Full time, 40 hours/week, Monday-Friday working nights and weekends as needed

Responsibilities

  • Reporting to the Chief Science Officer, lead the cherry and stone fruit breeding program and support the table grape breeding program based in Wasco, CA.
  • Develop crossing plans and implement progeny selection and population evaluation of breeding trials in Central and Southern California with support for global test plot evaluation
  • Obtain, propagate, and evaluate new varieties as parent material, maintain sufficient diversity and germplasm resources in breeding blocks and explore opportunities to introduce new or novel germplasm into the program
  • Maintain digital records of plant/plot observations, crossing plans, discards, and related data
  • Collect plant patent data, prepare, and submit patent applications to General IP Counsel in a timely manner
  • Prepare and analyze data for advancement meetings and early-stage advancement decisions and late-stage advancement recommendations
  • Work cross-functionally to prepare prioritized lists of breeding and innovation targets for both qualitative and quantitative traits for specific market segments; develop valuation of specific traits and assess technical feasibility
  • Develop genetic and genomic resources aimed to characterize existing germplasm, and expand parental genotypes used in breeding
  • Partner with R&D and farming teams to coordinate budgets, research, and breeding needs
  • Work closely with technical service and licensing teams to design, develop and communicate variety attributes and best management practices across global environments
  • Effectively communicate the advantages and benefits of the Sun World pipeline to internal and external parties, conferences, and trade shows
  • Host existing and prospective licensees and conduct periodic visits to foreign test and commercial production sites

Professional Skills & Qualifications required

  • Ph.D. degree in plant breeding or genetics; or Ph.D. in a relevant discipline with 3+ years in breeding and genetics; or Master’s degree with 6+ years of plant breeding experience
  • Excellent understanding of breeding strategy and methods for asexually propagated specialty crops
  • Documented experience with genetic and genomic analyses, including defining marker trait associations to enable marker assisted selection
  • Excellent organizational and communication skills in English, strong interpersonal skills and able to work in a diverse, multi-cultural environment
  • Proven ability to foster innovation, influence, and collaborate with diverse, and global teams 
  • Knowledge and passion for both molecular and traditional plant breeding and the ability to successfully merge cross-disciplinary approaches to create successful breeding pipelines
  • Experience with database management, Excel, statistical software, and analyses
  • Project management experience with a demonstrated ability to drive projects to completion while working under tight timelines
  • Knowledge and experience in field trial design and analysis
  • Flexible and adaptable; able to be effective in a fast-paced environment
  • Must be able to work in a field setting
  • Possess a technology and digital-first mindset
  • Relocation with the ability to work on-site 100% of the time
  • Available for domestic travel and the ability to travel internationally without restrictions

Preferred

  • Plant breeding and genetics data analysis and visualizations in R or related language
  • Bilingual (Spanish) fluency or proficiency
  • Commercial experience breeding perennial/asexually propagated crops

Employees can expect to be paid a base salary between $110,000 and $138,000. Additional benefits include health care, vision, dental, retirement, vacation and sick leave. Offers for the role may vary depending on candidate skill level, prior experience, and other relevant factors.

Physical demands:
The position is regularly required to sit, use hands-to-finger, handle controls, and talk and hear. The employee is required to stand, walk, and stop. Employee must regularly lift and move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision and the ability to adjust focus, as well as work with a computer monitor and in the field.

For more information or to apply please send your resume to Recruiting@sun-world.com 


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