Blueberry Breeding Research Associate

  • Location: US - Arts Ranch, Oxnard
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0001659
  • Experience Years: 0-3 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Research Associate I, Blueberry Breeding supports the local Variety Development Manager in the successful execution of the breeding trials in Oxnard. Responsibilities include data collection and management, postharvest fruit quality assessments, managing the flavor assessment program, collaboration with the Test Plot personnel to ensure proper maintenance of the trials, and execution of research projects as directed by the Variety Development Manager. In addition, this position will assist in the identification of improved plant cultivars and the commercialization of these cultivars under the direction of the breeding department. In partnership with the local Variety Development Manager, the Research Associate will be asked to be an active participant in the global breeding circles for blueberry breeding.


Variety Evaluation

  • Responsible for flavor data, postharvest data collection, field data, and phenotypic data entry, while providing a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Manage the flavor assessment program. Generate weekly list of varieties for external and internal flavor tests, deciding what locations to use each week to maximize flavor data quality and quantity. Validate the data weekly and maintain and share data.
  • Participate in and coordinate post-harvest fruit testing, as well as submitting new harvest priority lists each week to ensure adequate number of data points per variety. Maintain, validate weekly and share data.
  • Responsible for identifying abnormalities using good judgment and discretion that will require further research when analyzing data points.
  • Perform other data collection projects as directed by the Variety Development Manager.
  • Provide input for Southern California blueberry breeding reports and production guides.
  • Act as a team member for the Global Blueberry Breeding Group. Frequently consult and provide input to the Variety Development Manager and other scientists of the Global Blueberry Breeding Team.

Test Plot

  • Assist in all plant maintenance, such as planting, pruning, and harvesting the blueberry test plots in Oxnard.
  • Create, maintain and review test plot maps, signage, and labels.
  • Collaborate with farming team to ensure trial and plant maintenance is executed.
  • Scout and report issues such as plant disease, pest pressure, nutritional or abiotic concerns.


  • Ensures the confidentiality of Driscoll’s financial, proprietary and employee information.
  • Represents Driscoll’s in a manner that demonstrates Driscoll’s Mission and Values in all interactions internally and externally.
  • This job description is intended to describe the general nature of the work performed by employees in this job. It is not an exhaustive list of all the job's responsibilities. At Driscoll’s, all of our jobs include broad responsibilities for continually improving the processes we use to develop our products.

Candidate Profile

  • B.S. in Horticulture or Agronomy preferably. Other agriculture-related areas of emphasis may be considered with 1-3 years of experience in Agriculture or Plant Breeding.
  • 0-3 years’ experience in Plant Breeding or Horticulture.
  • Candidate must be disciplined, self-motivated and have strong verbal/written communication and the ability to effectively collaborate with others, as well as work independently.
  • Strong organizational skills required.
  • Ability to exercise flexibility, initiative, good judgment and discretion.
  • Research and analytical skills sufficient to analyze problems in a multi- faceted way and to develop and participate in implementing solutions.
  • Experience with statistical analysis and Excel is desirable.
  • Must be able to work in different conditions, both in field and lab setting.
  • California driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company-sponsored vehicle insurance program.
  • Bilingual skills (English/Spanish) preferred.
  • A valid passport and the ability to travel internationally without restrictions.
  • Some travel within California and to Baja (Mexico) will be required. International travel may also be necessary as part of the position professional development.

About Driscolls

Driscoll's is the global market leader for fresh strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. With more than 100 years of farming heritage and hundreds of independent growers around the world, Driscoll's is passionate about growing fresh, beautiful and delicious berries. Our values of humility, passion and trustworthiness have guided our mission to delight consumers around the world.

Driscoll's exclusive patented berry varieties are developed through years of research using only natural breeding methods – meaning, no GMOs. From farm-to-table, we focus on delivering a high quality, premium berry experience with our many supply chain partners.

Driscoll's is the trusted brand for Only the Finest Berries™.

Driscoll's es el proveedor líder en la comercialización de Fresas, Frambuesas, Zarzamoras y Arándanos Azules en el mundo. Con más de 100 años de herencia en agricultura y cientos de productores independiente alrededor del mundo, Driscoll's es una compañía apasionada por cultivar Berries frescas, hermosas y deliciosas. Nuestros valores de humildad, pasión y confianza han guiado nuestra misión de deleitar a los consumidores en el mundo.

Las variedades exclusivas de Driscoll's han sido desarrolladas a través de años de investigación usando sólo métodos de mejoramiento natural. De la granja a la mesa, nos enfocamos en ofrecer una experiencia de alta calidad con apoyo de nuestros socios de la cadena de suministro.

Driscoll's es la marca de confianza de sólo las mejores Berries.