Host Resistance - Senior Scientist

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0003094
  • Experience Years: 5-10 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

Driscoll’s Inc. is the leading producer of fresh berries (strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry) in markets across the globe with nursery and fruit production operations in more than 20 countries. The Host Resistance team works collaboratively with breeding, pre-breeding, pathology and entomology colleagues to develop assays to characterize our proprietary genetics and discover traits that promote crop resiliency to biotic stress. The successful candidate will lead a team focused on conducting assays of varying throughput for key pathogen and arthropod pests of berries. This position is the functional lead of this area identifying trait targets, evaluating their potential impact, and planning and executing multi-year work projects. This position is in the Global Plant Health group and joins a group of senior scientists with expertise in international management of berry pests. The successful candidate with peers will collectively lead integration of data and information to create robust plant health systems for the Driscoll’s enterprise.


Develop disease and arthropod resistance assays:

  • Develop and further optimize existing resistance assays for Driscoll’s variety and germplasm development. 
  • Guide work in a way that aligns with desired outcome (e.g., trait discovery, QTL mapping, genomic selection, race determination).

Manage workflow and develop talent:

  • This position is responsible for not only creating strategy but also day to day execution of the work. 
  • This includes managing budget, developing people consistent with Driscoll’s values, and aligning efforts with other groups.

Information Flow and Reporting:

  • Maintain good relationships with peers, managers, subordinates, and outside groups that would include Driscoll’s growers and customers.
  • Manage data and write reports in a timely manner. 

Team Contribution:

  • Work cross-functionally as needed to achieve Driscoll’s Mission.
  • Partner with others to achieve mutual goals.
  • Be a team player in furthering Driscoll’s Mission.

General Responsibilities:

  • Follow company policies and practices while representing Driscoll’s in an ethical and business-like manner in all interactions with growers, employees, government agencies, customers, etc.
  • Protect Driscoll’s confidentiality and proprietary information and materials.
  • Maintain a safe and professional work area.
  • Other duties as assigned*

*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

  • PhD degree in Plant Pathology or other relevant field of study.
  • Experience in plant pathology is required.   Literacy and experience in molecular biology, quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, and high throughput phenotyping would be differentiators for a candidate.  
  • Ability to work independently to carry work forward is required but balanced with need to be highly collaborative with others in the R&D group.
  • Knowledge of plants and their cultivation in greenhouse and field. 
  • High organizational skills, attention to detail and ability to manage data. 
  • The ability to successfully work with a diverse cross-cultural team.
  • Individual should be a self-starter and enjoy the challenge of working in a growing company.
  • Excellent communication & presentation skills required.
  • California driver’s license and the ability to be covered under company-sponsored vehicle insurance program are also required.
  • Hold valid passport.
  • Willingness for occasional domestic or international travel.

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.