Researcher, Controlled Environment Agriculture

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0003742
  • Experience Years: 3-5 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Researcher, Controlled Environment Agriculture will develop, lead, and carry out Driscoll’s Global R&D programs on growth chamber discoveries for nursery and fruit production for berries. The selected candidate will also develop relevant research programs related to novel glasshouse production systems for berries. The researcher will be the primary manager of the growth chamber research facilities, will identify and drive research priorities that will better respond to global business needs, develop training programs for others in the organization, and lead collaboration projects on controlled environment research on behalf of Driscoll’s. The Controlled Environment researcher will integrate in the Global R&D Plant Physiology Team and report to the Director of Global Plant Research. This position requires the ability to manage multiple initiatives, facilitate positive and solution-oriented discussions with key stakeholders, a high-level understanding of plant biology and physiology as well as agronomic, computer, and engineering systems. The position requires a certain knowledge and familiarity with running state of the art growth chamber research facilities. We are looking for somebody curious, inquisitive, humble and thriving in team work and collaborations.


  • Developing and managing business-driven controlled environment research programs on plant propagation, fruit production, and fruit flavor components.
  • Lead and carry out internal and external research efforts on performance of berry plants in indoor farming, glasshouse or greenhouse production.
  • Develop relevant genetic screening assays for fruit characteristics for vertical and glasshouse production across Driscoll’s breeding programs.
  • Manage Driscoll’s growth chamber research facilities.
  •  Lead the deployment of controlled environment research results to Driscoll’s commercial plant of fruit production units.
  • Develop the relevant mentoring or training programs to deploy controlled environment systems across the organization as needed.
  • Lead collaboration on controlled environment research across R&D departments and Driscoll’s business units.
  • Develops talent, both through formal as well as through informal relationships and organizational structures across the Enterprise.
  • Maintains a deep understanding of Driscoll’s breeding programs, production systems and production environments, identifying the plant research solutions that augment the genetic value of genetic cultivars.
  • Leads collaboration relationships with universities, industry institutions and other stakeholders on controlled environment research programs.
  • Develops strategies to provide foundational knowledge to regional nurseries.
  • Ensures the security of Driscoll’s confidential and proprietary information and materials.

Candidate Profile

  •  PhD degree in Plant Sciences, Horticulture, Agriculture Science, Agricultural Engineering or related field required.
  • 4+ years of work experience, preferably with both academia and industry relevant background.
  • Experience in strawberry crop production, propagation or fruit production under controlled environments preferred.
  • Robust understanding of plant physiology and light technologies applied to plant growth under controlled environment.
  • Experience in managing research growth chambers for horticultural research programs.
  • Understanding of the role of GxExM component as foundation for plant performance, and the ability to design genetic screening assays for indoor farming traits.  
  • Proficiency developing both foundational as well as applied research trials.
  • Courageous, creative and conceptual thinker with practical planning skills.
  •  Entrepreneurial attributes, not risk-adverse, notably humble, and passionate about plants.
  • Ability to work with key internal stakeholders and manage multiple projects across the enterprise.
  • Ability to develop process, manage multiple projects, and measure results.
  • Ability to work with others at a high and collaborative level.
  •  A valid passport and the ability to travel internationally without restrictions are also required. 

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.