Research Program Lead, Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA)

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0003742
  • Experience Years: 5-10 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Controlled Environment Lead will lead Driscoll’s Global R&D programs on growth chamber research for nursery and fruiting purposes, as well as those programs related to the development of novel glasshouse and greenhouse production systems for berry plant and fruit production. The position will manage the growth chamber research facilities, determine what research programs better respond to global business needs, develop training programs for others in the organization, lead collaboration projects on controlled environment research on behalf of Driscoll’s. The Controlled Environment Lead will integrated the Global R&D Plant Physiology Department and report to the Director of Plant Research. This leadership position requires the ability to manage multiple initiatives, facilitate positive and solution-oriented discussions with key stakeholders, a high-level understanding of plant science and plant physiology in particular, as well as agronomic, computer and engineering systems that run state of the art growth chamber research facilities. We are looking for somebody curious, inquisitive, humble and thriving in team work and collaboration.


  • Develop and manage the relevant controlled environment research programs that better respond to business needs in both plant propagation and fruit production.
  • Lead internal and external research efforts on the most relevant technologies for indoor farming, glasshouse or greenhouse production that advance the performance of berry plants.
  • Develop the relevant genetic screening assays for the identification 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.
  • of indoor farming traits across Driscoll’s breeding programs.
  • Lead collaboration across departments and business units on controlled environment that better provide.
  • 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.
  • Mentors and provides technical stewardship to regional applied research teams, developing training programs that advance their competences, their scientific robustness and business-oriented plant science acumen.
  • Leads collaboration relationships with universities, industry institutions and other stakeholders on controlled environment research programs.
  • Develops strategies to provide foundational knowledge to regional nurseries.
  • Actively participates in Global R&D Management Team.
  • Ensures the security of Driscoll’s confidential and proprietary information and materials.

Candidate Profile

  • PhD in Plant Sciences, Agriculture Science, Horticulture, or related field required.
  • 5+ years of work experience, preferably with both academia and industry relevant background.
  • Experience in strawberry crops, research programs on propagation or fruit production of strawberry crops under controlled environments.
  • Robust understanding of plant physiology and light technologies applied to plant physiology.
  • Experience in developing, working or 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 absolutely 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.
  • Ability to turn plans into reality.
  • 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.