Scientist, Plant Physiology (berries)

  • Location: US - Watsonville, California
  • Job Family: Research & Development
  • Time Type: Full time
  • Job Requisition ID: R0004291
  • Experience Years: 3-5 Years of Experience
  • Employee Type: Regular

About the Opportunity

The Scientist, Plant Physiology (berries) will lead and carry out research programs to address challenges faced by cultivated berries and the optimization of plant management practices, with a specific focus on obtaining high-flavor, high-quality fruit. We are looking for a scientist with a passion for innovation; research priorities will have a wide range from the optimization of plant propagation methods, plant nutrient acquisition, root biology, and canopy training systems to the development of plant growth models and the use of image analysis and remote sensing technologies. The researcher will work in a very collaborative environment, interacting with teams including breeding, agronomy, applied research, postharvest, and plant health. We are looking for somebody curious, inquisitive, humble, and thriving in team work and collaboration. The scientist will identify and drive research priorities that respond to global business needs, develop training programs for others in the organization, and lead collaboration projects on behalf of Driscoll’s. The plant physiology scientist will integrate into the Global R&D Plant Physiology Team and report to the Director of Global Plant Research. The researcher may be involved in short-term assignments (approximately 25% travel yearly) in other business units of the enterprise to support other Teams and ensure the establishment, execution, and data collection of experimental trials.


  • Developing and leading business-driven environmental physiology field research trials on fruit production, fruit flavor components, and growing practices.
  • Lead and carry out internal and external research efforts on the performance of berry plants in different growing regions.
  • Ensure the establishment, execution, and data collection on experimental trials with short-term assignments in other business units of the enterprise. The expected length of the period abroad will depend on the type of research priority assigned.
  • Develop the relevant mentoring or training programs to deploy innovation and implementation of key findings across the organization as needed.
  • Lead collaboration on plant physiology 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.
  • Develops strategies to provide foundational knowledge to regional nurseries.
  • Ensures the security of Driscoll’s confidential and proprietary information and materials.

Candidate Profile

  • Ph.D. degree in plant physiology, plant ecophysiology, plant biology, horticulture, or related field required.
  • 3+ years of post-degree work experience, preferably with both academia and industry-relevant background.
  • Experience in projects comparing locations/climates preferred.
  • Ability to work with others at a high and collaborative level.
  • Experience in berry crop production, propagation, or fruit production preferred.
  • Experience in leading research programs with relevant outcomes and impacts in the fruit industry.
  • Understanding of the role of GxExM component as the foundation for plant performance. 
  • Proficiency in developing both basic as well as applied research trials.
  • Courageous, creative and conceptual thinker with practical planning skills.
  • Notably humble and passionate about plants.
  • Ability to manage multiple projects across the enterprise.
  • Travel required up to 25% yearly.
  • A valid passport and the ability to travel internationally without restrictions are also required.

Compensation & Benefits:

The following information is provided in good faith as a general description of the salary range and benefits for the position posted.  The actual compensation offered to the successful candidate is dependent upon experience, skills, education, work location, internal pay equity, and other objective job-related factors. 

Salary Range estimated for Scientist, Plant Physiology: $86,700.00 to $143,200.00 USD.

Driscoll’s is committed to a culture of care and offers an attractive benefits package that includes comprehensive medical, dental, and vision coverage, life insurance, and disability coverage for positions working more than 30 hours per week. Other benefits include:  401(k) with employer match, profit-sharing participation, paid sick time, paid vacation, paid personal and family care leave, and a free Employee Assistance Program (EAP).  More detailed information regarding the benefits package, will be shared during the application process.

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.