POWERPOLLEN CURRENT OPENINGS

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Research Associate - Wheat

Job purpose

The Research Associate position will support a PowerPollen® &  BASF collaboration aimed at further developing and applying PowerPollen’s patented pollen preservation and application technology to BASF’s proprietary wheat program. 

This Research Associate position will work closely with the leading Scientists on R&D efforts of our wheat focused collaboration.  Key objectives will include:

  • Preserving viability of wheat pollen to levels amenable for commercial use.
  • Development of scalable mechanical tools for wheat pollen handling (co-led with engineering group).

This Research Associate position will support scientific progress toward validation and scaling up for large field applications through:

  • Executing against and enabling company goal achievement through lab, controlled environment/greenhouse and field operations.
  • Collaborating with researchers on both the PowerPollen and BASF teams, to develop protocols to advance our knowledge on plant reproductive physiology.
  • Establish,nurture and maintain relationships with key internal and external stakeholders of both PowerPollen®and BASF.
  • Support and or be involved in the presentation to PowerPollen® and BASF leadership on key areas of accountability, providing insight, lessons learned, enhancements, issues and resolution proposals.

The selected candidate will be based in or near the Des Moines, Iowa metro area with frequent travel to other Midwest regions and areas where wheat is grown. 

Primary job duties and responsibilities:

  • Support the scientific lead in a collaboration focused on the development of wheat pollen and pollination technologies.
  • Generate and analyze data to develop understanding of pollen interactions with receptive plant tissues.
  • Conduct data compilation, analysis, and generating technical reports and methods to support development of commercial applications in a timely manner.
  • Maintain relationships with key internal and external stakeholders (including those with both companies involved in the wheat collaboration).
  • Assist with the development and scaling of technologies for commercial deployment and facilitate process up-scaling through management of lab, growth chamber and field activities.

Lab: 

  • Follow safety and aseptic protocols.
  • Accurately calculate, translate and prepare large scale dilutions, and solutions from small concentrations.
  • Utilize best practice laboratory skills to study and prepare cell cultures utilizing germination media, sterilizers, stereoscope, microscope and other related microbiology tools and techniques.
  • Review and understand lab research objectives and protocols before execution
  • Keep detailed record of activities and enter process modifications in laboratory notebooks.
  • Collaborate with other team members in complex projects synchronizing activities for best use of resources.
  • Produce reports and data summaries

Field: 

  • Follow safety protocols and positively encourage other team members to do the same.
  • Review and understand field research objectives and protocols before execution.
  • Ensure experimental methods are followed properly by field crews.
  • Closely work with local field operations personnel to identify, source, secure and manage field workers.
  • Ensure testing grounds and genotypes are adequate for the company’s larger and increasing testing and demonstration activities
  • Help design, implement and monitor process with collaborators including;logistics and materials receipt and transfer. 
  • Oversee management of the plant sample collection processes including: team/crew logistics, safety, equipment availability and operation, activity timing, scheduling and administrative coordination.
  • Coordinate plant sample collection, storage and manipulation.
  • Keep detailed record of activities and produce reports and data summaries

Growth Chambers:

  • Monitor and maintain plant health and viability by overseeing: water, fertilize, pest control, plant disposal, supply availability and replenishment.
  • Maintain growth chambers including; lighting, canopy glass, chamber cleanliness, climate control and coordination with outsourced mechanical climate control vendor.
  • Chamber maintenance including; compressor cleaning, painting, cabinet cleanliness.
  • May drive a forklift or a truck to perform growth chamber related duties.

Qualifications:

  • Positive and driven, with a problem-solving attitude
  • Experience working in a start-up environment or experience and genuine interest in working in a rapidly evolving and changing atmosphere including comfort working with assigned areas of responsibility as well as helping others in their areas of expertise as needed. 
  • BS degree plus some entry level experience in a science related role, wheat related is advantageous.
  • Experience with plant cell analytical methods including flow cytometry, mass spec; single cell viability testing, and enzyme activity quantification. Familiarity with instrumental analysis.
  • Relevant experience with isolating, culturing, and freezing cells will be an advantage.
  • Demonstrated capability to quickly establish and nurture relationships with key stakeholders including ability to influence, negotiate and reach mutually beneficial outcomes. 
  • Skill in common agricultural practices, including management of field crops, and controlled environment facilities. Mechanical aptitude for making adjustments and identification of issues that require external support.
  • Resourceful:  able to build and maintain a network allowing for continued advancement and scaling of company capabilities
  • Previous experience overseeing teams, crews including employees and contracted labor. 
  • Highly organized, capable of seeing a barrier or issue as an opportunity to overcome a challenge in the delivery of excellent results.
  • Self-motivation and independent drive with an ability to work with highly effective teams
  • Capable and interested in working in an environment that includes indoor lab conditions and outdoor agricultural conditions throughout the year.
  • Willingness to travel with potential for some extended travel periods throughout the year.

Working conditions

This position will work in varying conditions including normal laboratory setting to typical in-season agricultural environment.  This includes working in crop fields when weather conditions are extremely hot/humid and insects are present and long periods of standing/walking may be required. 

Physical requirements

The position involves physical activity including lifting objects up to 50 pounds, walking on uneven terrain, ability to tolerate heat and humidity typical of local field conditions, with extended hours that will vary with crop development in different locales.

PowerPollen® is an equal opportunity employer.

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Research Scientist - Wheat

Job purpose

This Scientist position will lead a PowerPollen® & BASF collaboration aimed at further developing and applying PowerPollen’s patented pollen preservation and application technology to BASF’s proprietary wheat program. This Scientist role role will have accountability to drive the collaboration efforts toward improving cross-pollination and accelerating the development of hybrid wheat.

Key objectives will include:
• Preserving viability of wheat pollen to levels ameanable for commercial use.
• Development of scalable mechanical tools for wheat pollen handling (co-led with engineering group).

This Scientist position will progress PowerPollen(R) research theory and validation to enable scale up to large field applications. Executing against and enabling company goal achievement through lab and field operations.

The selected candidate will be based in or near the Des Moines, Iowa metro area (officed in Ankeny, IA) with frequent travel to other midwest regions. Consideration will be given for locating in or near the Midwest U.S.

Duties and responsibilities

• Serve as the scientific lead in the BASF – PowerPollen collaboration, focused on the development of wheat pollen and pollination technologies.
• Execute against precise science plans and company goals while gathering and providing solid input for process enhancement and improvement.
• Serve as liaison with internal and external contacts with regard to research objectives and activities.
• Collaborate with researchers on both the PowerPollen and BASF teams, to develop protocols to advance our knowledge on plant reproductive physiology.
• Designing and conducting experiments independently.
• Manage research personnel at our agricultural testing sites.
• Generate and analyze data to develop understanding of pollen interactions with receptive plant tissues.
• Support data compilation, analysis, and generating technical reports and methods to support development of commercial applications in a timely manner.
• Establish,nurture and maintain relationships with key internal and external stakeholders of both PowerPollen and BASF.
• Guide safe and effective testing processes with the proper control strategies.
• Assist with the development and scaling of technologies for commercial deployment and facilitate process up-scaling through management of lab, growth chamber and field activities.
• Remain continuously current with relevant technical literature and recent scientific advances in the field.
• Contribute in the identification and implementation of new research avenues. But also open to new ideas and critical feedback from colleagues.
• Presenting to PowerPollen and BASF leadership on key areas of accountability, providing insight, lessons learned, enhancements, issues and resolution proposals.
• Guides and invests time with employees in order to contribute to the goals of the company and to encourage professional growth.
• Participate in strategic planning, budgetary, safety, quality, and workforce issues

Qualifications

• MS in life sciences with minimum of 3-5 year industry experience required. PhD with post doc experience plus 2-3 years industry experience in a science related role are preferred.
• Prefer formal training and research experience in breeding and/or pollination technologies in important agricultural crops.
• Cryogenics experience in agricultural crops, vegetables, horticulture, the animal kingdom or human cells will be a plus.
• Relevant experience with isolating, culturing, and freezing cells desired.
• Experience establishing high quality field and/or lab experiments for research purposes.
• Experience with plant cell analytical methods including flow cytometry, mass spec; single cell viability testing, and enzyme activity quantification. Familiarity with instrumental analysis.
• Skill in common agricultural practices, including management of field crops, and controlled environment facilities.
• Experience in generating data in controlled environments and generating statistical designs for field and laboratory testing.
• Proficiency in Microsoft (Excel, Word, PowerPoint), and statistics/graphing software for data analysis and presentation.
• Ability to work Independently or within a multi-disciplinary internal or external team
• Able to maintain objective perspective and demonstrate a detail oriented, data-driven and problem solving aptitude.
• Capable of seeing a barrier as an opportunity to overcome a challenge in the delivery of excellent results.
• Strong organizational skills, ability to multi-task, problem-solve, prioritize and adjust to meet goals.
• Comfortable working on assigned areas of responsibility as well as stepping in to assist others in their areas of expertise as needed.
• Demonstrated capability to maintain positive relationships with key stakeholders including ability to influence, negotiate and reach mutually beneficial outcomes.
• Excellent written and oral communication skills, including the ability to train others.
• Previous experience overseeing teams and crews including both employees and contracted labor.
• Willingness to travel periodically and for durations of up to 2 weeks at a time.

Working conditions

This position will work in varying conditions including normal laboratory setting to typical in-season agricultural environment. This includes working in crop fields when weather conditions are extremely hot/humid and insects are present and long periods of standing/walking may be required. The incumbernt should be capable and interested in working in an environment that includes indoor lab conditions and outdoor agricultural conditions throughout the year.

Physical requirements

The position involves physical activity including lifting objects up to 50 pounds, walking on uneven terrain, ability to tolerate heat and humidity typical of local field conditions, with extended hours that will vary with crop development in different locales.

PowerPollen® is an equal opportunity employer.

APPLY NOW

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