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


• 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.
• PowerPollen will not sponsor an H-1B visa for this position.

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.

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