Senior Scientist (Phenotyping) – AeroFarms AgX Ltd. (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

As a Certified B Corporation, AeroFarms is a mission-driven indoor vertical farming company transforming agriculture with global headquarters in Newark, NJ. Recognized by as one of the Top 25 Disruptive Companies in the World, AeroFarms is scaling quickly to meet the demand for our fresh, locally grown produce that is setting new culinary standards. Recently, the company announced it will build a state-of the art research and development (R&D) center in Abu Dhabi to create an in country Agri-Tech ecosystem. We now look for seasoned professionals to join our Abu Dhabi entity for establishment and growth of our operation in the region.

We have:

  • An incredible ‘change-the-world’ company with the eyes of the world focused on our success
  • A team of motivated, intellectually curious, and creative individuals to support you
  • The backing of some seriously impressive firms including Goldman Sachs, IKEA, Prudential, and other leading venture funds

Job Description Summary:

AeroFarms is looking for a talented Senior Scientist with a Plant Science, Plant Physiology/Eco-Physiology, or Horticulture background to conduct applied research and manage a team of research associates in our new state of the art R&D facility in Abu Dhabi-UAE (AeroFarms AgX).  The Senior Scientist will investigate how to harness environmental conditions to improve the characteristics of specialty crops (leafy greens, herbs and berries) grown indoors, where conditions like temperature and humidity can be maintained with precision. You will join a talented team of scientists and work cross-functionally to ensure success of long-range goals and strategies. The Senior/Principal Scientist will lead experimental design, execution and data analysis for all assigned projects and work with and develop a team of research assistants to support this work.  In addition, you will coordinate as needed with partners and other external collaborators as needed in partnership with our business development team. Senior Scientist will report to the Director of R&D.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct experiments to characterize plant responses to environmental stressors in controlled environments to improve quality and yield
  • Apply the combination of physiological research and horticultural methods to grow regionally relevant plants
  • Serve as a subject matter expert to improve growing systems and to develop future generations of growing equipment
  • Work collaboratively with other team members and departments such as the US R&D team, engineering and business development
  • Report findings internally and to partners
  • Recruits, onboards new staff, trains, leads, mentor and manage a team of research associates and laboratory staff. 
  • Manage and maintain analytical equipment and growing systems
  • Remain up to date on research developments for specialty crops in controlled environments.
  • Talk, present and discuss the research in meetings, conferences and symposia.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • PhD in Plant Physiology/Eco-physiology, Horticulture, Plant Sciences Or MSc. and equivalent experience.
  • Minimum 2 years of people management experience
  • Previous experience in the GCC region is a plus
  • 5-7 years of experience working in controlled environment agriculture, horticulture, or plant science research
  • Experience growing leafy greens, herbs and small fruit crops such as berries and other specialty crops
  • Strong background in characterizing plant physiological processes and agronomic/horticultural traits including plant yield and quality in response to abiotic stress
  • Experience with plant breeding and nursery propagation
  • Experience with characterization of plants, including imaging, phenotyping, chemical analysis, and/or objective measurements of taste and texture
  • A proven record in the timely completion of complex research projects and a portfolio of examples of your work
  • Aptitude with statistical analysis and related software
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with operating controlled environment agriculture systems
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Highly effective interpersonal skills
  • Teamwork skills and a collaborative approach to work
  • Able to multitask and prioritize the workload
  • A flexible approach to work with the ability to adapt to a fast-paced environment
  • Advanced skills with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • This is a full-time in person position with normal work hours and workdays. Occasional evening and weekend work may be required as job duties demand.

Other duties

  • Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.

Important Considerations:

** This position requires a valid Driving License **

** This position may require international travel **

** This position requires a complete residency in Abu Dhabi, UAE **

** This position must be accessible during some US work hours for reporting and coordinating **

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