Plant Health Scientist, EMEA

About the vacancy

 The Plant Health Scientist, EMEA will provide leadership and support for all priority plant health needs (pathogens, arthropods, other biological stresses) and related activities within the Global R&D Department in EMEA. You will be responsible for developing approaches for reducing pest and disease impact and applications in a commercial setting of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry and blueberry production. A high level of cross-functional collaboration with other departments and business units to pursue Driscoll’s Mission is required. You will provide technical guidance and assistance in biotic stress phenotyping of specific mapping populations, as well as routinely screening advanced selections and varieties. You will support other departments on plant health issues as needed to strengthen our successful deployment of new berry varieties. 


Main job responsibilities:

  • Lead strategic plant health management research projects that address non-genetic solutions to priority berry diseases. Coordinate internal and external plant health activities and monitor collaborative projects (40% of time).
  • Provide technical guidance and assistance on biotic resistance assays and support the UK Strawberry breeding programs and molecular marker development projects in collaboration with Plant Health Associate and Global Plant Health teams (20% of time).
  • Support Driscoll’s growers, breeders, research farms and the breeding nurseries to formulate action plans related to plant health issues through either conducting in-house diagnostic procedures or via collaboration with external diagnostic labs. Maintain records of diagnostic works and provide prompt feedback and action plan to stakeholders. (20% of time)
  • Produce reports appropriate to internal and stakeholder audiences to share on a regular basis (5% of time).
  • Coordinate with Plant Health Associate to support the Clean Stock Manager and the foundation and breeding nursery in DEMEA by conducting key in-house testing for pathogens, as well as support in the interpretation of testing results, recommended actions, and tracking historical plant health issues in the nursery (5% of time).

Secondary responsibilities:

  • Support plant health movement in the event of phytosanitary concerns.
  • Liaise with the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA), advise R&D staff on best hygiene practices and biosecurity procedures.
  • Actively participate in the development of Best Management Practice documents and support test plots, breeding nursery, clean stock and growers in implementation of BMPs.
  • Participate in regular crop walks with test plot staff and agronomists.
  • Liaison with key Third-Party diagnostic labs to obtain the best nursery and fruiting field diagnostics for the Business Unit.
  • Support the continual improvement of plant health processes and implementation of solutions.
  • Gather information from other regions and departments on plant health issues and share with the appropriate stakeholders.
  • Maintain good relationships with peers, managers, subordinates and outside groups including Driscoll’s growers and customers.
  • Work collaboratively with global team members, including international travel
  • Follow company policies and practices while representing Driscoll’s in an ethical and business-like manner in all interactions with growers, employees, government agencies, customers.
  • Protect Driscoll’s confidentiality and proprietary information and materials.
  • Maintain a safe and professional work area. 
  • Perform other duties as assigned.
  • Exhibit Driscoll’s values of passion, humility and trustworthiness in all interactions.

Candidate profile

  • PhD in Plant Pathology or related biological field, or master’s with relevant industry experience will be considered.
  • Skilled in devising innovative pest management solutions to improve processes and address business opportunities.
  • Strong understanding of UK and European regulatory and market landscape related to pesticide requirements.
  • Strong pathology lab skills including molecular diagnostic techniques (both cultured and molecular preferred), and willingness to work in the lab and field as required.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team and collaborate with other scientists to achieve team goals.
  • Self-disciplined, manage several projects at the same time, and have excellent verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong user skills of Microsoft Office packages especially Excel, Power Point. Tableau, iForms and JMP are desirable.
  • Must be a self-starter, hands-on and be confident travelling independently to other Driscoll’s facilities.
  • A valid passport and the ability to travel internationally, up to 20%.
  • Must have valid European driver’s license with the ability to be insured under company sponsored liability.

Preferred Qualifications & Leadership Competencies

  • Strong initiative and accountability to deliver against projected goals.
  • Ability to define problems, collect data, establish facts and draw valid conclusions.
  • Pro-active, initiative and problem solver, who can work well under pressure.
  • High level of attention to details and data accuracy.
  • Excellent organizational and record keeping skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Adaptable and able to multi-task and handle change well. Able to shift priorities quickly.
  • Commitment to safety and teamwork in the workplace.

We offer

We offer you a chance to build a young fast growing brand and be part of a `energetic young’ and winning team that opens doors to a very broad experience with limitless international opportunities for talents. In order to complete your goals, you can count on the support of a professional and global company, that finds itself in a structurally growing movement.

Visit our website(s) for further information: and

About Driscoll’s

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 passion, humility, 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 ™. For more information, please visit our website at

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