Senior Scientist, Plant Science

Website Sensei Ag

About the job

The Future of Farming.

Driven by data. Grounded in science. Focused on wellbeing.

Sensei Ag’s mission is to transform health by using data to redesign how food is grown and is on a journey to make delicious, nutritionally-relevant meals accessible and affordable to all. Sensei Ag creates ingenious, agile, sustainable growing systems that dramatically improve farm production to support human health, wellness, food security and food sustainability.

Integrating and deploying the world’s best data in seed and plant genetics for optimum taste, texture, and nutrition along with the most cutting-edge software, hardware, automation, computer vision, robotics, and artificial intelligence technologies, Sensei Ag creates the ubiquitous, affordable and nutritionally-relevant indoor farms of the future.

The best ingredients to nourish the body in a way that is sustainable for the environment.

We identify the ideal cultivars to create food that’s nutritious, flavorful, clean and safe. We leverage precision agriculture tools and indoor farming best practices to construct the optimal cultivation environment, agnostic of form factor, for each of our plants, ensuring the quality, taste and nutrient content of all of our fruits and vegetables. Our Digitally Distributed Agricultural solutions rely on individual modular components that we can quickly and efficiently swap out to ensure that we are deploying the highest performing, most up-to-date technologies at any given time.

The Role: Sr. Scientist, Plant Science

In order to implement the Sensei Ag mission, joining a team of CEA experts, the Sr. Scientist will be providing leadership to the germplasm management, pioneering intellectual property, developing elite genetics, nutritional genetics, assisting with the design of the division’s roadmap as an integral part of Sensei Ag’s business goals to become a leader in the Indoor Ag industry.

Bringing domain expertise in plant science and precision horticulture, the company’s core mission is to be a good farmer and grow a variety of sustainable, nourishing, accessible produce for all, pushing the limits to what food is currently available through CEA and establishing the Sensei Farms brand with customers and consumers. Environmental, climate, economic and market factors will inform Sensei Ag’s unique farming infrastructure and drive the need for cutting edge CEA research programs. This will also include leadership and knowledge for Sensei Ag core and new crops, global location selection and development of commercial goals, and commensurate with the corporate “buy, adapt, partner, or invent” hierarchy of technology sourcing strategies.

Sensei Ag’s unprecedented business and capital model, product suite, (consumer retail in-store units, seeds, software, robotics and indoor farms) and financing provide a unique environment and opportunity to shape the future of agriculture and tackle the CEA market holistically, not one segment at a time to compete with conventional farming.

The Sr. Scientist will play a leadership role in the plant science department and provide expertise on levers that can be pulled to improve genetics, increasing not only yield but also unique flavor and nutrient content for consumers. This seasoned vegetable breeding expert with robust experience in molecular biology, biochemistry and nutritional science will create or select novel germplasm that meet specific flavor and nutrient profiles and achieve genetic improvement targets.

Position Description

    • Provide leadership to establish vegetable genetic improvement program for CEA market.
    • Direct efforts to evaluate, access and assess crops with high nutritional and flavor value.
    • Provide leadership for germplasm management.
    • Lead a team to develop strategy, protocols and collect plant phenotype, genotype, nutrition, and flavor data from breeding, product characterization and development trials.
    • Work closely with Farm operations, Farm innovation, Product development and commercial teams to develop product concepts and IP strategies for multiple crops.
    • Collaborate with the technology teams on software and systems development, leverage predictive analytics, AI, Robotics, Machine Learning and Imaging technologies to accelerate genetic improvement.

What You Bring:

    • PhD (preferred) or Master’s Degree in plant genetics or breeding. Other areas of expertise include nutrition traits, plant physiology, agronomy, horticulture, computational biology, bioinformatics, statistics, genomics, biochemistry.
    • 10+ years of experience in plant science (genetics or breeding).
    • Experience in plant phenotyping and testing, experimental design, data analysis and reporting.
    • Ability to connect scientific improvements with real-world commercial applications.
    • Vegetable seed industry experience required with an emphasis on hydroponic production.
    • Connections with private companies and public research institutions desirable.
    • Experience in controlled environment vegetables, leafy greens or fruiting crops is strongly preferred. Experience in testing other controlled environment crops also desired.
    • Project and people management experience required.
    • Entrepreneurial spirit — someone who can simultaneously think big, but also grounded in the immediate, practical, get-stuff-done mindset of a startup.
    • Proven ability to map out and execute research strategies and project planning.
    • Proven ability to work in a dynamic team environment.

Specialized Skills

    • Experience conducting research with vegetable crops in controlled environments (high tech greenhouses or vertical farms) desired.
    • Familiarity with principles of good laboratory practice.
    • Experience working with engineers and software developers.
    • Published peer-reviewed literature or other scientific contributions.
    • Passion for research; high level of enthusiasm, energy and self-confidence.
    • Possesses credibility that commands respect internally and externally.
    • Effective interpersonal relations, exceptional communicator and ability to rapidly adapt and respond to changing priorities.

Traits We Value

    • Loves a good challenge
    • Resourceful and adaptable
    • A strong sense of curiosity
    • Embraces feedback and constantly seeks to improve
    • Collaborative and knows how to get things done as part of a team

U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Information (Completion is voluntary)

Individuals seeking employment at Sensei are considered without regards to race, color, religion, national origin, age, sex, marital status, ancestry, physical or mental disability, veteran status, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

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