Research Scientist

Research Scientist – entomopathogenic nematodes/biological control

Location: Swansea

Salary: Negotiable + pension, and other benefits

Hours: Full Time

Contract: Fixed-Term/Contract

Placed on: 16th June 2020

Closes: 31 August 2020

Ref Code: BNL/15/2020

Main purpose of the post

Applications are invited to apply for the position of Research Scientist-entomopathogenic nematodes to support the R&D division of Bionema Ltd,  based at Swansea University, UK. The Research Scientist will support the delivery of multiple projects including the development, formulatation, optimization, and validation of entomopathogenic nematode-based technology and testing under laboratory, glasshouse and field conditions against major horticultural, sports turf and forestry pests.

Expertise in measuring different issues related to the nematode technology/formulation including its life cycles: measuring/quantifying virulence, progress of multiplication, quality of infective nematodes produced, viability, attract and kill, cadaver formulation etc. and carrying out bioassays with Galleria larvae and pests would be necessary.

Main duties and responsibilities

• Design, conduct and manage project independently.

• Optimize and validate nematode, biocontrol formulations, powder, insect cadavers, sponge etc.

• Lead the development and implementation of a research programme focused on the development of biocontrol agents (i.e. entomopathogenic nematodes) for crop pest control in the agriculture, horticulture, and forestry sectors.

• Assist with the project management of research and associated outputs.

• Develop and maintain active collaborative contacts with other national and international scientists, research groups and institutions.

• Writing and reviewing SOPs, validation plans and validation reports.

• Write research reports and manuscripts, prepare materials for submission to external bodies.

• Engage with fellow lab members to foster a collaborative and enjoyable work environment.

• Research literature and external sources and identify new techniques and procedures.

• Data recording, collection, analysis, and report writing.

Qualifications

Essential

• PhD in a relevant discipline, e.g. Biological Sciences, Zoology, Agriculture, Applied Entomology.

• Extensive experience in working with biocontrol agents especially entomopathogenic nematodes and fungi for the crop pest control.

• Prior experience performing scientific data collection and experiments, compiling data, and writing project summaries

Desirable

• Research experience in nematology, microbiology and/or entomology

• Relevant experience (GEP trials/product registration) of working with specialist groups, such as biological control agents especially entomopathogenic nematodes.

• Relevant industry experience.

• Experience on bioinformatics

Personal Specification

Essential criteria

• PhD in a relevant disciplines, i.e. Biological Sciences, Zoology, Agriculture, Entomology.

• Use of biocontrol control agents (i.e. entomopathogenic nematode) in crop protection.

• Experience with the development of different formulation of microbial control agents.

• Knowledge of current trends in deployment of biocontrol agents for major insect pests control.

• Assist in project management to ensure successful delivery of projects.

• Knowledge of production, formulation (powder, granular, insect cadaver) and application of biocontrol agents especially entomopathogenic nematodes.

• Strong interpersonal and communication (oral and written) skills.

• Demonstrated ability to work in teams, manage and prioritize activities, to identify and rapidly resolve problems is necessary for success.

• Organisational skills that allow for handling multiple tasks simultaneously .

• Maintenance of insect and nematode for laboratory and field experiments.

• Experience in conducting bioassays using biocontrol agents.

• Conducting efficacy trials for product development according to GEP/EPPO guidelines.

Desirable criteria

• Understanding of biocontrol agents and their use in agriculture, horticulture and forestry sectors.

• Use of microbial indicators for product quality assessment.

• Experience in enzyme assays, respiration methods, PLFAs.

• Formulation technology of biocontrol agents and their use in crop protection.

• Bioinformatics and advanced statistical techniques.

• Relevant industry experience.

• Use of molecular tools to identify microbial species.

Background

Bionema Ltd is a leading biopesticide technology developer, specialising in chemical-free, biological crop protection for safe and sustainable agriculture.

Our research is focused on the development and commercialisation of naturally-occurring microorganisms to protect crops from pests and diseases, while reducing the use of synthetic pesticides, minimising the environmental impact and increasing crop yields.

The company manufactures and commercialises biocontrol products into the horticulture, turf amenity and forestry sectors, and provides training aimed at increasing product efficacy.

Limited :www.bionema.com.

What we offer

• 28 days annual leave + bank and public holidays.

• Pension scheme to which the company contributes.

• Excellent continual professional development opportunities, both internal and external, as a part of our training commitment.

• Bionema is committed to the principle of equal opportunity in employment.

• Campus learning enviro/West Wales & Gower location/fast growing young company offering the right candidate the opportunity to use their experience at the forefront of research which will make a real difference to the agriculture industry.

Working hours

Normal hours of work are 37.5 per week. A flexible approach to work is needed as there will be a requirement to work overtime (evenings and weekends) during busy periods.

How to apply

To apply for this position, please send your CV, completed Application Form and Covering Letter, and identify how you meet the job criteria to info@bionema.com no later than Friday at 12:00 each week for review.

Informal enquiries should be emailed to: Dr Minshad A. Ansari m.a.ansari@bionema.com. Candidates that not demonstrate their ability to meet the essential criteria will not be assessed for interview.