Scion specialises in research, science and technology development that applies to forest ecosystems and forest growing, wood products and wood-derived materials. We lead planted forest research, new technology development for renewables, bioproducts and energy and the establishment of a broader based bio-economy. Our Forest Protection team needs an innovative plant protection scientist to conduct multidisciplinary research to develop creative and environmentally sustainable solutions to national challenges associated with biosecurity, plant pest eradication and forest pest management. In this position you will be involved in and lead research that:
- evaluates the role of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and other aircraft types in pest management systems, including integration of technologies to create more efficient and precise application platforms e.g. for sprays or biological products;
- uses a variety of meteorological and small particle monitoring tools (e.g. sonic anemometers, back scatter LiDAR, Particle Image Velocimetry, and conventional air sampling tools) to enhance our knowledge of processes that influence liquid or solid particle dispersion and deposition;
- works with others to integrate knowledge of biological systems, physical process and new technologies to develop solutions for a variety of pest management challenges such as quantifying pathogen spore or weed seed dispersal, or how the distribution of pesticide within a plant canopy influences pest population dynamics.
Through interacting with the broader Forest Protection team you will also be involved in a diversity of exciting projects aimed at developing socially and environmentally acceptable solutions for pest eradication in urban environments and management of a variety of forest diseases and invasive weeds of forests and conservation lands.
To join our team you will have a demonstrated ability to conduct multidisciplinary research in the plant protection sciences with a relevant PhD (aerobiology, plant physiology, ecology, agricultural engineering, particle dispersion). Some post-doctoral or work experience will be an advantage but is not a prerequisite. You will have a sound knowledge of scientific method including experimental design, set-up and execution, as well as intermediate to advanced skills for data analysis. A working knowledge of a computer language and an aptitude for problem solving in electronics or developing new bespoke equipment would be desirable. You will have an aptitude for scientific writing and a willingness to communicate your findings to our government and industry stakeholders. You will be keen to identify research priorities and translate your findings in a manner that enables early and high levels of uptake and supports our licence to operate goals.
At a personal level you must be innovative, self-motivated and willing to work both independently and as part of a team. We are seeking someone who is bright and personable with the ability to forge relationships with collaborators, forest growers and other key stakeholders. You will be passionate about your research with a drive to produce high quality science to grow your profile as a national and international specialist in plant protection. You'll be an effective communicator at all levels and a dedicated individual willing to be part of an enthusiastic team of diverse scientists that embrace Scion's culture of excellence, innovation, collaboration and manaakitanga. This is an exciting opportunity to join our talented and high performing team.
Scion is home to creative science minds and a vibrant culture ensuring employees can pursue innovation and excellence in their science delivery. People enjoy working in our Forest Protection team as we strive to protect NZ's plantation and urban forests from disease and insect challenges.
Full relocation available
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
About Scion Research - New Zealand
Scion is a Crown Research Institute (CRI), which is a government-owned company that carries out scientific research for the benefit of New Zealand. We specialise in research, science and technology development for the forestry, wood and wood-derived materials and other biomaterial sectors.We are the leading CRI in:- Sustainable forest management and tree improvement.- Forestry biosecurity, risk management and mitigation.- Wood processing, wood-related bioenergy, waste streams and other biomaterials.- Forestry and forestry-based ecosystem services to inform land-use decision making.Also, we collaborate with other research providers and end-users to develop:- Land-based biosecurity, soil and freshwater management.- Climate change adaptation and mitigation.- Indigenous forestry.- Industrial biotechnology and high-value manufacturing.