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The Role:

The Plant Health Research Generalist will be responsible for supporting all aspects of the controlled environment, greenhouse and small plot field trials.  The position will require development, implementation, documentation and interpretation of experimental trials on existing and new Acadian Plant Health products.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Assist in designing and conducting studies to document and understand the ability of the company’s products to improve plant health, including improved growth parameters, yield and quality, stress resistance and nutrient uptake.
  • Review literature and stay up to date with new evaluation methods for biostimulants.
  • Adapt methods from the literature for routine in-house testing of existing and new Acadian Plant Heath products.
  • Develop new methods for applying stresses (nutrient, abiotic) to plants in a controlled manner.
  • Familiarize themselves with new equipment including calibration and maintenance and look for ways to incorporate it into new bioassays and plant growth, yield and storage life trials.
  • Routinely monitor plants for any signs of nutrient deficiency, stress, or disease over the course of the experiment.
  • Collect data on plant growth parameters such as root and leaf surface area using a scanner, fruit production and quality parameters, biomass, photosynthesis, relative chlorophyll content using a SPAD meter, leaf water content and cell membrane stability by measuring electrolyte leakage.
  • Collect and preserve samples for nutrient, biochemical or biomolecular analysis as required, without compromising sample integrity.
  • Assist with activities involved in the running and maintenance of the controlled environment, greenhouse and small plot field trial facilities and assisting in bioassay procedures to test efficacy of crop biostimulants.
  • Assist with the establishment and maintenance of healthy, uniform plants for experimental use.  This includes watering plants as required, monitoring and adjusting hydroponic growth systems, applying fertilizer, beneficial organisms and pesticides following set protocols, maintaining facility cleanliness, washing pots etc.
  • Undertake studies in a safe, precise and methodical manner including the preparation of solutions and materials required for the experiments.  Apply seaweed extract solutions and other preparations following experimental protocols in a safe and accurate manner.
  • Enter study data into corporate database, produce graphs and conduct statistical analysis to allow for interpretation of the results.
  • Maintain a high level of accuracy, precision and productivity in performing routine and repetitive tasks.
  • Help ensure that greenhouses, outdoor trials, and associated facilities are tidy and presentable for visitors and tours. (Cornwallis
  • Support the company’s vision and policies regarding Health & Safety, Corporate Culture, and Environmental Management by displaying the appropriate behaviors and leadership towards meeting the company’s objectives in these areas.

Requirements:

  • Undergraduate degree in Agriculture, Plant Science, Biology or a related subject.
  • Hold valid certification for pesticide application in Nova Scotia or be willing to become certified.
  • Experience in greenhouse/outdoor production is highly beneficial.
  • Experience and training in basic lab techniques, experimental design and procedures.
  • Ability to use Microsoft Office and specialty computer programs to enter and graph data, produce presentations and conduct statistical analysis.
  • Knowledge of good experimental design and experience collecting precise measurements related to plant growth and yield.
  • Strong time management skills are important as is the ability to work independently or as part of a team.
  • Ability to help train and supervise co-op students and other term employees.
  • Capable of performing physically demanding tasks and working in an outdoor environment.

Note: This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties that may be required to be performed by the Administrator now or in future. S/He will be required to follow any additional instructions deemed appropriate by the Manager.

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