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Cassava Phenotyping Scientist at International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is a not-for-profit organization that creates agricultural innovations to satisfy Africa’s most pressing problems of hunger, malnutrition, poverty, and natural resource depletion. Working with different associates across sub-Saharan Africa, they improve livelihoods, improve food and nutrition security, grow employment, and preserve natural resource integrity. IITA is a fellow of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future.

They are hiring to fill the following positions described below.

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Job Title: Cassava Phenotyping Scientist

Ref: DDG-R4D/CPS/S/11/19
Location: Ibadan
Contract type: IRS Contract

Job Descriptions

  • Genomic resources have opened up new opportunities associated with predictive breeding including genome-wide selection schemes in plant breeding pipelines. However, the acquisition of high-throughput phenomics data is a rate-limiting step in the quest to increase breeding efficiency and accelerate genetic gain. Additionally, high throughput phenomics is needed for basic research in cassava physiology including the use of products of transgenics and gene editing.
  • A major goal of this position is to develop automated and semi-automated methods for lab and field-based high-throughput phenotyping to permit precise quantitative analysis of plant growth rates, structure and function; and genetic dissection of complex traits.
  • The high-throughput phenotyping work will involve using remote sensing technology tools including UAVs with numerous sensors to automatically collect quantitative data on plant variability.
  • This person will also manage confined trials under confined field trial conditions for the purpose of phenotype novel genetic resources for physiological characteristics related to photosynthesis and crop metabolism.
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Position Responsibilities 

  • Use red/green/blue (RGB) and multi/hyperspectral imaging to carry out a routine assessment of plant development under stress and non-stress environments including  – Emergence count, canopy height and cover fraction – Crop health indices (green area index, temperature, and fluorescence)
  • Develop image processing and analytics methods for cassava field trials including the use of three-dimensional reconstructions (Orthomosaic models).
  • Work with breeders and molecular geneticists to combine remote sensing, physiological and agronomic traits to develop models for predicting genotype performance under different environmental conditions.
  • Coordinate precise sampling of plant tissues (leaf, stem, and roots) in the field as well as under confined field trials for biochemistry analysis to understand the underlying genetic variation between breeding varieties.
  • Participate in the execution of experiments under confined field trials.
  • Conduct capacity building activities related in the area of high-throughput phenotyping using remote sensing approaches by training Ph.D. and master students.
  • Responsible for including all experimental metadata and trial data in the project database.
  • Responsible for the preparation of project technical and financial reports as required by the project timetable.
  • Preparation of publications in collaboration with other project scientists.
  • Supervision of staff and students.
  • Contribute to resource mobilization.
  • Other responsibilities as requested by your supervisor.
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Educational Qualifications

  • The candidate should possess a Ph.D. in Plant Physiology, Agronomy, remote sensing or other relevant fields from a highly recognized university.

Core Competencies:

  • Sound technical knowledge in high-throughput phenotyping using remote-sensing tools such as UAVs.
  • Strong knowledge of plant physiology and physiological processes of cassava.
  • Competence in statistical analysis programming language R.
  • Ability to satisfy all regulatory and management requirements for running confined field trials in Nigeria.
  • Experience with database management.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Ability to work as a member of a multi-disciplinary team in a cross-cultural environment.
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General Information:

  • The initial appointment is for three years.
  • IITA offers a competitive remuneration package paid in US dollars.

Application Closing Date
31st December 2019.

Method of Application

Interested applicants should complete the online application below.

Click here to apply online

Click here for more information (PDF)

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