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Tree Productivity Research Manager

Fort Pierce, FL
  • Posted: over a month ago
  • Full-Time
Job Description

About Terviva

Terviva is a food and agriculture company committed to transform the food and agriculture industry by making food production more accessible and equitable to farmers, and more sustainable for our communities and our planet.

We do this by cultivating a non-GMO, sustainable tree crop called Pongamia that produces beans with dramatically higher yields than other oilseed crops. Through our extensive R&D, we have developed our proprietary bean processing technology that enables us to produce tasty and nourishing plant-based oil and protein food ingredients.

Our Pongamia trees not only produce beans for sustainable food ingredients; they also restore farmland to productive use, thus helping farmers feed people while taking care of the planet.

With our culture and values, we strive to develop a workplace where diversity and inclusion are an essential part of who we are. We do this by hiring and engaging diverse teammates from all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives because we believe our diversity makes us stronger and better while working together.

Learn more at


Terviva is seeking an experienced, highly motivated plant physiologist with strong technical, organizational, and communication skills to be part of the Tree R&D team. The Tree Productivity Research Manager will report to the Vice President of Tree R&D and will be responsible for the design, development, implementation, and evaluation of basic and applied research focused on physiology and production systems of pongamia. A large component of this work will be to evaluate the field performance of Tervivas extensive library of pongamia cultivars planted across ecologically diverse sites in Florida and Hawaii. This will include monitoring and manipulating vegetative and reproductive phenology, pollination biology, seed maturation, and evaluating cultural treatments (e.g. growth regulators, ripeners) to facilitate optimum tree growth and form, seed set, and seed harvest index. The purpose of the research is to generate knowledge and operating procedures that will directly improve seed (bean) yields and quality of Tervivas pongamia cultivars.

The ideal candidate will have a passion for innovation and demonstrate a strong desire to work in an active cultivar development program that integrates traditional, genomic, and phenomic approaches to pongamia germplasm improvement and variety selection.

Tree R&D works closely with Tree Operations to develop procedures for managing pongamia nursery and field operations. As such, the person in this role must possess excellent communication and interpersonal skills to maintain open channels of communication across teams, ensuring that new research findings are readily implemented for immediate value creation.

Job Responsibilities

  • Providing leadership in plant physiology research projects.
  • Designing experiments and analyzing data using statistical software to answer specific research questions.
  • Identifying and characterizing physiological processes or environmental factors affecting pongamia tree growth, flower abundance and seed (bean) yield.
  • Developing and improving protocols for cultural manipulations of pongamia trees that optimize crown architecture and increase seed yields per acre.
  • Preparing technical reports and summary slides for the internal dissemination of research findings.
  • Fostering an environment of knowledge sharing amongst Tervivas technical team, growers, and other stakeholders.
  • Ensuring the security of confidential and proprietary information and material.
  • Supporting the professional development of junior staff and interns, through collaborative interactions and training.

Skills, Competencies & Experience

  • Masters degree or PhD in Plant Physiology, Botany, Horticulture, Plant Sciences or equivalent.
  • Expertise in horticultural plant physiology, production, and management.
  • 7+ years professional experience in planning, execution, and oversight of field research, emphasizing woody perennials.
  • Excellent record keeping skills and demonstrated attention to detail.
  • Proven ability and motivation to work independently and supervise junior team members.
  • Strong familiarity with statistical analyses and related tools.
  • Proven ability to produce scientifically sound, well-documented, and concise reports for a variety of different audiences.

Preferred Qualifications and Experience

  • PhD degree in Plant Physiology, Botany, Horticulture, Plant Sciences or closely related field.
  • Expertise in fruit/nut crop physiology and production systems.
  • Knowledge of and access to a strong professional network, including relevant trade publications and associations, industry professionals, and technical experts to help keep orchard technology and operations on the front edge of production trends.
  • Understanding of genetics and plant breeding.

Experience in high throughput phenotyping technologies.

Physical Demands and Work Environment

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to stand and walk for periods of time, as well as climb ladders, and reach with hands and arms. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 40 pounds. Primary work will be in an outdoor setting that includes hot and wet conditions. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable Accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Working at Terviva offers you:

The opportunity to make an impact in a fast-growing mission-driven start-up that believes in sustainability, equity and care for our environment and our people.

You will be joining a team that truly believes: with our Pongamia tree and our sustainable food ingredients, we can feed the planet and heal it at the same time!

Competitive salary and benefits commensurate with experience.

Potential annual bonus.

Stock options, commensurate with role and experience.

Medical and dental, vision and life insurance (employee premium fully paid by Terviva).

Generous leave package

COVID-19 Recruiting Process in Place

Remote interview process is followed

Personal protective equipment provided or required

Temperature screenings required for in-person interviews

Social distancing guidelines in place

Sanitizing, disinfecting, or cleaning procedures in place

Terviva advocates for all its candidates worldwide to be fully vaccinated before joining the Terviva team

Next Steps

To apply, please respond to the company position below and include your resume with cover letter telling us about yourself and why you believe you are a good fit for this position.

Terviva is an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate based on race, creed, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, sex, gender, gender identity and expression, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status and sexual orientation or any other legally protected status or characteristics. Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy and all employment decisions are made on the basis of qualifications, merit and business need.



Fort Pierce, FL



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