Senior Crop Scientist: Digital Agriculture
We need an experienced Crop Scientist with expertise in applied data science and modelling to collaborate with our multi-disciplinary teams of scientists and agricultural engineers to build digitally-enabled research capabilities and explore commercial opportunities for science-based digital agricultural solutions for our sugarcane producers, many of whom operate highly diversified farming enterprises.
Current and envisaged applications of digital technology in our research fall into two areas.
- Using data from ground and aerial sensor networks to support crop improvement (plant breeding), as well as crop management at field, regional and industry scale. This includes the development of digital resources to enable high precision, rapid response crop management.
- Building, refining and applying models in conjunction with large databases to produce spatially explicit information to support research and crop improvement and management. This includes predicting climate change impacts and exploring adaptation options.
The imminent retirement of a senior member of our scientific staff will result in a vacancy for a Senior Scientist in Agroecosystems Entomology.
The successful candidate will be responsible for the development and implementation of pest management solutions within a rapidly diversifying agroecosystem, which includes citrus, macadamia and avocado among other crops alongside sugarcane. The incumbent is expected to become a leader in Integrated Pest Management (IPM), promoting the sustainability of the whole farming enterprise of sugarcane growers.
In particular, the incumbent will:
- contribute towards the development and delivery of area-wide IPM tools for pests, particularly the African sugarcane stalk borer,Eldana saccharina;
- drive the adoption of on-farm habitat management interventions; and
- lend particular research expertise in investigating the possibility of sterile insect technology serving as an effective component of IPM.
SASRI uses an Oracle technology stack for storing and serving research data. This is exposed through Oracle ADF and web services. The role makes use of the following technologies GIT, JIRA, Oracle ADF, Oracle Apex, ADF Mobile, Jasper and BI Publisher. These tools provide support for Oracle Weblogic and Database environments. The software provides interfaces for scientists to interpret and communicate results of analysis with growers, researchers and other applications. A strong understanding of OOP, design patterns and modern software design principles is required. This is an opportunity to explore, train and implement these technologies in a forward thinking organisation.
We are currently looking a Junior Biometrician. The Biometry section within the Diagnostic and Analytical Resource Unit of SASRI provides a statistical support service to the research staff in various agricultural disciplines and contributes to the planning and design of field trials, data capturing and statistical analysis of data.
To promote innovation in South African sugarcane agriculture, SASRI hosts a dynamic post-graduate programme on its campus in Mount Edgecombe, KwaZulu-Natal. The research is conducted under the supervision of SASRI scientists who are affiliated with several leading South African universities, including the University of KwaZulu-Natal, University of Pretoria, University of the Free State and Stellenbosch University.
SASRI runs an internship programme for candidates with a Diploma or a Degree in the biological and agricultural sciences, with a specific focus on optimising crop growth.
Initially, participants are offered a one year contract, which may be extended if the project is extended, provided there is funding available and the intern performs well. There are opportunities for further studies for students who excel and contribute significantly. After a two-year internship, students may be considered for our Post-Graduate Student Programme.
We normally look for applicants in the following disciplines: Biological Sciences, Microbiology, Biotechnology, Pathology, Entomology, Analytical Chemistry, Geographic Information Systems, Computer Science and Safety & Environmental Health.