We are seeking a talented and inspired Plant Biologist to become a key member of Alora’s team. As we embark on a mission to create a truly sustainable agriculture system the successful candidate will hold a pivotal role within Alora, developing the world’s first oceanic rice plants.

For this position, Alora is seeking someone who can perform callus tissue culture, plant regeneration, and conduct research to continual improve experimental design within their daily role. This could involve generating rice callus tissue from a new rice variety, followed by using these stem cells for either assessment of regenerative capacity or genetic-editing using a particle bombardment system to become salt-tolerant. After which these will be grown into plantlets where seed can be harvested, and tissues taken for DNA & RNA analysis. Upon confirmation of transformation salinity tolerance will be assessed.

Alora is the Ocean Agriculture company, we have designed a way to grow crops in oceanic saltwater. Creating farms floating on the ocean to create truly sustainable agriculture. This is an exciting and dynamic position focused on the future of agriculture. We encourage everyone to bring a unique perspective and all their experience to this skilled role. The successful candidate will have an in-depth understanding of plant biology, that will ideally include plant tissue culture, development, and physiology.

Rice is currently the core crop for Alora’s technology, but increasing this to include model organisms such as Brachypodium distachyon or other important crops such as soybean will be a priority.
Additional experimental opportunities include trials investigating diazotrophic nitrogen fixation and optimisation. This is a diverse and exciting role with plenty of opportunity.

We are a startup, born in Yorkshire, shaped in San Francisco, cultivated in Ontario, and returning proudly to our roots in the UK. To all motivated questioners ready to be part of the team working to solve world hunger we look forward to meeting you!

Salary range: £19,200 - £29,000

Location: Norwich, onsite with occasional remote work

On a day-to-day, responsibilities of the successful candidate will include:

  • Co-ordinating with Tissue Culture Technicians to ensure successful pipeline of: embryogenic rice calli, refreshed media for regenerating rice calli, successful graduation of regenerated rice plantlets onto growth trials.
  • Conduct research and design experiments to: optimise current rice callus induction practices, optimise current rice callus regeneration practices and identify how cell culture may be affected by different transformation processes, obtain rice seeds faster from transformed calli, bypassing a long regeneration and growth phase.
  • Collaborate with team members in the “Genetics Stream” to identify new approaches to transform plants to become salt tolerant.
  • Research and develop new methods for tissue culture and regeneration of new species, such as Brachypodium distachyon or Soybean. Implementing the same optimisation steps as with rice.
  • Collaborating with laboratory Technicians to analyse data collected from tissue culture experiments, writing reports and presenting findings and suggestions to the team.

Key requirements and skills include:

  • PhD in Bioscience or a related field with a focus on plant biology.
  • At least 3 years experience working with plant tissue culture, ideally rice or other grass or grain species, in an industrial or academic environment.
  • Affinity for cell culture.
  • Experience researching, designing and implementing new experimental methods.
  • Experience of working within a scientific team, bonus but non-essential if this was within a startup environment.
  • Communication skills, both written and oral.
  • Proficiency with data management and excel.
  • Inspired imagination for improving upon concepts, designs & experimental procedures.

Please send an email under the subject: "Plant Biologist" to wave@alora.world, that includes your CV and either a cover letter or a link to an uploaded up to 2-minute video (either unlisted on YouTube, Google Drive, or similar) sharing why you are interested in ALORA and an introduction to why you are the right person for the role. We look forward to hearing from you!

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