Plant Breeder – Germinal Horizon

  • Location: IBERS, Aberystwyth University
  • Salary: Competitive

plant breeder

The Plant Breeder will take part in the full range of forage breeding field and glasshouse activities and develop experience, knowledge, and skills essential for the future continuation of forage breeding at IBERS, under the ongoing supervision of forage geneticists/breeders.

The Plant Breeder will work within the Germinal/Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University breeding and field team to breed, develop and produce market-leading, commercially successful varieties.

Responsible to:

Germinal/IBERS Head of Forage Plant Breeding

General responsibilities:

  • Working as an active member of the forage breeding team in the supervision and maintenance of many and varied large-scale field trials. This includes land preparation for sowing and planting, weed control, plot harvesting, NIRS scanning and sample recording, preparation of samples for analysis, storage and archiving.
  • Developing the expertise to take some responsibility for the planning and operational activities necessary to establish field trials and experiments and the ability to advise newer staff members and students on the practical aspects of field experiments.
  • Carrying out accurate harvesting of plot experiments with other members of the breeding team using a Haldrup forage plot harvester, learning the skills necessary to operate the harvester and developing an understanding of field plot experimentation.
  • Developing the knowledge necessary to categorise equipment failures and problems in the harvesting of the plots and using initiative to enable the swift continuation of the harvesting procedure.
  • Working as an active member of the forage breeding team in the accurate measurement of individual plants (e.g. for disease estimation and flowering dates).
  • Developing the skills and experience necessary to estimate eye-scores for plant performance characteristics and develop the knowledge to determine the correct stage to measure the plants.
  • Undertaking laboratory and glasshouse tasks as laid out in standard protocols and procedures and gaining a full enough understanding of forage breeding to determine their correct application. This will include ploidy testing, germination tests, disease inoculation, sowing, maintaining plants, placing plants in isolation houses, seed production, harvesting and threshing.
  • Attending training courses as required to develop skills and knowledge in field experimentation and associated techniques.
  • Working as part of the Plant Breeding team and individually as required to aid in the continued production of successful forage varieties.

Duties and requirements:

  • Working both independently and as part of the wider team under the instruction of scientific researchers.
  • Working in high pollen environments.
  • Lifting moderate/heavy weights (e.g. large forage samples and pots).
  • Demonstrating an aptitude for plant husbandry and an interest in agriculture or horticulture.
  • Undertaking training in more specialised areas, such as the use of experimental equipment and machinery, and be willing to operate a range of horticultural/agricultural machinery.
  • Working alongside the wider Germinal team when required – for example, at shows or demonstrations.
  • Other duties as and when required.
  • Ensure that both Germinal and IBERS Health & Safety policies are adhered to at all times.

Key relationships:

The establishment of good and close working relationships with the following is essential:

  • The Germinal/IBERS breeding and field team
  • The IBERS seed production team
  • Germinal Research Station staff
  • Other staff at IBERS
  • Other Germinal staff

Could any interested applicants please send a CV to