Associate Scientist, Molecular Breeder at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)

The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) is one of the world’s leading research partners in finding solutions for hunger, malnutrition, and poverty. Its award-winning research-for-development (R4D) approach addresses the development needs of tropical countries. IITA works with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. IITA is a non-profit organization founded in 1967 in Nigeria and governed by a Board of Trustees. IITA works on the following crops: cowpea, soybean, banana/plantain, yam, cassava, and maize. It is a member of CGIAR, a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Job Title: Associate Scientist, Molecular BreederRef No: DDG-R4D/AS/MB/07/18Location: Ibadan, OyoJob DescriptionIITA seeks a highly motivated individual to work as Associate Scientist - Molecular Breeder in the ongoing project ‘Enhancing yam breeding for increased productivity and improved quality in West Africa (AfricaYam)’.The project team is working towards a vision to increase yam productivity whilst reducing production costs and environmental impact by developing and deploying varieties with higher yield, greater resistance to pests and diseases and improved tuber quality. Led by IITA, the project involves a network of research organizations in the four main producer countries of the yam belt of West Africa: the National Root Crops Research Institute (NRCRI) and the Ebonyi State University (EBSU) in Nigeria; two research institutes under the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in Ghana (the Crops Research Institute and the Savanna Agricultural Research Institute); le Centre National de Recherche Agronomique (CNRA), Côte d'Ivoire; and l’Université d'Abomey-Calavi (UAC), Dassa Center, Benin. Partners outside West Africa are: the Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement (CIRAD), France; the Iwate Biotechnology Research Center (IBRC), Japan; the James Hutton Institute (JHI), UK; Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences (JIRCAS), Japan; and the Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research (BTI), Cornell University, USA.Position ResponsibilitiesContribute to genomic resource development and deployment for germplasm enhancement of yam and work with the breeder to identify priority target traits, develop breeding approaches, and implement efficient and cost effective molecular tools for the project. Utilize existing and novel markers and genotyping systems to develop and validate functional markers.Develop suitable marker-trait association approaches including QTL mapping, genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and genomic selection for relevant traits in existing and newly developed populations.Collaborate with breeders and scientists in related disciplines to develop and implement improved phenotyping protocols.Establish collaboration with advanced labs in the areas of gene/marker discovery and trait capture techniques with the aim of deploying comparative and functional genomics approaches to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of yam breeding.Develop strategies to translate information from sequencing and genotyping systems and the corresponding data management and analysis methods to enhance yam improvement.Supervise and manage national staff and graduate students as needed.Participate in resource mobilization with yam research teams.Publish research findings in peer reviewed journals.Participate actively in project review and planning meetings and in reporting on progress.Perform any other activities as may be assigned.

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