Background: The International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) invites applications for the internationally recruited position of Senior Plant Pathologist for Eastern, Southern, and Central Africa.
IITA is an international non-profit agricultural research-for-development (R4D) organization established in 1967, governed by a Board of Trustees, and a member of the CGIAR Consortium. Our R4D approach is anchored on the development needs of the tropics. We work with partners to enhance crop quality and productivity, reduce producer and consumer risks, and generate wealth from agriculture. We have more than 100 internationally recruited scientists from about 35 countries and 900 nationally recruited staff based in various stations across Africa. Please visit http://www.iita.org/ for more information on IITA.
IITA seeks a highly qualified plant pathologist to undertake research, leading to sustainable development, by coordinating efforts to manage critical diseases of major cropping systems in Eastern, Southern and Central Africa. As a member of the IITA Plant Production and Plant Health Core competency, and in collaboration with our national and international partners, the successful applicant will provide leadership in plant pathology to improve crop productivity and quality, to achieve impact on millions of Africans by increasing food security and income generation.
· Provide leadership for interdisciplinary research leading to management of critical diseases in root and tuber, cereal, legume and vegetable cropping systems in Eastern, Southern and Central Africa.
· Diagnose and characterize pathogenic organisms by developing fit for purpose tools that are appropriate for use in field or laboratory.
· Understand pathogen epidemiology to develop and validate management practices and control interventions.
· Coordinate the implementation of pre-emptive, effective and sustainable systems for risk assessment, modelling, surveillance, extension and reporting to increase vigilance of agricultural systems as they become intensified and subject to climate change.
· Determine prevalence of mycotoxin contamination and impact of farmers’ practices and contribute to the development of management and mitigation strategies, including biological control linked to the continental AflasafeTM programme.
· Develop and implement biological programmes for control of noxious weeds and pathogens.
· Mentor and backstop graduate students and national and regional staff responsible for research and regulatory systems.
· Lead and support initiatives to raise funds for projects, targeted activities and meetings.
· Routinely communicate research results through media outlets, communication channels and through high quality science publications.
· Develop and nurture effective partnerships and collaborative relationships and the reputation of IITA.
The candidate should have a PhD in plant pathology.
· Demonstrated significant postdoctoral experience with research on plant pathology and integrated pest management;
· Extensive knowledge of biological control approaches;
· Proven expertise in pest risk management analysis;
· Demonstrated experience with management of large-scale projects;
· Demonstrated ability to write and publish journal articles;
· Excellent spoken and written English (knowledge of French and Swahili would be a distinct advantage and also Portuguese);
· Ability to work independently in a multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.