Senior Scientist - Agricultural Systems

current vacancies » Senior Scientist - Agricultural Systems

Senior Scientist - Agricultural Systems - Dunedin Based

Full Time - Dunedin

  • Do you like to learn and lead in a collaborative and problem-solving environment?
  • Do you have a passion, interest, and experience in applied science?
  • Are you looking for a role that has a real influence on the environment? 

About the organisation

At the Otago Regional Council (ORC), their mission is ‘for our future’. ORC is here to protect and enhance the environment and enable their communities to do the same. To be sure ORC can deliver on its responsibilities, they are evolving as an organisation, and they’re not overstating when they say they have some really big targets to reach. ORC need the right people, in the right roles, to help them get there.

Otago is a pretty special environment and ORC are committed to working with their communities to ensure it stays that way now, and for the future. With a number of challenges on the horizon - freshwater, climate change, biodiversity and urban development – the Science Team at ORC play a critical role in providing scientific expertise to inform decisions particularly with regard to natural resource management. 

About the opportunity

The Senior Scientist – Agricultural Systems leads innovative research and develops new and original research programmes with the Science Leadership team. They are a proven technical specialist in their research area (Agricultural Systems) and demonstrate science impact by disseminating research findings through Council and scientific forums and presents at regional and national events. The Senior Scientist is a nationally recognised scientist and leader in their research field. They are an effective, confident communicator and is a trusted, credible and proven researcher. They have a proven ability to work across disciplines to deliver the best outcomes for the environment and the community. 

Reporting to the Team Leader – Land, and working closely with scientists across the Science Team, the Senior Scientist – Agricultural Systems takes overall accountability for: 

  • Actively contributing to Council’s freshwater and land use initiatives, providing robust issue identification, research, systems modelling, interpretation and reporting.
  • Contributing at a strategic level to the development and management of monitoring strategies, policy planning, research implementation in the form of action plans and management practices.
  • Actively establishing networks and staying informed on community, regional, national and international freshwater quality and land use issues as well as keeping abreast of relevant legislation and new technologies. 

This role needs a proven technical specialist who is willing to adopt a collaborative approach to leading and engaging in innovative applied research with their fellow scientists. Is this you? 

About you

To be successful in this role, you will ideally: 

  • Have a PhD and more than 5 years proven research experience in their research area and relevant science discipline.
  • Be a great communicator that is skilled in talking to groups and individuals; Council meetings, Conference presentations, external stakeholders and industry as well as Scientists, Team Leaders, Managers, General Managers and team members.
  • Have relevant experience working in agricultural science and land use management.
  • Have relevant experience working in agriculture, horticulture, forestry and/or urban land use research areas.
  • Have confidence in research design, analysis and visualisation of data for publication using R, SAS or similar.
  • Mentor Scientists
  • Possess knowledge of land use effects on water quality (surface water and ground water) and biodiversity.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of soil types, irrigation systems and discharges to land.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of nutrient models and their limitations.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of Mātauranga Māori, with an emphasis on indigenous research priorities/methodologies.

If you adopt a collaborative approach to research and have experience in leading, mentoring, and decision making in an ethical and trustworthy way, then this could be the role for you. 

Not your research area? Otago Regional Council are advertising for Scientists and Senior Scientists in other disciplines. Should you be interested and wish to enquire further, please visit the Decipher Group website or contact the consultant below.

How to apply

To discover more about Otago Regional Council, visit 

For a confidential discussion about the role; contact Katy Boyle on 027 278 2860 or by email to

Applications close: 26 November 2020

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