Breeding Coordinator Research Associate, Breeding Insight Program
Biotech Institute - Cornell University
We seek a Breeding Coordinator to work with USDA on small specialty crop and animal breeding programs to build, customize, and adopt genomics and breeding data management and analysis systems, enabling these programs to accelerate genetic gains.
With the support of the USDA-ARS, Breeding Insight at Cornell University is the first large-scale public-sector effort to systematically apply genomic information to the breeding of specialty crops and animals. The project will implement and use breeding and genomic data management systems to enhance the capacity of public-sector breeding programs to deliver increased rates of genetic gain. The breeding, genomic, and phenotypic data management systems will include databases, analytics, and decision support tools for breeders. A wide range of open source tools and platforms have already been built for breeding efforts in major crops and animals. This project will leverage these software development efforts, and focus on integration, cloud deployment, and ease of use for small breeding programs.
The Breeding Coordinator position will be located in Ithaca, NY at Cornell University and will report directly to the Breeding Insight project director. The Breeding Coordinator will manage two additional positions; a Phenomics Coordinator and a Genomics Coordinator, as well as work closely with a Lead Developer leading a team of developers, all co-located in Ithaca, to integrate tools and algorithmic solutions into the ARS and US breeding programs. Long-term success will be based on evidence of a measurable increase in the rate of genetic gain in the breeding programs. Funding for the effort is initially focused on tool development and developing genomic resources, but if successful will expand to large scale implementation across over sixty breeding programs. The project will ensure the platform will be available to the entire diversity-study community and will lead training workshops for its effective use.
The Breeding Coordinator, along with the Phenomic Data specialist and the Genomics specialist, will conduct site visits to interact with selected breeding programs to understand their needs and ensure that tools that meet those needs are developed. They will also work with the breeders to tailor their programs to make optimal use of new capacities provided by the Breeding Insight. Initially, the platform will address four use cases: efficient genotyping, breeding data quality control, genomic prediction, and identification of novel favorable variants. In the first two years, the project will focus on five breeding programs during the pilot phase (alfalfa, blueberry, grape, sweet potato, and trout). In years 3-5, the project will expand along with its coordination team to extend the results to additional remaining pre-breeding and breeding programs.
Characteristic Duties and Responsibilities/Anticipated Division of Time
Breeding process use-case gathering and documentation. Requires a knowledge of the application of genomics to breeding systems. Requires an ability to actively listen to and interpret users' needs, ask good questions to analyze the real need, identify gaps, find solutions, write clear and concise documentation and facilitate a shared understanding of the problem with the development team. 35%
Lead integration of Breeding Insight system functions into breeding workflows, track adoption of the technology and study the impact of the system on the breeding programs. 20%
Supervising and mentoring a Phenomics Coordinator and a Genomics Coordinator. 15%
Collaborating with Breeding Insight Developers and adjacent Cornell projects. 15%
Develop workshop content and case studies, provide peer to peer training and instruction on the use of Breeding Insight system features. 15%
This position is a two-year term appointment with the possibility of extension contingent upon continued funding.
The Breeding Coordinator will be recruited based on core competency in several different areas, including applied plant breeding, bioinformatics, and quantitative genetics. A PhD in plant or animal breeding or related field is required, as well as a minimum of 3 years' relevant post-PhD experience, with industry experience being advantageous. Excellent communication and collaboration management skills are required in both face-to-face meetings and via conference calls and web meetings. Excellent problem solving and critical thinking skills are required. Excellent written communication skills especially in the space of documentation is required. Experience of clearly presenting project updates and scientific content to a diverse community is required. Knowledge of information technology in breeding, experience with specialty crops, experience working across cross-functional teams, and experience of managing a team is preferred. Travel is expected within the United States at a level of 25-30%.
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Internal Number: JOB_POSTING-3-21009
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