Career pathways

There are a number of different and exciting pathways in a plant biosecurity career.

Open positions

Various Biosecurity roles available with Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry is looking for people who care about keeping Australia free of damaging pests and diseases. As a Biosecurity Officer, you will make a valuable contribution to Australia’s agricultural, fisheries and forestry industries, and help protect our unique natural environment.

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The Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Western Australia is looking to establish a pool of suitable candidates to fill SCL1-2 Plant Pathologist roles within the Plant Biosecurity branch. The Plant Biosecurity team works to protect our land, water, and agriculture resources for a sustainable future and to protect WA’s reputation as a reliable producer of premium products to domestic and international markets. We are seeking individuals that would like to apply their knowledge of plant pathology, risk analysis and plant disease surveillance to join our Plant Biosecurity team. Working in a team environment you will contribute to the development of pest risk analyses and provide scientific advice to support our biosecurity policy, surveillance, monitoring and control programs for plant pests and diseases of state and national significance.

We are currently looking to fill two (2) vacancies both located in the Perth metropolitan area; one (1) permanent role in the Pest Risk and Analytics group, and one (1) 12-month fixed term position in the Plant Pest and Disease Surveillance group. The advert is now live on the WA Jobs Board, and the recruitment process will close 4pm, 31 January 2023.

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A vacancy is available for a highly talented and experienced Post Entry Quarantine Facility Manager to lead a team of 8-10 staff in plant post entry quarantine. In this role you will work closely with the other laboratory managers across MPI. The scope of the work includes leading the post entry quarantine Level 3B greenhouse and Level 3 Tissue Culture work programmes and processes: upkeep of the facilities and meeting the Standards within the approved Operational and Capex budget providing support to diagnostics by leading the team in conducting woody indexing and herbaceous indexing, managing positive controls, etc. adherence to quality systems and health and safety requirements

Our ideal candidate will have the following: Minimum of a post-graduate university qualification (preferable doctoral) related to horticulture. Proven experience of managing and developing highly qualified scientific staff and in leading a high performing team Expert technical knowledge and broad experience of managing post entry quarantine programmes and processes. Expert operational management skills. Proven leadership skills Excellent oral communication and writing skills Experience of budget management Applications close at midnight on Friday 17 February 2023.

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Kōrero mō te Tūranga - About the Role If you're interested in a role where you'll get the chance to work with a highly competent, talented and motivated workforce who work to protect New Zealand's primary sector and the environment, then keep reading! The Plant Health and Environment Laboratory (PHEL) delivers responsive and high-quality diagnostic services and technical expertise to New Zealand's biosecurity area as a leader in New Zealand for plant health diagnostic services. As the Senior Scientist, Quality Assurance, you'll ensure our laboratories' assays are continually fit for purpose by reviewing them against recent scientific publications, identify the gaps and developing new assays where needed to get the accreditation to ISO 17025. In addition, the Senior Scientist researches, develops and implements advanced diagnostic techniques, keys, tools and methods as appropriate, actively working with internal staff and external stakeholders to maintain and enhance capability for detection of exotic pests and diseases. This includes the development of new methods, risk analysis, and contingency plans.

Mōu - About You Our ideal candidate will have the following: PhD or equivalent experience. A strong knowledge of plant health diagnosis and molecular biology is essential. Laboratory experience in molecular biology is essential. Experience in emerging technologies (e.g., High-throughput Sequencing) is preferable. Knowledge and experience in developing assays with excellent written and verbal communication skills including ability to prepare high quality reports. Experience in developing and maintaining relationships with a wide variety of internal and external stakeholders. Project management skills, including leading projects. Ability to work independently and capacity to plan work in line with priorities and achieve agreed goals on time. Applications close at midnight on 17 February 2023.

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Kōrero mō te Tūranga - About the Role If you're interested in a role where you'll get the chance to work with a highly competent, talented and motivated workforce who work to protect New Zealand's primary sector and the environment, then keep reading! The Ministry for Primary Industries has an exciting opportunity for a full-time, permanent Senior Adviser Health Safety & Containment to join the Assurance, Biosafety and Containment Team at MPI's Plant Health and Environment Laboratory (PHEL) in Auckland. As the Senior Adviser Health Safety & Containment, you'll develop and implement effective health and safety and containment practices in agreed areas of PHEL to ensure legislative compliance, and lead health and safety practice and culture. The primary focus is ensuring health and safety and containment systems (encompassing facilities, chemicals, equipment, procedures, and staff) are operating effectively. The role would suit applicants with a background working in laboratories and with strong Health and Safety experience. You will be an excellent team player, with the ability to work effectively across multiple teams, excellent attention to detail, a highly effective communicator and influencer, and adaptable and calm under pressure.

Mōu - About You Our ideal candidate will have: Tertiary qualification(s) in relevant discipline(s), i.e. Biological Science or similar experience, preferably post-graduate qualification. Strong judgement and decision-making skills. Experience in developing and implementing safety and wellbeing processes, systems and solutions within large and complex organisations. Working knowledge of H&S legislation, risk management and of good practice in safety and wellbeing and laboratory containment. Understanding of microbiological security concepts. Knowledge and understanding of the AS/NZS 2243 Safety in Laboratories standard series, and the ability to implement these requirements for work in PC2 and PC3 laboratories. Ability to lead complex projects. Experience in managing relationships and consultation with internal and external stakeholders. Ability to communicate clearly and effectively (both orally and in writing) with a wide range of people in different situations, in order to explain, persuade, convince and influence others. Applications close at midnight on 24 February 2023.

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A PhD opportunity is available to work on Prevalence, distribution and role of Cryptovalsa ampelina in grapevine dieback in Australia.

Grapevine trunk diseases are a major threat to the Australian wine industry, and an exciting opportunity exists for a PhD student to investigate the role of Cryptovalsa ampelina in the decline and dieback of grapevines in Australian vineyards. The successful candidate will be part of a larger team studying grapevine trunk diseases and will work with experienced plant pathologists from Charles Sturt at the Gulbali Institute and the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI). The PhD candidate will have the opportunity to conduct research at the facilities of both institutions.

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A PhD opportunity is available to study viruses associated with Agaricus mushrooms in Australia

The project’s primary outcome is that the Australian mushroom industry and growers have a better understanding of the occurrence of mushroom viruses in Australia the diagnostics capability available to improve detection. By addressing the diversity and prevalence of viruses associated with disease in Australian mushrooms, growers will have a greater understanding of the threat of introduction into their farms from within Australia or overseas. For enquiries and to apply, please forward a covering letter, your curriculum vitae (please include evidence of research writing) and academic transcripts to: Kendra Whiteman Visitor and Student Coordinator Agriculture Victoria Research

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Join our network

Everyone working in plant biosecurity diagnostics in Australian or New Zealand is encouraged to join NPBDN. Relevant disciplines include bacteriologists, botanists, entomologists, general plant pathologists, molecular biologists, mycologists, nematologists, phytoplasmologists, virologists and weed scientists.

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