Postdoctoral Fellow: Fruit Ripening Physiology

Postdoctoral Fellow: Fruit Ripening Physiology (A194-17CA), Massey Univeristy School of Food and Nutrition, College of Health

We are offering a three-year fixed-term position to conduct research on biochemistry and physiology of kiwifruit kiwifruit ripening. You must have a PhD in biochemistry or postharvest science and be able to conduct experiments of considerable complexity around storage of kiwifruit. You will embrace the challenges this role will have, and thrive on working with other professionals in a team environment.

Location: Palmerston North
Term: Fixed Term of 3 Years
Grade: Postdoctoral Fellow
Salary: $68,945 - $83,228 pa
Last day for applications: 1 July 2017

Position overview
New Zealand's horticultural export sector is expanding rapidly. This expansion is based on securing premium prices for premium quality products. In support of this sector, Massey University is seeking to appoint a Postdoctoral Fellow for three years to work in the area of biochemistry and physiology of kiwifruit ripening. The main aim of the position is to develop a deeper understanding of the relationship between fruit ripening processes and underlying metabolic pathways and enzyme activities. This will include the measurement of the activity of a wide range of enzymes associated with ripening, as well as physiological and metabolite measurements.

Our ideal candidate has a strong background in biochemistry and enzyme kinetics, personal experience with postharvest research and is able to conduct experiments of considerable complexity to test hypotheses about predicting the quality of fresh products after storage. A familiarity with fresh product industries and their commercial needs would be an advantage. You are keen to publish your research and have a strong academic track record. You are flexible and resourceful, and enjoy the challenges associated with successfully completing complex and varied projects and working with other professionals in a team environment. The candidate may be asked to contribute to PhD student supervision.

You will report to the Professor of Postharvest Technology, and will work closely with academics and technical staff in the Centre for Postharvest and Refrigeration Research and the New Zealand Institute for Plant and Food Research.

The position will be based at the School of Food and Nutrition, Massey University, Palmerston North, and at Plant and Food Research, Palmerston North.
Job description
Purpose statement

To conduct research into the regulation of fruit ripening in storage based on assessment of physiological and biochemical fruit attributes
Responsible to Professor of Postharvest Technology, Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology, Massey University

Key accountabilities

• Conduct experiments to determine the regulation of physiological changes during fruit ripening in storage by underlying biochemical processes.
• Assess enzymic and metabolite changes that may have use as predictors of quality after storage.
• Design, conduct, analyse and report on complex experiments and generate publications from this work.
• Contribute to postgraduate student supervision and collaborate with academic and technical staff engaged in related research.
• Ensure Health and Safety policies are adhered to at all times.

Person specification
Qualifications: PhD in biochemistry, postharvest science or related disciplines.


Strong background in biochemistry and/or enzymology.
Technical experience in postharvest quality assessment for fruit or vegetables.
Sound technical knowledge on postharvest biology of fresh products (primarily fruit and vegetables).
Good understanding of the needs of domestic and export-oriented fresh product industries.
Experience working in a multi-disciplinary team.
Personal attributes and behaviours

The following skills and attributes are essential in this role:
• Biochemical and physiological laboratory skills.
• Enthusiasm for solving practical problems relevant to fresh product industries.
• Excellent organisational skills.
• Able to work well both independently and as part of a team.
• Flexibility, initiative and resourcefulness.
• Excellent verbal and written communication skills.
• A high degree of skill and experience using the Microsoft Office suite of products.

To apply:

fruit ripening physiology
Palmerston North (New Zealand)