Careers: Sensient Natural Ingredients

Senior Innovation Scientist

Location: Livingston, California


Job Summary

Sensient Natural Ingredients is seeking an experienced plant breeder for the role of Senior Innovation Scientist on our Crops Research team.  The position will report to the Senior Innovation Scientist and will be located in Livingston, California. 

Position is primarily responsible for the breeding of high performing proprietary onion varieties that are grown exclusively by SNI’s contracted onion dehydration growers.   Extensive travel is required to remote trial locations for planting, data collection and harvesting.

Position will be responsible for supervising, developing and providing leadership to Field Operations, Crops Research, and Seed Production teams.  The ideal candidate will combine a fundamental understanding of crop agronomy/physiology, variety development, and seed production.  The candidate should have experience in conventional plant breeding, utilizing molecular biology to facilitate breeding efforts, and the design, execution, and statistical analysis of field experiments.



  1. Plan, execute, and analyze breeding trials in all of SNI’s current and future onion production areas.
  2. Make selections of elite bulbs for caged seed production and oversee all Nursery efforts.   
  3. Maintain records of breeding program including pedigrees of breeding populations and varieties.
  4. Breed male-sterile parent lines to facilitate ongoing development of new hybrid combinations utilizing conventional and molecular breeding strategies
  5. Recommend potential new varieties for seed increases and initial commercial production.  Prepare and present annual summaries of overall program for SNI leadership team.
  6. Maintain adequate Breeder’s Seed inventory to support ongoing production of sufficient Stockseed to support requirements of Seed Production and maintain varietal purity.    
  7. Act in an advisory capacity to introduce attributes of new and existing varieties to Field Operations personnel to maximize productivity, reduce costs, and ensure highest possible quality.
  8. Continually evaluate and, when appropriate, incorporate new technologies to facilitate breeding efforts
  9. Interact with third party and university researchers to ensure access to new technologies, elite germplasm, and maintain scientific proficiency
  10. Maintain accurate records of all scientific activities in compliance with company standards and policies.
  11. Conduct and initiate breeding efforts for new crops to support New Product Development
  12. Support SNI’s Sales Department by onboarding new and existing employees, leading customer tours through Research facilities, and promoting overall research capabilities and accomplishments.
  13. Ability to work in a multidisciplinary team based environment.
  14. Ability to manage and prioritize multiple projects
  15. Fully participate in facilities management, employee supervision, training, and safety programs.


Education & Experience

PhD in Plant Breeding, Crop Science, or closely related field.  Candidates with an MS and significant breeding experience will also be considered

Previous experience in vegetable production and vegetable seed production is highly desirable.

Demonstrated high level of ability to execute projects within crop management framework and with a large degree of independence. 

The ideal candidate will combine a fundamental understanding of genetics, agronomy, and hands-on experience in designing and executing field experiments.

Expertise in experimental design of field and lab based trials, data management, and statistical interpretation is required. 

Possess or be able to obtain a California driver’s license

Able to work under a variety of climate extremes ranging from near freezing to greater than 100oF, occasionally under very dusty field conditions

Able to occasionally lift up to 50 pounds

Requires excellent written and oral English communication skills

Proficient in Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and statistical software for data analysis.



The Sensient Natural Ingredients group is part of Sensient Flavors & Fragrances Group and is one of the largest producers and distributors of dehydrated onion and garlic products as well as chili powder, paprika, chili pepper and dehydrated vegetables such as parsley, celery and spinach. These ingredients are used in many of today's popular convenience foods. The Natural Ingredients unit is located in Turlock, California.



Sensient Technologies Corporation is a leading global manufacturer and marketer of colors, flavors, and fragrances. Sensient employs advanced technologies at facilities around the world to develop specialty food and beverage systems, cosmetic and pharmaceutical systems, inkjet and specialty inks and colors, and other specialty and fine chemicals. The Company's customers include major international manufacturers representing most of the world's best-known brands.  Sensient is headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The salary range for this position is $91,781- $152,969 USD.  Pay within the range is based on several factors, which may include, but are not limited to, education, work experience, specialized training, and labor market conditions.  In addition to salary, Sensient is proud to offer a comprehensive and competitive benefits program to support the holistic well-being of our employees and their families. This position is also eligible for performance-based incentive pay. 

Equal Opportunity Employer


You can apply on our website at or click on this link.