Sr Scientist, Horticulture and Plant Biology in Marysville, OH at Hawthorne Gardening Co.

Date Posted: 8/19/2019

Job Snapshot

Job Description

At the Hawthorne Gardening Company (HGC) we want our people to empower more people to garden no matter where and how they choose to grow. We accomplish this by encouraging people to live happier, healthier lives through gardening. If you also feel this way then you’d fit in great with us!

The Senior Scientist of Horticulture and Plant Biology for Hawthorne Gardening Company will lead the plant biology research aspects for Hawthorne’s diverse portfolio of hydro products and ensure trials
deliver claims for Hawthorne’s professional hydro business. Research projects will include the major considerations of growing plants hydroponically in controlled environments, such as lighting, nutrition,
substrates and varieties. Research will also study the effect of cultural practices on plant growth, such as irrigation, plant spacing, temperature, humidity, airflow, CO 2 enrichment, etc. In addition to studies
on mature plants, research will also encompass mother plants, cloning and propagation, as well as post-harvest drying, curing, and processing.


The Senior Scientist of Horticulture and Plant Biology will lead the company’s scouting and screening of new technologies, recommend and assess new products, create enticing product claims, and identify
cost saving opportunities. The Senior Scientist will constantly mine the realm of technologies and match them to both articulated and unarticulated grower needs to drive our professional business. The
individual will also support tech service, sales, and management by editing training content and literature, creating board presentations from research findings, and periodically presenting research
results in lecture settings.


To ensure success, the Senior Scientist will identify, plan, and oversee the implementation of major plant biology research programs that deliver professional research at multiple sites. The individual will
coordinate internal trials at any of the company-owned field research stations including: Marysville, Ohio; Gervais, Oregon; Apopka, Florida; and Kelowna, British Columbia. The Senior Scientist will
indirectly guide the work of two plant biologists in Kelowna, including setting expectations on the content and format the scientists must present to a variety of tours in the facility. The individual will also
be tasked to develop a network of external resources including universities and independent contract researchers in the US and Canada. Although the role is based in Marysville, Ohio, this work can require
travel 25-35% of the time.


The Senior Scientist must develop strong partnerships with key cross-functional experts in R&D tech services, marketing, regulatory, sourcing, and manufacturing to understand the possibilities and
implications of innovative ideas and cost-savings.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Establish and lead a professional biological research program in support of Hawthorne’s product portfolio. This entails coordinating a combination of internal and external field biology trials.
  • Interact with industry and university influencers as well as professional growers to understand new technologies, new biological research methods, and grower trends and communicate this information to category leads and sales/ tech service.
  • Collaborate with Hawthorne management, other R&D colleagues, marketing, and category leads and to make sure field biology trials support the business objectives. This includes planning and results presentations in meetings as well as conferences.
  • Provide technical leadership to Hawthorne management, category, marketing, regulatory, sourcing, quality and manufacturing.
  • The senior scientist must plan, conduct and distill highly technical and complex research into decisive conclusions and specific recommendations, as well as influence the execution of the same type of work by other scientists that do not report to this individual. The researcher must tailor messages to the audience including management, sales, category, R&D person must balance responsibilities to support short-term business needs while maintaining focus on longer-term Hawthorne business objectives.
  • Approximate time necessary to complete this task or project from start to completion: It depends upon the project or deliverable, but generally 2 to 24 months in duration
  • A very high degree of original thinking is required. The senior scientist must design research protocols that address key questions and hypotheses for a combination of variables as Hawthorne attempts to optimize the complete solution for growers across all product categories.
  • The individual may indirectly supervise 2 scientists in Kelowna as well scientists or technicians who will execute trials at other company-owned field stations.

Minimum Requirements

  • Minimum M.S. degree, Ph.D. preferred in a relevant biological science such as horticulture, floriculture, soil science, etc
  • Depending on education, 3-5 years of experience in a horticulture related field, such as controlled environment agriculture (CEA), greenhouse, hydroponics or ornamental container nursery
  • Strong working knowledge of typical practices in greenhouse/controlled environments, hydroponic and soilless culture.
  • Demonstrated ability to design and lead research programs to answer specific questions to commercialize horticultural products or technologies
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills to influence direction, enable decisions andmake progress.
  • Scientific curiosity, personal drive and networking abilities to find breakthrough technologies,
    product improvements and cutting-edge methods.

Not interested in this role? Check out our other career opportunities and learn more about what it’s like to work at Hawthorne Gardening Company by accessing our Talent Network: HGC Talent Network

The Hawthorne Gardening Company is a start-up company focused on hydroponic gardening. Dedicated to creating high quality products founded in social and environmental responsibility. Backed by the largest lawn and garden company in the U.S. (Scotts Miracle-Gro, NYSE: SMG) we bring new ideas, values, and culture to our endeavors without the constraints of a large corporation. We are an energetic, progressive-minded, sustainability-focused group of highly-motivated individuals, eager to share our love of gardening with the world.

The brands and products within our portfolio include: Sunlight Supply, General Hydroponics, General Organics, Vermicrop, Botanicare, AeroGarden, CanFilters and Gavita Lighting.

Hawthorne Gardening Company is an EEO Employer, dedicated to a culturally diverse, drug free workplace.

EEO/AA Employer/Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran/Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity

Notification to Agencies:

Please note that the Hawthorne Gardening Company does not accept unsolicited resumes from recruiters or employment agencies. In the absence of a signed Master Service Agreement, and specific approval to submit resumes to an approved requisition, the Hawthorne Gardening Company will not consider or approve payment regarding recruiter fees or referral compensations.