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Head of Plant Health and Quarantine

Royal Botanic Gardens Kew
Kew, London (Greater)
Salary £38,200 - £45,404 per annum, depending on skills and experience
Closing date
1 Jul 2022
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Kew Gardens holds one of the most diverse and valuable collections of living plants in the world. Protecting these collections from the growing threats of pests and disease requires exemplary biosecurity and constant vigilance. The Head of Plant Health and Quarantine will play a leading role in establishing and monitoring standards of biosecurity and ensure Kew remains an exemplar of good plant health practice.

The post holder will support Kew’s horticultural and science teams in diagnosing and responding to plant health threats and advise on the acquisition and dispatch of plant material to comply with national and international plant health regulations. They will contribute to Kew’s staff and student training programmes to increase knowledge of plant health threat and management. They will also manage Kew’s Quarantine Unit, ensuring that we fulfil our statutory duties under the DEFRA licence.

Our ideal candidate will have a degree in a relevant science or horticultural discipline, together with significant post qualification experience. They will also have up-to-date knowledge of plant health legislation and experience in identifying and controlling the main pests, diseases, and physiological disorders of plants. Experience of managing the movement of plants or the maintenance of a biosecure facility would also be a benefit.

The successful candidate will have good organisational skills with an ability to independently plan, prioritise, and delegate work as appropriate. They will also have an ability to build strong collaborative relationships with internal and external stakeholders. There will be a need for skilled written and verbal communication to explain technical details and promote a culture where plant health is seen as a high priority and a shared responsibility.

The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew (RBG Kew) is a leading plant science institute, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and major visitor attraction. Our mission is to understand and protect plants and fungi for the well-being of people and the future of all life on Earth.

We are working to end the unprecedented extinction crisis and to help create a world where nature is protected, valued by all and managed sustainably. We will achieve these goals by drawing on our leading scientific research, unrivalled collections of plants and fungi, global network of partners, inspirational gardens at Kew and Wakehurst, and our 260 years of history.

Join us on our journey as protectors of the world’s plants and fungi.

Our fantastic benefits package includes opportunities for continuous learning, a generous annual leave entitlement, flexible working to help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, an Employee Assistance Programme and other wellbeing support such as cycle to work scheme and discounted gym membership. We also offer a competitive pension, an employee discount scheme and free entry into a wide range of national museums and galleries, as well as access to our own beautiful gardens at Kew and Wakehurst.

We are committed to equality of opportunity and welcome applications from all sections of the community. We guarantee to interview all disabled applicants who meet the essential criteria for the post.

No agencies please.

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