ALL CO-OP STUDENTS – Plant Health Research Assistant, Acadian Seaplants Limited



Acadian Seaplants Limited is a biotech company and the largest independent manufacturer of marine plant products of its type in the world.  It is engaged primarily in the sustainable harvest of wild seaweeds, in the development of innovative technologies to process these renewable resources into value-added finished products and in the cultivation and processing of unique seaweeds.

Acadian Plant Health™ is a division of Acadian Seaplants Limited that provides proven plant health solutions to increase crop productivity and quality. The Research and Development Department supports company goals by testing the efficacy of new and existing products on plant health and yield parameters.

The Plant Health Research Assistant reports to the Senior Greenhouse Technician and the Plant Stress Researcher, under the Director, Horticulture Research and R&D Centre. Internal contacts include the General Plant Health Technician, the Bioassay Technician, other members of the Research and Development Teams, other colleagues from the Production facility in Cornwallis and colleagues at the Dartmouth Corporate Office and elsewhere.



  • Assist in designing and conducting studies to understand products’ ability to improve plant health, including improved growth parameters, yield and quality, stress resistance and nutrient uptake.
  • Routinely monitor plants for any signs of nutrient deficiency, stress or disease over the course of the experiment.
  • Collect data on plant growth parameters such as root and leaf surface area, fruit production and quality parameters, photosynthesis, relative chlorophyll content using a SPAD meter, leaf water content and cell membrane stability by measuring electrolyte leakage.
  • Collect and preserve samples for nutrient, biochemical or biomolecular analysis, without compromising sample integrity.
  • Assist with activities involved in the running of the controlled environment, greenhouse and outdoor trial facilities and assisting in bioassay procedures to test efficacy of crop biostimulants.
  • Assist with the establishment and maintenance of healthy, uniform plants for experimental use.  This includes watering plants, applying fertilizer following set protocols, maintaining facility cleanliness, washing pots, etc.
  • Undertake studies in a safe, precise and methodical manner including the preparation of solutions and materials for experiments.  Apply seaweed extract solutions and other preparations following experimental protocols in a safe and accurate manner.
  • Enter study data into a corporate database, produce graphs and conduct statistical analyses to allow for interpretation of the results.
  • Maintain a high level of accuracy, precision and productivity in performing routine and repetitive tasks.
  • Support the company’s vision and policies regarding Health & Safety, Corporate Culture, and Environmental Management by displaying the appropriate behaviors and leadership towards meeting the company’s objectives in these areas.



  • The Plant Health Research Assistant’s principle responsibility is to assist in the establishment and care of plant studies in controlled environments, greenhouses and outdoor field plots at Acadian Seaplants’ R&D Center, Cornwallis.
  • The position requires a candidate that is adaptable and possesses flexible technical skills (laboratory/greenhouse/field work/computers). Full training will be provided and a desire to produce work to a high standard is more important than specific skills.
  • Experience and training in basic lab techniques, experimental design and procedures as well as computer skills, including data entry, word processing, spreadsheets and experience with graphing software are also desirable.
  • Experience in greenhouse production or growing plants is highly beneficial.
  • Capability to develop studies in a precise and methodical manner and to assist in the preparation, implementation, measuring and conclusion of studies in an efficient and timely manner.
  • Effective observational skills and good time management skills are important, as is the ability to work independently or as part of a team.
  • The assistant will at times be required to perform physically demanding tasks and work in an outdoor environment.

Application Details

Please apply with a cover letter, resume and transcript to Katy Shotton at by Friday 12 May 2017.

Note: This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties that may be required to be performed by the Administrator now or in future. S/He will be required to follow any additional instructions deemed appropriate by the Manager.

If you would like more information on how you could apply for this position as a CBU Co-op Option and earn 3 credits toward your degree, please contact CBU Student Placement Officer Carly Turnbull: