Computational Biologist

Data Programme
New Zealand Manawatu Palmerston North


About us

We are a proud New Zealand Co-operative built by generations of farming whānau. We believe nutritious food is essential to sustain people today, and for future generations to thrive, which is why we challenge ourselves to find new ways to bring our dairy goodness to people around the world.

Located in Palmerston North, New Zealand, the Fonterra Research and Development Centre (FRDC) is home to a highly collegial team of around 300 qualified scientists, technologists and engineers – many of whom are the world’s leading experts in dairy science – and it is investing in new techniques with cutting edge technology right now!

About the opportunity

As an established researcher supporting the Food Assurance Science Team within Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre, you will be part of a multidisciplinary team working on world leading projects covering Microbiology, Chemistry and Biochemistry.

As Computational Biologist and part of the Data Programme team, you will contribute to produce sustained, significant commercial value for Fonterra in the area of Food Safety and Quality Science and Innovation through data analysis, interpretation and predictive modelling.

You will use your expertise to plan and lead research on the effective management of microbiological effects on the food chain. You will be part of a wider multi-disciplinary team of experts working in the areas of: Genomics, Metagenomics, Metabolomics, Risk Modelling and solutions (tools/app) development. You will have a passion for research, successful track record of delivering key goals, and enjoy working with a multidisciplinary team to deliver value to the business.

Key responsibilities:

Conduct modelling of biological systems and microorganisms to understand effects on dairy products
Develop algorithms, methods and models to understand biological systems and relationships
Provide scientific guidance through breadth, depth and currency of theoretical expertise in specialized areas, applying this to enhance the capacity of our R&D function
Maintain subject matter expertise; identify and pursue opportunities for professional development
Contribute to Data Programme and Food Assurance Science direction, including identification, evaluation and presentation of opportunities relevant to business initiatives
Deliver timely, self-critiqued quality research outputs according to prioritised business needs

About you

Your strong communication skills and an ability to tell a story using data is key. Experience in computational or predictive/systems biology is necessary, however we are open to applicants from any industry where you can clearly demonstrate the core skill set.
With a passion for delivering results, engaging across the business, and bringing numbers to life, this is where you will shine.

Key skills and experience:

Degree (Masters/PhD) or extensive experience in the Biological Sciences, Computer Science, or Statistics is favoured.
Expertise in modelling of biological systems
Extensive experience with applied predictive modelling for quantitative risk analysis
Experience with Food Safety Systems
Experience across a range of computing languages and systems
Ability to identify and incorporate new knowledge
Willingness to help build wider capabilities within a team

Our Story

Whanaungatanga, our Co-operative spirit gives us all a common strength and purpose. Manaakitanga is how we care for all our people who are at the heart of what we do, we want our farmers, employees, customers and communities to thrive. Kaitiakitanga, ensures we take care of the land. We are committed to farming in a way that regenerates our farms and environment for future generations.

Whakaohooho constantly inspires ourselves and each other with great career development opportunities and benefits. We enable flexibility and balance to suit everyone’s lifestyles and choices.

Our Co-operative is a place where everyone can be themselves, feel empowered to do their best.

Sound good to you? Come join our whānau. You, me, Us Together Tᾱtou tᾱtou.

With unparalleled scope, visibility and challenge this opportunity is not to be missed. If you’re results driven and ready for your next big career move this could be for you – Apply now!
Please apply via the Fonterra Careers site.


Degree (Masters/PhD) or extensive experience in the Biological Sciences, Computer Science, or Statistics is favored.

Start date

To be determined

How to Apply

Please apply online via the Fonterra careers site. All applications must be made online following the online application process via the Fonterra careers site.