Computational Biologist - Fonterra

Fonterra Research and Development Centre
New Zealand Palmerston North Palmerston North


About the opportunity

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. With approximately 350 people, the Innovation & Brand business unit’s key purpose is to deliver sustainable value through innovative product and technology development to derive the best value from NZ milk. Most of our team is based in Palmerston North at the Fonterra Research Development Centre (FRDC) where we’ve been innovating in dairy for almost 100 years. The FRDC is home to a highly collegial team of scientists, technologists, and engineers – many of whom are the world’s leading experts in dairy science.

Joining Fonterra as Computational Biologist in the Data & Analytics team within Fonterra’s Research and Development Centre, you will be part of a multidisciplinary team working on world-leading projects covering Microbiology, Evolutionary Biology, Chemistry, and Biochemistry.

With plenty of initiative, you will be analyzing and interpreting multi-omics data (genomics, metabolomics, proteomics, and lipidomics) to lead and support our R&D initiatives. Being responsible for the integration and analysis of data using various modelling and machine learning techniques to describe complex biological systems that impact product quality, functionality, and human nutrition.

Additionally, you will get the chance to use your proven expertise to plan and co-lead new research projects as part of a wider multi-disciplinary team of experts and join international conferences to establish new connections.

Key responsibilities:

Provide scientific guidance of theoretical expertise in specialized areas to enhance the capacity of our R&D function.
Develop and implement novel methods and algorithms to integrate and analyze multi-omics data from diverse databases
Automate large-scale integration, interpretation, and mining of high-throughput data to and from omics platforms
Develop programming tools and apply machine learning to identify hidden patterns in omics data

Please note that this role is based at the Fonterra Research and Development Centre in Palmerston North, New Zealand. The incumbent is required to be working on-site. We welcome applications from all over the world, but you must be committed to moving to New Zealand and base yourself in Palmerston North.

About You

As a passionate researcher, you will have a successful track record of leading and delivering key goals and enjoy working with a multi-disciplinary and culturally diverse team to deliver value to the business.

Your strong communication skills and ability to tell a story using data are key. Experience in computational biology, modelling biological systems, and programming will help you to add value to Fonterra’s unique research function. In return, you will get the opportunity to build networks with like-minded experts in the field and establish meaningful relations to shape your career as Senior Research Scientist.
With a desire for delivering results, engaging across the business, and bringing data to life, this is where you will shine.

Key skills and experience:
Expertise in modelling biological systems and communicating insights from these models
Experience in integrative omics analysis, next-generation sequencing, and programming
Background in machine learning methods applied to multi-omics data
Experience leading targeted and exploratory research projects and initiatives
Preferably hold a Ph.D. in Computational Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Biological Sciences, or Computer Science

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.


Preferably hold a Ph.D. in Computational Biology, Evolutionary Biology, Biological Sciences, or Computer Science

Start date

As soon as possible

How to Apply

Please apply via the Fonterra Careers site. All applications must be made via the Fonterra careers site.