Scientist (rank commensurate with experience)

Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America Req #213
Thursday, June 24, 2021

Summary:  Responsible for conducting botanical research in the Africa and Madagascar Department, Science and Conservation Division. Conduct systematic research on various flowering plant groups, focusing on tropical Africa and/or Madagascar, and using a diversity of approaches (e.g., field and herbarium studies, phylogenetics, biogeography, conservation analysis, etc.).  Pursue funding for individual research and for programmatic activities.  Lead and participate in training and mentoring of students and collaborators, both in St. Louis and Africa.


Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conduct significant, original systematic research on flowering plant groups in tropical continental Africa and/or Madagascar using a diversity of approaches and methods.

  • Publish research results in appropriate journals and by other suitable methods of dissemination (e.g., books, internet sites, etc.)

  • Develop and carry out an active field research program in tropical continental Africa and/or Madagascar

  • Participate in and contribute to the Garden’s Africa and Madagascar Program, including planning, implementation, staff management, training and capacity building, and fund-raising

  • Contribute to conservation initiatives on African and/or Malagasy species, sites and/or ecosystems, including in collaboration with other MBG scientists

  • Participate in Garden activities such as giving tours and lectures to Garden members and the general public, as requested


Supervisory Responsibilities:  Supervises students, volunteers and external resources.



  • Leadership - Exhibits confidence in self and others; Inspires and motivates others to perform well; Effectively influences actions and opinions of others; Inspires respect and trust; Accepts feedback from others; Provides vision and inspiration to peers and subordinates; Gives appropriate recognition to others; Displays passion and optimism; Mobilizes others to fulfill the vision.
  • Collaboration – works effectively with colleagues and students, and with other scientific and conservation initiatives.
  • Managing People - Includes staff in planning, decision-making, facilitating and process improvement, as appropriate; Takes responsibility for subordinates' activities; Makes self available to staff and students; Provides regular performance feedback; Develops subordinates' skills and encourages growth; Solicits and applies feedback (internal and external); Fosters quality focus in others; Improves processes, products and services; Continually works to improve supervisory skills.
  • Supervising volunteers – Works regularly with volunteers with irregular schedules, and diverse interests and skills, integrating them into various research and conservation initiatives.
  • Problem Solving - Identifies and resolves problems in a timely manner; Gathers and analyzes information skillfully; Develops alternative solutions; Works well in group problem solving situations; Uses reason even when dealing with emotional topics.
  • Delegation - Delegates work assignments; Matches the responsibility to the person; Gives authority to work independently; Sets expectations and monitors delegated activities; Provides recognition for results.
  • Diversity - Demonstrates knowledge of EEO policy; Shows respect and sensitivity for cultural differences; Educates others on the value of diversity; Promotes a harassment-free environment; Builds a diverse workforce.
  • Organizational Support - Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time; Supports organization's goals and values; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
  • Ethics - Treats people with respect; Keeps commitments; Inspires the trust of others; Works with integrity and ethically; Upholds organizational values.
  • Professionalism - Approaches others in a tactful manner; Reacts well under pressure; Accepts responsibility for own actions; Follows through on commitments.
  • Oral Communication - Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings, as required.
  • Written Communication - Writes clearly and informatively, using correct spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
  • Interpersonal - Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
  • Dependability - Follows instructions, responds to management direction; Takes responsibility for own actions; Keeps commitments; Commits to additional work hours when necessary to reach goals; Completes tasks on time or notifies appropriate person with an alternate plan.
  • Safety and Security - Observes safety and security procedures; Determines appropriate action beyond guidelines; Reports potentially unsafe conditions; Uses equipment and materials properly.

  • Qualifications/Experience:
  • Strong background, including a minimum of (3) years’ prior experience or coursework, in one or more of the following fields: Conservation Biology, Genetics, Ecology, Evolution, Biogeography or similar discipline.
  • Prior experience writing scientific papers, grant proposals, and reports.
  • Demonstrated success in seeking and obtaining external funding, including negotiation.
  • Training in plant systematics.
  • Strong familiarity with the collection and use of herbarium specimens.
  • Experience in conducting field work in tropical conditions; Willingness and flexibility to conduct field work.
  • Strong understanding of financial budget development/management and forecasting process to effectively manage grant budgets.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills; professionalism; ability to clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations, to listen and get clarification, and to respond well to questions; is tactful and treats others with respect.
  • Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively at all levels ability to work with diverse teams, including international colleagues, is required.
  • Able to travel up to 25% of the time (domestic and international).
  • Scheduling flexibility is required to work evenings, weekends, or holidays as needed.
  • The requirements and duties listed are representative and not exhaustive of the knowledge, skill, and/or abilities required.


  • Ph.D. required.


Language Skills:  Ability to communicate effectively in English (oral/written); competency in French highly desirable.


Mathematical Skills:

  • Proficient College Math Aptitude - Ability to perform addition, subtraction, multiplication and division; calculate percentages and decimals, etc.
  • Ability to understand, analyze and create budgets.  

Reasoning Ability: 

  • Requires ability to conduct independent research and to participate actively in team work; apply facts and principles for developing approaches and techniques to problem resolution; represent the interests and projects a positive image of the Missouri Botanical Garden.


    Computer Skills:

  • Advanced proficiency in navigating through various PC applications including but not limited to Microsoft Office Suite (i.e., PowerPoint, Excel, Word, and Outlook).
  • Solid Internet research skills.
  • Ability to use e-mail to communicate with Garden staff in order to answer questions and service their needs. 


Certificates, Licenses, Registrations:

  • Must possess valid driver’s license prior to employment.
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a passport for international travel.
  • Must be able to obtain visas, vaccinations and immunizations for all countries where travel is required.
  • Must be able to obtain all necessary permits for botanical fieldwork and represent the Garden in a legal and ethical manner in all interactions with natural resources.


Physical Demands:

  • Ability to lift up to 50 lbs.

  • Ability to utilize computer keyboard (typing) and sit for extended periods of the work day.

  • Operates copier, printer, fax, and computer.

  • Ability to walk about facility frequently throughout work day, and sit for extended periods of the work day (may sit up to 50% of work day).

  • Ability to travel independently for long periods on airplanes, trains and other conveyances both domestic and international.

  • Ability to walk, stand, kneel, or climb as required and move about for extended periods of time.

  • Physical fitness necessary for field studies involving multi-week hikes/rides/camping in difficult terrain.

  • May be required to perform tasks at varying heights and at high altitudes.

  • Ability to understand field safety requirements and wear personal protective equipment, as needed.

  • Ability to work in extreme weather conditions.

  • May require working long hours to meet deadlines.


    Work Environment:

  • Office and laboratory environment in St. Louis and overseas; overseas assignments, including in developing countries and/or in remote and rugged regions.

  • Outdoor setting; ability to work outdoors in all weather conditions (i.e., in temperatures over 100°F as well as temperatures below 0°F, in rain, snow and other inclement weather conditions as needed).

  • Comfortable working in immediate proximity to general public, in a safe and friendly manner, answering questions.


    Contacts with Individuals/Organizations inside/outside the Garden:

  • Garden employees and volunteers

  • Collaborators, Guests and International Scientists

  • Professional Organizations

  • Governmental Officials

  • Colleges/Universities


Supervisor: Director, Africa and Madagascar Program



Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
  • Missouri Botanical Garden, 2345 Tower Grove Ave., St. Louis, Missouri, United States of America