Senior Scientific Officer in Genetics

Vacancy for a permanent position

Xelect manages breeding programmes for 12 different fish and shrimp species across the Americas, Europe, SE Asia, Africa and Oceania, including for some of the most well-known and progressive companies in the industry.  We also operate an internal R & D programme to keep us at the forefront of aquaculture genetics that is currently focused on cost effective methods of genomic selection and the development of high throughput phenotyping technologies. Xelect is an industrial partner in the EU-funded AquaFaang project ( which has the aim of advancing European aquaculture through genome functional annotation.  Xelect has modern laboratories and offices in the heart of the picturesque university town of St Andrews in Fife and is just 65 min drive from Edinburgh airport. We currently employee 14 staff, including 10 with PhD degrees with skills in aquaculture, genetics, genomics, bioinformatics, molecular biology, and physiology. You can find out more about our company from our web site  We wish to recruit a highly motivated person to our team with a strong grounding in quantitative genetics with skills in the following areas.

  • Estimating genetic parameters and calculating breeding values using both pedigree and genomics-based approaches
  • Experience with selection methodologies such as optimum contribution selection and mate selection
  • Designing and optimizing aquaculture breeding programs, including development of selection indices and monitoring genetic trends
  • Estimating and interpreting estimates of genetic divergence, relatedness, and inbreeding for captive populations
  • Experience with genome analysis
  • Programming in R, Linux and Python

Candidates are expected to have a relevant PhD or advanced MSc in quantitative genetics and animal breeding. Previous experience with aquaculture species would be a distinct advantage but is not essential and we would welcome applications from candidates with a strong background in either animal or plant genetics. The position is available immediately. The salary on offer will depend on experience up to a maximum of £45,000 per annum. Additional benefits include 28 days paid holiday/year and involvement in the company’s pension and share option incentive schemes. Applications should comprise a cover letter, curriculum vitae and the names and contact details of 3 referees and sent by e-mail to Ian Johnston (

Informal enquires can be made to Professor Ian A. Johnston FRSE, Chief Executive Officer +44(0)1334 845357 or Dr Tom Ashton +44 (0)1334 845204.