Head of Plant Science at Lilliput Technologies

Head of Plant Science at Lilliput Technologies
Deep Science Ventures, Costa Rica

1 Year
0 - 0
Job Type
Job Shift
Job Category
Career Level
Total Vacancies
1 Job
Posted on
Jan 31, 2024
Last Date
Feb 29, 2024

Job Description


Lilliput Technologies aims to become a leading nanotechnology design platform to reduce agriculture’s environmental footprint and enhance farms’ resilience to climate change. We want to build an interdisciplinary team to create a line of nanomaterial products that can protect crops and enhance their performance. Currently, heat stress is causing loss of yields and at Lilliput Technologies we can turn that harmful energy into fruits and seeds!

At Lilliput, we truly believe that the next agricultural revolution will be in nanotechnology! We want to be a part of this revolution and actually transform the way we tackle abiotic stresses, pathogens, pests, input design and crop quality assurance.

Lilliput Technologies was founded by Mauricio Herrera, PhD. (CEO) and Sam Nehme, PhD. (CTO). It is a spin out from Deep Science Ventures funded by the CRUSA Foundation.


Mauricio has more than two decades of experience solving agricultural challenges (pesticide use, water management, land use change) in Latin America and the United States. He has worked with early-stage startups in Colombia and Costa Rica promoting innovative tech-based solutions and experimental business models involving organic and regenerative agriculture; green and grey climatic adaptation; risk-sharing and, demand-driven and value chain integration. Mauricio holds a PhD. in Geography from the University of Kansas.


Sam is a specialist in bionanotechnology. He has deep technical expertise in nanocomposites, photoactive smart materials, and sustainable biopolymer design. He has worked on broad-ranging projects including, nanomaterials for DNA capture, structurally-coloured nanomaterials, and nanomaterial-hydrogel composites for industrial wastewater photo-remediation. Additionally, Sam has experience co-founding a virtual communication software startup aimed at the science Ramp;D industry. Sam holds a PhD. in Bio-nanotechnology from the University of Cambridge.


You will join Mauricio and Sam as a first employee directly reporting to the company's executive team. Together, we will build an Ramp;D pipeline that effectively transforms crop protection and agricultural input design leveraging innovative and environmentally friendly nanomaterials. This role will lead and build a team in charge of product development, prototype biocompatibility, performance testing (in vitro, at greenhouse and on the field) and safety validation. You will work together with consultants and the executive team to deliver product registration and licensing agreements in at least two of the following markets: EU, USA, Brazil, Argentina, India.



We are looking for an entrepreneurial plant scientist that has a deep understanding of plant biology and ecophysiology in tropical crops and beyond. We expect the Head of Plant Science to manage research and development projects in coordination with a materials science team and help develop a pipeline for future products.

The ideal candidate has experience in product development and regulations for crop protection inputs, registration and licensing in key markets such as the EU, USA, Brazil, Argentina, India and deep knowledge in most of the following areas:

  • Plant ecophysiology and biochemistry;
  • Plant molecular biology;
  • Plant-pathogen interactions;
  • Deployment of nanomaterials for enhancing biological/ agricultural processes;
  • Toxicology and environmental safety;
  • Intellectual property management, filing, and defensibility.

Highly Desirable Skills:

  • Expertise in plant stress response to heat stress;
  • Experience assessing, designing and managing toxicity tests on cell lines and plant systems;
  • Experience overseeing field trials and/or controlled environment experiments to assess the effectiveness and impact of a formulation on crop performance;
  • Strong understanding of regulatory requirements for agricultural products and/or nanomaterials in agriculture;
  • Experience with protein and antibody purification and characterization techniques (e.g., SDS-PAGE, Western blotting, ELISA);
  • Experience in refining plant-based formulations and developing future product iterations;
  • Proficiency in Spanish.

Given that this is a leadership role we expect candidates to:

  • Build, manage and lead a team of scientists, research assistants, and technicians;
  • Manage projects, budgets, and set research priorities;
  • Foster a culture of innovation and creativity within the team, encouraging exploration of new ideas and approaches;
  • Demonstrate a clear vision for future applications of targeted nanomaterials in agriculture while identifying new applications and market opportunities;
  • Work proactively with executive te

Job Specification

Job Rewards and Benefits

Deep Science Ventures

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