Vacancy: Breeding Programme Manager (Aquaculture Genetics)

Xelect is a leading aquaculture genetics services provider, based in St Andrews, Scotland. After a sustained period of rapid growth we are looking to recruit an additional Breeding Programme Manager to join our team.

Our Breeding Programme Managers are experienced aquaculture professionals who are responsible for developing and managing genetics-backed breeding programmes and carrying out consultancy for our global portfolio of customers.

With the support of our highly experienced laboratory, bioinformatics and genetics teams you will:

  • Co-ordinate the design of new genetics-based programmes and communicate them to our customers
  • Manage the day-to-day running of our programmes, co-ordinating our internal resources whilst acting as a virtual member of our customers’ team
  • Perform and deliver the necessary phenotyping and selective breeding analyses using our in-house software
  • Handle large datasets and interact with our in-house customer databases
  • Ensure that programmes are well managed, run efficiently and are delivered on budget and on time
  • Prepare annual reports and other briefings for customers, demonstrating performance against their commercial objectives
  • Travel to support our customers on site at key times, providing practical support to implement their breeding programme
  • Report to the Head of Project Management.


Essential skills:

  • A minimum of a MSc relating to aquaculture, quantitative genetics, finfish/shellfish reproduction or animal breeding
  • Excellent written and spoken English
  • Knowledge and experience of hatchery and broodstock management, including aquaculture operations more widely for finfish and/or shellfish species
  • A practical understanding of the application of genetics within selective breeding
  • Experience working within the aquaculture industry
  • Excellent data management and computer literacy skills
  • Willing to travel and experience working in other countries
  • Strong relationship management skills
  • Basic knowledge of statistics and programming platforms.

Desirable skills:

  • Proficiency with programming platforms R and / or Linux
  • PhD relating to aquaculture, fish reproduction or animal breeding
  • Advanced statistical skills including multivariate analysis
  • Proficiency in other languages
  • Peer-reviewed publications in the field of aquaculture, reproduction or genetics.

Salary and Location

We currently operate a ‘hybrid’ working pattern, combining office days and working from home. The position comes with a competitive salary and will be based in St Andrews, Scotland.

About Xelect

Xelect is a leading aquaculture genetics service provider with a global portfolio of clients, including some of the biggest names in the industry. We employ a team of 17 staff, including a multidisciplinary technical team with 13 PhDs in aquaculture, quantitative genetics, bioinformatics, molecular biology and physiology. There are three business streams: breeding programme management, BioAudit & due diligence services and laboratory services. The business has its headquarters in the medieval university town of St Andrews on the East coast of Scotland some 80 km from Edinburgh airport. The company occupies modern office and laboratory facilities with 2 Illumina DNA sequencing machines. Breeding programme management is the largest business segment contributing 80% of revenues from customers in 20 countries dealing with 19 species of fish, shrimp and oysters.

The company has developed sophisticated industry-leading genetic and bioinformatic analysis pipelines including advanced mate selection software. The breeding service involves strategic partnerships with customers on rolling long-term contracts with a high level of project management support delivered from the UK and through customer visits. Revenues are in access of £2million/year and are growing at around 30% per annum. The company is profitable with good levels of cash flow. The shareholders in decreasing order of holding are Genus plc, Prof. Ian Johnston FRSE (current CEO and co-founder), the University of St Andrews, Dr Tom Ashton (Operations Director and co-founder) and the EOS Technology Investment Syndicate.’

Further information

To apply please send a current CV and a covering letter to, along with contact details of two referees. References will only be contacted after a successful interview. If you would like to make any enquiries about the role please email