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  • Applied Quantitative Ecologist

    Ellen Paul
    • Employer: Cornell Lab of Ornithology
      Location: Ithaca, NY
      Country: United States
      Last Date to Apply: 04/15/2022
      Open Until Filled: No

    Effective January 1, 2022, all new Cornell hires, regardless of role and work location, must be fully vaccinated and present proof of an FDA- or WHO- authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccination or have a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption. Failure to demonstrate compliance with this requirement prior to the first day of work will result in the delay of employment with Cornell and may result in the offer of employment being rescinded.

    Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.

    Research Associate: Applied Quantitative Ecologist 
    Cornell Lab of Ornithology 
    College of Agriculture & Life Sciences 
    Ithaca NY 


    College Description:

    The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. 


    About Us: 

    The Cornell Lab of Ornithology is a globally focused institution with the mission to interpret and conserve the earth’s biological diversity through research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Center for Avian Population Studies (CAPS) is one of the major programmatic units at the Lab and collects and disseminates biodiversity data and information with the goal of enhancing the information and decision-making tools available to conservationists and scientific researchers. We achieve this by producing scientific, computational, and big data resources that transform how we understand and protect the world around us. Within CAPS, the Conservation Science Program is focused on working collaboratively to develop and apply novel quantitative methods to generate science-based data products and evidence-based solutions with public and private sector partners to inform conservation, restoration, and management. In addition, we strive to build capacity in scientists, practitioners, decision-makers, and the private sector to monitor species and systems, set priorities, evaluate trade-offs, identify novel solutions, and make decisions that advance conservation and improve sustainability around the globe. 


    To accomplish these goals, the Conservation Science Program is seeking an applied quantitative ecologist to augment ongoing applied research and conservation science on bird populations, and to develop and apply quantitative methods in population ecology. This position will also assist in leading the development of new data products using lab resources (e.g., eBird data), aimed to help evaluate and guide conservation action around the globe.

    What We Need:

    The Applied Quantitative Ecologist will play a leading role in the Conservation Science Program in the development and application of novel statistical methods to address pressing applied research questions and critical information needs of partners and collaborators, with a specific focus on conservation practitioners and decision-makers across a broad range of sectors. 

    As part of this work, the Applied Quantitative Ecologist will work closely with other scientists in the Conservation Science Program to develop cutting-edge applied research in avian population ecology and lead collaborative proposals as the PI or Co-PI. They will also lead the development and applications of different statistical methods with other Conservation Science team members. More specifically, this position will focus on innovative approaches to model populations and communities (e.g. joint-species distribution models) using presence-absence biological monitoring data (e.g. eBird data). In addition, this position will focus on developing methods geared towards using birds as indicators of ecosystem health, needed to benchmark and track the progress of biodiversity conservation initiatives (e.g. regenerative agriculture).  

    A key goal of the conservation science program is to use information on where and when bird species occur in the landscape to help inform policy and conservation decision-making. To this end, this position will lead the development of novel data products using Lab resources and data (e.g. eBird) that can be used to meet conservation, restoration, and management goals of governments, foundations, and the private sector. As part of this work, the Applied Quantitative Ecologist will lead collaborations with current partners (e.g. Institute for Computational Sustainability at Cornell), and communicate often with the S&T Project team to coordinate the use, application and interpretation of eBird data.

    Duties and Responsibilities:

    Applied Research and Methods Development (40%)

    Develop an applied research program aligned with the vision and strategic goals of the Conservation Science Program and the Center for Avian Population Studies.  

    Develop and apply novel statistical methods targeted at citizen-science/observational data needed to make robust inferences using lab resources and other data sources

    Lead proposal and grant writing to seek funds for project development and postdoctoral student support

    Lead novel methodological developments to address relevant questions in applied ecological research and conservation

    Conservation Science Partnerships and Collaborations (30%)

    Cultivate and contribute to national and international partnerships and collaborations with practitioners and decision-makers (e.g., state and federal wildlife agencies, private sector partners, NGO’s) through meetings, development of proposals and conducting related research

    Communicate and coordinate with the Status and Trends (S&T) team in the Ecological Data Science program within CAPS to make sure we are using and interpreting eBird data properly

    Develop workflows for scaling our ability to address data analysis information needs for partners and collaborators

    Lead collaborations with key partners at Cornell University (e.g. Institute for Computational Sustainability)

    Mentoring and capacity building (25%)

    Mentor and supervise postdoctoral fellows in CAPS projects at the Lab of Ornithology.  

    Actively participate and contribute to regular team meetings (e.g. Conservation Science Lab meetings, Friday Science Seminars)

    Provide guidance and mentoring to undergraduate and graduate students at Cornell University

    Develop and teach data analysis workshops 

    Teach graduate seminars and give guest lectures in courses for students in the Department of Natural Resources and Environment at Cornell University

    Contributing to activities at Cornell and the Lab of Ornithology (5%)

    Engage with projects at other Centers at the Cornell Lab

    Participate in campus activities and seminars

    Contribute to project meetings, campus and Cornell Lab Seminars and talks

    Engage with the Philanthropic Development and Communication programs at the Cornell Lab when needed

    Term of position 

    This is a full-time (100% FTE) position and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is a three year appointment with possible extension depending on available work, funding and performance.

    Required Qualifications: 

    PhD in quantitative ecology, applied statistics, or a related field with a strong background in statistics and model development. 

    At least 1 year of postdoctoral experience. 

    A strong record of success conducting applied independent research and related scholarly activities (e.g., presenting and conferences and meetings)

    Excellent written and verbal communication skills needed to convey information and ideas to a diversity of people and partner organizations

    Strong record of publishing scientific papers in peer reviewed journals

    Experience with population monitoring data sets and analysis (e.g. community-level data, count-based data) at the population and community level.

    Proven ability to apply and develop quantitative methods to answer applied ecological questions, and/or fill information needs for management and conservation decision-making

    Coding knowledge and experience in R or other statistical languages (e.g. Python, Matlab)

    Strong problem-solving skills and ability to lead and coordinate multiple projects.

    Preferred Qualifications:

    Experience with citizen science data sets. 

    Prior experience with identifying and writing funding proposals.

    Prior experience mentoring postdoctoral fellows, as well as graduate and undergraduate students 

    Experience in ornithology

    Experience with data integration methods

    Experience leading and conducting field work

    Salary or Rewards/Benefits:

    Commensurate with experience

    Cornell provides great benefits that include professional development, access to wellness programs, employee discounts with local and national retail brands, broad range of comprehensive health care options, and generous paid leave provisions:  3 weeks of vacation, 13 holidays (including end of year winter break), paid family leave, and superior retirement contributions.

    Application Instructions 

    Interested applicants should submit a CV, letter of interest, research statement, teaching statement, contact information for 3 references and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion via Academic Jobs Online at the following link: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/21005.  Applications must be submitted by 4/15/22 .  If you have questions about this position, please email vr45@cornell.edu.

    Employment Assistance: If you require an accommodation for a disability in order to complete an employment application or to participate in the recruiting process, you are encouraged to contact Cornell University's Department of Inclusion and Workforce Diversity at voice (607) 255-3976, fax (607) 255-7481, or email at owdi@cornell.edu. For general questions about the position or the application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting. Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also visit the office of Workforce Recruitment and Retention Monday - Friday between the hours of 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. to use a dedicated workstation to complete an online application. Notice to Applicants: Please read the required Notice to Applicants statement by clicking here. This notice contains important information about applying for a position at Cornell as well as some of your rights and responsibilities as an applicant. EEO Statement: Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

    Application Materials Required:

    Submit the following items online at this website to complete your application:

    Cover letter

    Curriculum Vitae

    Research statement

    Teaching statement

    Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Three references (no actual letters, just names and email addresses )

    And anything else requested in the position description.

    Further Info:



    159 Sapsucker Woods Road
    Ithaca, New York 14850

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