Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-RACAP4 [#21005, WDR-00029556]
Position Title: Research Associate: Applied Quantitative Ecologist
Position Type:Other
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map]
Subject Areas: Statistics / Statistics
Ecology / Conservation Biology
Appl Deadline:2022/05/31 11:59PMhelp popup* (posted 2022/01/21, listed until 2022/05/31)
Position Description:    

*** the listing date or deadline for this position has passed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***

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

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. More specifically, this position will lead contributions along two main research themes- one focused more broadly on modeling avian populations using a range of data sources (e.g. counts, mark-recapture data, GPS tracks, nesting data), and one focused largely on using eBird data and data products generated by the S&T project in CAPS.

 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. They will also lead the development and applications of different statistical methods with other Conservation Science team members. This could include current innovative efforts to integrate eBird data/S&T products with other relevant data sources (e.g. banding data, GPS tracking data), including the development of integrated population models. 

 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. As part of the second research theme, this position will lead the application of S&T products on relative abundance and population trends at high spatial and temporal resolutions to advance goals and achieve project objectives in applied research and conservation science. To this end, this position will develop strategic partnerships with governments, foundations, and the private sector to use S&T products to meet conservation, restoration, and management goals. As part of this work, the Applied Quantitative Ecologist will be in close communication with the S&T Project team to ensure that the application and interpretation of S&T products are appropriate and accurate.

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 eBird and/or eBird Status and Trends data
  • Lead proposal and grant writing to seek funds for project development and postdoctoral student support
  • Lead novel applications of eBird and eBird Status and Trends data 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 and S&T data products properly
  • Develop workflows for scaling our ability to address data analysis information needs for partners and collaborators

 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 using eBird and eBird Status and Trends data
  • Teach graduate seminars and give guest lectures in courses for students in the Department of Natural Resources and the 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, contact information for 3 references and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion via Academic Jobs Online at the following link:  Applications must be submitted by 5/31/22 .  If you have questions about this position, please email

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 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:
And anything else requested in the position description.

Further Info:
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850