Cornell University, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Position ID:Cornell-Department of Natural Resources and the Environment-PDNINA [#18896, WSR-00026809]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map]
Subject Area: Environmental / Environment
Appl Deadline:2021/08/31 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2021/07/02, finished 2022/03/05)
Position Description:   URMs  

*** this position has been closed and new applications are no longer accepted. ***


POSITION: Postdoctoral Research Associate

STARTING DATE: 1 September 2021, or as soon as possible thereafter

LOCATION: Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, College of Agriculture and Life Sciences Cornell University Ithaca, NY 14853

RESPONSIBILITIES: The postdoctoral associate will contribute to a research project evaluating the sources of fish used to feed the global expansion of aquaculture. The position will offer leadership opportunities in two main areas. First, building on earlier metabarcoding work, the postdoctoral associate will explore the potential for leveraging cost-effective shotgun sequencing approaches to examine the taxonomic composition and relative abundance of key constituents in aquaculture feeds collected worldwide. The resulting species lists will be used to assess the global geography of connections between the harvest of wild fish and the production of farmed fish. Second, the postdoc will engage with industry and NGOs to pave the way for integrating metagenomic tools into next-generation standards for aquaculture sustainability certification.

The primary tasks for the postdoctoral associate will be to 1) help design and evaluate the shotgun sequencing approaches for inference of species compositions in sample mixtures (15%), 2) be in charge of method optimization and sample processing in the lab (10%), 3) lead bioinformatic data processing and method validation (25%), 4) develop creative ways to synthesize and communicate the results (15%), and 5) work directly with NGO, industry, and trade association partners to explore the role that DNA-based ingredient tracing can play in making aquaculture feed supply chains more sustainable (35%). This project is a collaborative effort and will require a team-oriented approach, as the postdoc will work closely with both Cornell PIs, other academic collaborators, and our NGO partners.

The postdoctoral associate is expected to both publish project results in the peer-reviewed literature and participate in broad dissemination of project findings and other outreach activities. The position is a full-time, short-term appointment. They will be jointly supervised by Peter McIntyre (Associate Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment) and Nina Overgaard Therkildsen (Assistant Professor in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment).


QUALIFICATIONS: • Ph.D. and relevant degrees in molecular ecology or bioinformatics (metabarcoding, metagenomics, and bioinformatics experience is especially relevant) to be completed at the start of the appointment. • Strong computational skills and proficiency in one or several programming languages • Laboratory skills in molecular genetics, including library preparation for next generation sequencing • Experience with analysis of large next generation sequencing data sets • Demonstrated interest in working on topics related to fisheries, conservation, and sustainable food systems • Experience and commitment to outreach efforts that generate real-world impact from research results • Evidence of ability to work collaboratively as well as independently

SALARY: Commensurate with experience, following the National Institutes of Health National Service Awards (NIH NSRA) scale

This is a full-time position and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is initially a one-year appointment with possibility for extension dependent on satisfactory performance and availability of funds.

Interested applicants should submit a 2-page letter of interest, a CV, contact information for 3 references and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion via Academic Jobs Online at the following link:

Review of applications will begin on August 1, 2021, and continue until a candidate is selected. If you have questions about this position, please email The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) 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.

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and home to Cornell University’s second largest population of students, faculty, and staff. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education, and outreach. The questions we probe and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: natural and human systems; food, energy, and environmental resources; and social, physical and economic well-being. CALS is fundamentally invested in improving the lives of people, their environments and their communities both in New York state and around the world.

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:
111 Fernow Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853