Cornell University, CALS Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Position ID:Cornell-CALS Ecology and Evolutionary Biology-XUPOSTDOC [#21422, WDR-00027543]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map]
Subject Area: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Appl Deadline:2022/08/11 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2022/03/16)
Position Description:   URMs  

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

Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences 
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Postdoctoral Associate 

Xu Lab (, Global Ecology and Modeling Lab) in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher interested in working on (either of the) two projects related with forest ecology and terrestrial carbon cycling. 

Project I: Advance monitoring and modeling temperate forest ecosystems with terrestrial laser scanning (TLS). This project focuses on investigating forest wood ecophysiology, biomass dynamics, and carbon sequestration in natural and managed temperate forest ecosystems in upstate New York. The project will address these questions leveraging the rich and not fully tapped information from 3D forest structures acquired by TLS (BLK360 + FARO S350 from Xu lab and collaborators). The project will involve close collaborations with foresters from Cornell Cooperative Extension and staff at the Arnot Research and Teaching Forest of Cornell ( 
Key Responsibilities
• Lead a research team (undergrads + grad) to collect TLS data and conduct branch trimming experiments (through collaboration with local foresters) in the Arnot Forest of Cornell and other local forest monitoring plots. 
• Develop workflows to optimize data quality and improve the interpretability of TLS data; analyze individual level tree biometric data and investigate patterns and drivers of forest biomass dynamics in temperate mixed hardwood forests. 
• Integrate TLS data with a state-of-the-art ecosystem model (Ecosystem Demography model v2.2) to improve our understanding of long-term carbon dynamics and sequestration potential in temperate forests. 
 • Communicate with collaborators in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Cornell Cooperative Extension. 

Project II: Quantifying vulnerability and resilience of tropical forest biomass dynamics by integrating remote sensing data and terrestrial biosphere modeling. This project builds on the ecosystem resilience methodology from Wu et al. (2021) Global Change Biology and integrates multiple remote sensing and ground-based data to quantify inter-annual variations in biomass dynamics (productivity and mortality) and their environmental determinants in the Amazon Forest. The project will further leverage the rich modeling experience of the lab and collaborations from NASA JPL and other institutes. 
Key responsibilities
• Process and analyze various remote sensing and environmental spatial data sets across the Amazon to estimate forest productivity and mortality. 
• Improve ED-2.2 model to account for the observed spatio-temporal variations. 
• Explore the implications of updated biomass vulnerability and resilience to natural disturbances under global change for tropical forests. 

• PhD degree from relevant disciplines (ecology, forestry, geosciences, remote sensing, engineering, computer science) 
 • Programming skills in R/Python/Julia/C or other equivalent languages 
• (For the TLS project) Experience in ecological field work or equivalent. Ability to drive. 

To apply: Applicants should submit their cover letter, CV, a 1-2 page research statement including relevant background and experiences, and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion, as well as the names and email or phone contacts of three professional references to: 

Review of applications will begin immediately. Please contact Dr. Xiangtao Xu ( with any questions. 

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) 2557481, 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:
CALS Surge Facility
525 Tower Road
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853