Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-CAP14_POSTDOC_QUANT_ECOL [#23502, WDR-00034078]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate, BirdFlow Quantitative Ecologist - Lab of Ornithology
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Quantitative Analysis
Appl Deadline: finished (2022/10/28, finished 2023/01/30)
Position Description:    

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

Postdoctoral Associate, Quantitative Ecologist
Lab of Ornithology
College of Agriculture and 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 the world's leading resource for research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Lab is a vibrant unit within Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), where full-time faculty and other renowned professionals direct mission-driven programs. Staff at the Lab teach undergraduate courses, advise graduate students, collect and disseminate world-famous digital resources on biodiversity, and engage with partner organizations and citizens around the world to conduct scientific research and lead conservation actions. Our management and staff are committed to the highest standards of ethics and excellence in all areas of our work, and our Board leadership includes faculty from Cornell and other universities, successful entrepreneurs and managers from the business and non-profit sectors, and conservation-minded citizens from the United States and beyond.

The Cornell Lab is currently home to a vibrant community of several dozen postdoctoral associates working across all six centers, and we strive to provide a supportive and collaborative environment for this community that fosters personal growth and career advancement. The Postdoctoral Associate will work with a dynamic interdisciplinary group of ecologists and data analysts within the Center for Avian Population Studies. This is a full-time appointment for one year, renewable for a second year conditional on satisfactory performance, funding and available work. 

The Lab is an inclusive community and we recognize that diverse, inclusive communities create more innovative and impactful work to address global challenges and benefit humanity and nature. The Cornell Lab is committed to fostering a healthy workplace that values diverse perspectives and backgrounds as well as supporting growth and advancement opportunities. The Lab welcomes staff who are still learning in their careers and who are motivated to take on new challenges.

Position Function: 

Migratory birds are important indicators of ecosystem health that connect peoples and places in ways few phenomena can. To understand and monitor migratory birds, their numbers, and their responses to global change, data and methods are urgently needed that can capture their movements at population scales. BirdFlow is an innovative, NSF-funded project that uses the Cornell Lab’s eBird status and trends products to infer the movements of migratory birds across the annual cycle. The Postdoctoral Associate will lead research that utilizes BirdFlow models to expand our knowledge of bird movements, including studying migratory connectivity, understanding migration as a driver of evolution by elucidating migratory patterns near contact zones, and investigating species’ resilience to climate change and environmental fluctuations. The postdoc will also work to integrate additional data sources, such as individual tracking data and banding data, to improve BirdFlow models. With the BirdFlow team, the postdoc will have an opportunity to contribute to products and software that will be released for scientists, conservation practitioners, industry, and the public to explore and investigate the phenomenon of avian migration.


  • Calibrate, validate and apply flow models to investigate key open questions in migration biology, including (1) migratory connectivity and migrant population trends; (2) migration as a driver of species evolution; and (3) how migratory species are responding to climate change. (40%)
  • Develop and validate BirdFlow models that incorporate multiple data modalities (e.g. citizen science, tracking, and banding) to estimate large-scale movements of migratory birds. (20%)
  • Present results at professional meetings, conferences, and popular seminars. Prepare peer reviewed papers and other research products. (25%)
  • Engage in ongoing academic and intellectual life within the Center for Avian Population Studies at the Lab of Ornithology and at Cornell University. (10%)
  • Participate in general project management and working directly with internal and external project collaborators. Perform related projects and special duties as assigned. (5%)

Term of position: 

This is a full time appointment for one year renewable for a second year conditional on satisfactory performance, available work and continued funding.

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in (quantitative) ecology, applied statistics, or a related field with strong background in data science, statistics and model development.
  • Ability to apply quantitative methods to ecological hypotheses and questions.
  • Multi-disciplinary skills to effectively bridge fields, including population ecology, movement ecology and geospatial statistics.
  • Strong record of success conducting research and scholarly activities, including publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Experience with R, Python, and/or other programming languages.
  • Experience working with large datasets

Preferred Qualifications:

Experience in ornithology and affinity with birds (preferred, not required)

Supervision: Supervised by Dr. Adriaan Dokter with co-advisor Dr. Daniel Fink

Supervision Exercised: None

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: 

Please send a letter of interest in the position, curriculum vitae, 1 example publication and appendix code, Statement of Contribution to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and the names and contact details for three references.  Application materials should be submitted to Academic Jobs Online at If you have questions about this position, please email Adriaan Dokter (  Review of applicants will begin November 28, 2022 and continue until the position is filled.

Familiarize yourself with Cornell’s COVID-19 workplace guidance as well as the university’s COVID-19 services and information

Employment Assistance:

For specific questions about the position or application process, please contact the Recruiter listed in the job posting or for general questions email

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 Office of Institutional Equity and Title IX at voice (607) 255-2242, or email at

Applicants that do not have internet access are encouraged to visit your local library, or local Department of Labor. You may also request an appointment to use a dedicated workstation in the Office of Talent Attraction and Recruitment, at the Ithaca campus, by emailing

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, and we do not tolerate discrimination based on any protected characteristic, including race, ethnic or national origin, citizenship and immigration status, color, sex/gender, pregnancy or pregnancy-related conditions, age, creed, religion, actual or perceived disability (including persons associated with such a person), arrest and/or conviction record, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, gender expression and/or identity, an individual’s genetic information, domestic violence victim status, familial status, marital status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state, or local law. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations in accordance with applicable law. 

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

Pay Ranges:

The hiring rate of pay for the successful candidate will be determined considering the following criteria:

  • Prior relevant work or industry experience.
  • Education level to the extent education is relevant to the position.
  • Academic Discipline (faculty pay ranges reflects 9-month annual salary)
  • Unique applicable skills.

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:
email address
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, New York 14850