Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-CAP3423_POSTDOCASSOC_CONSERVSCI [#24592, WDR-00036232]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate Using eBird data to monitor & evaluate biodiversity and ecosystem health
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Statistics / Statistics
Quantitative Methods
Ecology / Quantitative Ecology
Salary Range:$56,484 to $68,000 (includes benefits)
Appl Deadline: finished (2023/03/24, finished 2023/08/02, listed until 2023/09/24)
Position Description:    

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

Postdoctoral Associate: Using eBird data to monitor and evaluate biodiversity and ecosystem health 

Center for Avian Population Studies
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
College of Agriculture & Life Sciences
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York

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 conservation, research, education, and citizen science focused on birds. The Lab is a unit within Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), where full-time faculty and other renowned professionals direct twelve world-class, mission-driven programs. The Center for Avian Population Studies (CAPS) is one of the major programmatic units at the Lab, collecting and disseminating biodiversity data to enhance 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.

The Cornell Lab is home to a vibrant community of several dozen postdoctoral associates working across all twelve programs. We strive to provide a supportive and collaborative environment for this community that fosters personal growth and career advancement. 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 and sustaining a healthy workplace that values diverse and inclusive perspectives and backgrounds and supports growth and advancement opportunities. The Lab believes that every team member enriches our diversity by exposing us to a broad range of ways to understand and engage with the world, identify challenges, and discover, design, and deliver solutions.

Job Description/Position Function: 

We seek a Postdoctoral Associate interested in statistical modeling, biodiversity monitoring and evaluation, and conservation. The successful candidate will explore and validate the use of birds as indicators of biodiversity and ecosystem health. The specific focus of the work will be in regenerative agricultural systems (e.g., coffee and cacao agroforestry) in Central and South America. This project is an international partnership with researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University, and private industry, including the Nespresso AAA Sustainable Quality Program and ECOM. The postdoctoral associate will be advised by Dr. Courtney Davis, Applied Quantitative Ecologist and Research Associate in the Conservation Science Program in Center for Avian Population Studies. Project objectives include:

  1. Developing validation techniques for new eBird data products on avian biodiversity, including estimates of species richness and completeness, with on-the-ground data collected via standardized point counts and autonomous recording units.

  2. Leading the alignment of eBird data products with external data sources on other taxonomic groups, including bees and other pollinators, in productive landscapes to support the use of birds as indicators of overall biodiversity for monitoring and evaluation.

  3. Designing a process and methodology for linking eBird data products with external data sources on carbon and soil health in productive landscapes to support the use of birds as indicators of ecosystem health for monitoring and evaluation.

  4. Develop methods to identify the environmental correlates of change in avian biodiversity and ecosystem health over time, with an emphasis on understanding the impact of changes in agroforestry practices (e.g., shade tree plantings, restoration of riparian strips) on individual species and entire bird communities.

  5. Develop methods to evaluate the potential impacts of climate and land-use change, including shifts in agroforestry practices and land cover (e.g., shifts from coffee to cacao production because of changes in suitability), on avian biodiversity and species of conservation concern in productive landscapes.
In addition to external partners, the postdoctoral associate will be working closely with scientists in the Conservation and Ecological Data Science programs within CAPS. We encourage postdoctoral associates to explore related research questions and collaborate on projects conducted in the Lab and with partners.

Anticipated Division of Time

Term of position: 

This is a full-time (100% FTE) position. This is a one-year appointment with possible extension depending on available work, funding and performance.

Preference is for on-site or a hybrid work arrangement in Ithaca, NY. Local personnel will have the flexibility to work on a hybrid schedule with opportunities to work on-site and from home. Fully remote work will be considered on a case-by-case basis with the expectation of periodic visits during the year. International candidates must be willing to relocate to the Ithaca area.

Required Qualifications:

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

  • Experience with R and other statistical languages.

  • Ability to apply quantitative methods to answer ecological questions or hypotheses.

  • Record of success conducting research and scholarly activities, including publication in peer-reviewed journals.

Preferred Qualifications:

Salary or Rewards/Benefits: 

Salary is commensurate with experience, $56,484 to $68,000 per year and includes benefits. Relocation funds are available.

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 apply via Academic Jobs Online

Qualified candidates should submit a short cover letter, curriculum vitae, contact information for three references, and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity and inclusion via the website. 

Applications will be reviewed as received, continuing until a suitable applicant is identified. The ideal start date for this position is summer 2023.

If you have questions about this position, please email Courtney Davis at

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