Cornell University, Lab of Ornithology

Position ID:Cornell-Lab-POSTDOCASSOC_CCB2723 [#25051, WDR-00037763]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate: Bird Diversity & Forest Management
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14850, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Areas: Conservation
Biology / Biodiversity
Natural Resources
Ornithology / Acoustics
Salary Range:$56,0000 - $64,000
Appl Deadline: finished (2023/06/23, finished 2024/01/29, listed until 2023/10/16)
Position Description:    

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

Cornell Lab of Ornithology
K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics
College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Cornell University
Ithaca, New York 
Postdoctoral Associate: bird diversity & forest management

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. The Lab of Ornithology's K. Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics, where this position is based, is an inclusive community and welcomes anyone who has an interest in bioacoustics.

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.

About Us:

The Cornell Lab is a global leader in ornithological research & conservation and is currently home to a vibrant community of several dozen postdoctoral associates working across all programs. We strive to provide a supportive and collaborative environment for this community that fosters personal growth and career advancement. Within the Lab, the Yang Center ( is defined by its application of bioacoustic techniques to biodiversity conservation. Ecological research, hardware and software engineering, and global capacity building are the Yang Center's pillars of bioacoustic innovation. 

The incumbent will join a lab group in the Yang Center run by Dr. Connor Wood ( to study the effects of forest management legacies on bird diversity in California's Sierra Nevada. This is one of two postdoctoral associate openings in the Yang Center; applicants interested in both positions will need to apply separately to each position through Academic Jobs Online

Position Function

The project draws on an ongoing ecosystem-scale passive acoustic monitoring program that generates ~1 million hours of audio annually, the machine learning algorithm BirdNET (, which generates avian diversity data from the audio, and remotely sensed forest structure datasets that describe both forest management history and current conditions. Core objectives include using Bayesian multispecies occupancy models to: (1) explore the influence of forest management history on contemporary avian biodiversity (80-100 species) and (2) inform the development of a bird diversity index to facilitate quantitative assessments of the effects of forest restoration on biodiversity. 

The project scope provides an opportunity to make direct contributions to conservation and basic ecology. It is also particularly collaborative: the incumbent will work closely with Dr. Zach Peery (University of Wisconsin-Madison), federal agency biologists and managers (U.S. Forest Service and National Park Service), and academic researchers specializing in ecology, statistics, and computer science. 

In addition to working with external partners, the postdoctoral associate will be working closely with scientists in the Yang Center and other programs at the Lab. We encourage postdoctoral associates to explore related research questions and collaborate on projects conducted in the Lab and with partners. 

Anticipated Division of Time

Expected outcomes of this work are the submission of two manuscripts to high-impact peer-reviewed journals and coordination with agency partners to directly apply results to conservation in the Sierra Nevada ecosystem. It is understood that incumbents may have outstanding work remaining from previous positions and will need to apply to subsequent positions; time spent on these activities should be appropriate to the stage of the position. There is no required fieldwork, but the incumbent would be encouraged to spend some time (e.g., two weeks) in the Sierra Nevada. 

  • Develop and conduct avian biodiversity research to meet project goals. Analyze research findings. Apply results to conservation in the Sierra Nevada ecosystem. (60%)
  • Present results at professional meetings, conferences, and popular seminars. Prepare two manuscripts for high impact peer reviewed journals and other research products, including reports and relevant information to partners. (25%)
  • Engaging with partners and possible funders. Participate in career and professional development opportunities. (10%)
  • Engage in ongoing academic and intellectual life at the Lab of Ornithology and Cornell University. (5%)

Supervision Exercised

The incumbent will be expected to meet regularly with project collaborators (within the Yang Center, at other universities, and in government agencies). In addition, there are opportunities for the incumbent to mentor undergraduate students and possibly contribute to mentoring graduate students, but neither activity is expected or required. 

Term of position

This is a full-time (100% FTE) position and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is a one-year appointment with possible extension of an additional year depending on available work, funding and performance. Start date is flexible within Fall 2023 and Winter 2024.

Required Qualifications: 

  • A Ph.D. in biological or ecological sciences or statistics is required.
  • Writing skills and a strong publication record for the professional stage of the applicant 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Quantitative skills and experience with terrestrial population modeling, particularly in an occupancy framework.
  • Other beneficial qualifications include: familiarity with Bayesian statistics, experience working with large acoustic datasets, GIS skills, experience analyzing remotely sensed data, familiarity with machine learning tools, and field experience with birds and/or the Sierra Nevada ecosystem. 

Salary or Rewards/Benefits: 

Salary is commensurate with experience, $56,000 to $64,000 per year and includes benefits. 

This position is located at the Lab of Ornithology 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. 

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. 

Application review will begin July 19, 2023 and will continue until a suitable applicant is identified. 

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