Cornell University, School of Integrative Plant Science - Section of Plant Biology

Position ID:Cornell-PlantBiology-BIODIVERSITY [#25644, WDR-00040184]
Position Title: Assistant/Associate Professor, Tenure-track
Position Type:Tenured/Tenure-track faculty
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Plant Biology / Biodiversity and Adaptation
Salary Range:Asstistant: $79,400-$135,000 Associate: $97,500-$148,500
Appl Deadline:2023/10/25 11:59PMhelp popup (posted 2023/09/18, updated 2023/09/11, listed until 2023/12/08)
Position Description:   URMs  

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

Faculty Position Available
Cohort Hire: Empowering Biodiversity for People and Planet
Focus: Plant Biodiversity and Adaptation
School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University

Position:             Assistant/Associate Professor, Tenure-track.

Location:            Ithaca, NY. The academic home for this position is the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, housed on the Ithaca campus of Cornell University.  

The School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University is seeking a highly collaborative Organismal Plant Biologist to deepen our understanding of how plants, including cyanobacteria, eukaryotic algae, and lichens, are able to adapt to rapidly changing environments. Our new colleague will join a Cohort Faculty Hire in Empowering Biodiversity for People and Planet.

The CALS Roadmap to 2050 has identified five Transdisciplinary Moonshots - opportunities for the CALS community to collaborate on future-focused, cross-disciplinary scientific breakthroughs and to align research, education, and extension programs for greater impact and stronger connectivity. The Moonshot areas build upon core strengths in CALS, spanning the agricultural, life, environmental and social sciences, with the goal of recruiting 27 faculty into the college over the next three years. The Empowering Biodiversity cohort will advance the CALS Transdisciplinary Moonshot in Pioneering Life Science Breakthroughs.

Research in the Empowering Biodiversity cohort will be guided by ecological and evolutionary relationships and the documentation of patterns and processes that drive organismal success and decline. The ideal candidate will engage in Plant Biodiversity research that builds on historic and living collections and field research to directly address the biodiversity crisis at global and/or local scales. In addition to this advertised hire, the Empowering Biodiversity cohort includes new faculty positions in Population biology and the genomic architecture of species success (Computational Biology), Biodiversity Informatics (Department of Natural Resources and the Environment), Insect Biodiversity and Conservation (Entomology), and the Economics of Biodiversity (Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management) within the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

We are seeking applications for a 9-month, full-time tenure-track position in Plant Biodiversity and Adaptation at the assistant/associate professor level. Global climate change is shifting the Earth toward more extreme environments. We are experiencing more frequent drought, floods, melting of ice fields, and record-breaking temperatures leading to biodiversity decline across all of earth’s ecosystems. The diversity of plant life and the evolution of novelty provides a rich resource of biological, ecological, and evolutionary solutions resulting from organisms confronting and resolving environmental challenges. However, we are rapidly losing organismal expertise in many land plants and algal lineages, including those adapted to extreme conditions or having evolved successful strategies to rapid climate change. We are seeking a colleague who will leverage plant biodiversity and employ state-of-the-art approaches to understand fundamental mechanisms of convergent evolution and adaptation as a means of addressing the biodiversity crisis. The research will enable us to predict when and how species can adapt rapidly in the face of global climate change and promote an understanding of the interface between biological systems and environmental extremes to effect solutions at a local to global scale. The ideal candidate will develop an innovative research and teaching program that addresses plant adaptation at organismal, population and/or landscape levels and links fields such as evolutionary genetics and genomics, ecological genetics, comparative phylogenomics, and functional genomics with modelling of macro- and/or micro-evolutionary patterns and processes, conservation biology and sustainability science to develop integrative approaches that build and use natural history collections in an extended specimen framework.

An outstanding research scholarship is expected, as is excellence in and commitment to teaching, translation of knowledge, and advising and inclusive mentoring of students. We seek colleagues with an outstanding record demonstrating success and promise across all these areas, and who will be supported by and contribute to a vibrant culture of inclusive excellence at Cornell. As such, candidates are expected to engage in service and leadership activities within their department, the college and university, and relevant professional societies. We welcome candidates who understand the barriers facing women and other marginalized identities who are underrepresented in the classroom and in higher education careers (as evidenced by life experiences and educational background), and who have experience in equity and inclusion with respect to teaching, mentoring, research, outreach, life experiences, or service towards building an equitable and diverse scholarly environment.

This position has an effort split of 60% research and 40% teaching.

Teaching (40%) – The successful candidate will potentially contribute to teaching an undergraduate course in Plant Systematics and have opportunities to develop undergraduate or graduate courses in their area of expertise. In particular, we are looking for a faculty member interested in developing field courses that make use of Cornell’s nature reserve system using inclusive and culturally relevant/place-based pedagogy.

Research (60%) – Outstanding research scholarship is expected, as the successful candidate will lead an internationally recognized research program to leverage plant biodiversity and employ state-of-the-art approaches to understand fundamental mechanisms of convergent evolution and adaptation as a means of addressing the biodiversity crisis. Expected to maintain a well-funded research program. Excellence in and commitment to development of multidisciplinary team-based research and training programs is essential.

Department Affiliation: The successful candidate will be a tenure-line faculty member of the Cornell University College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and will be based in the School of Integrative Plant Science with the option to join any of the 5 sections. The new faculty member will also be part of the Biodiversity Initiative at Cornell University (BioICU) as a member of the cohort of faculty hires focusing on Empowering Biodiversity for People and Planet.

Qualifications: The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Evolutionary or Organismal Biology with a working understanding of botanical diversity. A commitment to research and teaching in the plant science undergraduate major and to the development of multidisciplinary team-based research and training programs is essential.

Applications and Starting Date: The anticipated starting date is Summer 2024 or as negotiated.  Qualified applicants should submit 1) a cover letter briefly summarizing background, qualifications, and interest in the position, 2) a Curriculum Vitae, 3) a research statement outlining experience, interests, and goals, 4) a teaching statement outlining experience, interests, and goals, 5) a statement of contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion outlining how, through research, extension, mentoring, and/or service, the candidate has and will contribute to support Cornell’s mission of “any person … any study,” 6) copies of four relevant publications, 7) names and contact information for three references, and 8) unofficial transcripts. Materials should be submitted online to: Applications received by October 25, 2023 will be given full consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

Inquiries may be directed to:
Search chair: Chelsea Specht
School of Integrative Plant Science
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14850

CALS hiring range for position:
Assistant Professor: $79,400 - $135,000
Associate Professor:  $97,500 - $148,500

The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University is engaged in pioneering pursuit of inclusive, purpose-driven science. As Cornell University’s second largest college, with discovery for impact at its core, we work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through equitable, 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.

Cornell University seeks to meet the needs of dual career couples, has a Dual Career program, and is a member of the Upstate New York Higher Education Recruitment Consortium to assist with dual career searches including positions available in higher education in the upstate New York area.

The new faculty member will join a collaborative, interdisciplinary community on the main campus in Ithaca, New York. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League and Land-grant 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.

Cornell's regional and global presence includes state-wide Cornell Cooperative Extension programs and offices in all counties and boroughs, global partnerships with institutions and communities engaged in life-changing research and education, the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, and the Cornell Tech campus on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.

The Cornell community embraces diversity and inclusion. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply. We value AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and Individuals with Disabilities and seek candidates who will create a climate that attracts and retains persons of all races, ethnicities, and genders. We also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations.

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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

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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
412 Mann Library
Cornell University
Ithaca, NY 14853