Cornell University, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Position ID:Cornell-Department of Natural Resources and the Environment-PDNINA2 [#20018, WDR-00028220]
Position Title: Postdoctoral Associate
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:Ithaca, New York 14853, United States [map] sort by distance
Subject Area: Environmental / Environmental
Appl Deadline:2021/12/15 11:59PMhelp popup finished (2021/10/12, finished 2023/04/29)
Position Description:    

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

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Postdoc position

Department of Natural Resources & the Environment

Genetic ingredient tracing for next-generation sustainability certification of aquaculture feeds


Effective immediately, all new Cornell hires, regardless of work location, must be fully vaccinated with an FDA- or WHO- authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccine or have obtained a university-approved disability/medical or religious exemption by December 8, 2021, or before their start date if after December 8.

The Therkildsen Lab (conservation genomics) and McIntyre Lab (global fisheries) at Cornell University, in partnership with the Environmental Defense Fund’s Oceans Program and WorldFish, are seeking a postdoc for a new project tracing the species and sources of fishes used to feed the global expansion of aquaculture. The postdoc position will offer leadership opportunities in two main areas.  First, building on our initial metabarcoding work, we will explore the potential for shotgun sequencing approaches to determine the relative abundance of each species used in an aquaculture feed. Results from feeds collected worldwide will elucidate the global geography of connections between the harvest of wild fish and the production of farmed fish.  Second, our team will engage with industry and NGOs to pave the way for integrating metagenomic tools into next-generation standards for aquaculture sustainability certification.

The ideal candidate will have completed a PhD by January 2022, have strong skills in molecular ecology (metagenomics and bioinformatics experience is especially relevant), interest in fisheries and sustainable food systems, and a strong publication record commensurate with career stage.  We will favor applicants with experience and commitment to outreach efforts that generate real-world impact. The primary tasks for the postdoctoral associate will be to 1) help design and evaluate the shotgun sequencing approaches for inference of species compositions in sample mixtures (15%), 2) be in charge of method optimization and sample processing in the lab (10%), 3) lead bioinformatic data processing and method validation (25%), 4) develop creative ways to synthesize and communicate the results both in peer reviewed publications and to broader audiences (15%), and 5) work directly with NGO, industry, and trade association partners to explore the role that DNA-based ingredient tracing can play in making aquaculture feed supply chains more sustainable (35%). The success of this project will rely upon a team-based approach, and the postdoc will be encouraged to work closely with a wide-range of non-academic partners.

The start-date is flexible but could be as early January 2022. A competitive salary and benefits package will be provided, and residence in Ithaca, NY is expected. The postdoc will join a vigorous multidisciplinary community of scholars in the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. Cornell University and our project team embrace diversity, and seek 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.

To apply, please submit a 2-page letter of interest, a CV, contact information for 3 references, and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion via Academic Jobs Online at the following link: . 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.

We welcome pre-application inquiries; feel free to email Nina ( and Pete ( with any questions about this position. Review of applications will begin on November 30, 2021 and will continue until the position is filled.

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. Located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell's far-flung global presence includes the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the new CornellNYC Tech campus to be built on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.

Diversity and inclusion have been and continue to be a part of our heritage. Cornell University is a recognized EEO/AA employer and educator. we also recognize a lawful preference in employment practices for Native Americans living on or near Indian reservations.

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

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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
111 Fernow Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853