Job Opportunity: Postdoctoral Associate with the Elephant Listening Project

The Bioacoustics Research Program at the Lab of Ornithology, Cornell University is seeking a Postdoctoral Behavioral Ecologist to work extensively in Central Africa studying forest elephants and the human pressures impacting their conservation.  This position will work within the Elephant Listening Project (ELP) using acoustics and direct observation to study forest elephants in Central Africa.

Date published: 2016/02/26

Cornell University

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 vibrant unit within Cornell's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), where twelve world-class, mission-driven programs are directed by full-time faculty and other renowned professionals. Lab staff 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 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 Bioacoustics Research Program (BRP) within the Cornell Lab of Ornithology collects and interprets sounds in nature by developing and applying innovative technologies across multiple ecological scales to inspire and inform conservation of wildlife and habitats. The Bioacoustics Research Program at the Lab of Ornithology is seeking a Postdoctoral Behavioral Ecologist to work extensively in Central Africa studying forest elephants and the human pressures impacting their conservation.  This position will work within the Elephant Listening Project (ELP) using acoustics and direct observation to study forest elephants in Central Africa.

Specific duties include:

  • Perform quantitative analysis and interpretation of acoustic and behavioral data to explore the behavior and ecology of forest elephants and to inform conservation programs.
  • Synthesize data, write and prepare peer-reviewed publications.
  • Present results at professional meetings, conferences, and popular seminars.
  • Collaborate with Principle Investigator on the development of grant proposals, project budgets, technical reports, and manuscripts.
  • Organize and lead in-country training workshops on acoustic monitoring methods, use of data collection equipment, use of specialized software for data analysis, and data interpretation.
  • Collaborate with non-governmental organizations and local personnel on research and education projects.

This position requires working up to six months annually in remote locations in Central Africa with minimal facilities.

Annual appointment, renewable based upon performance and availability of funding. 

Required Qualifications:

  • PhD in biology, ecology, wildlife biology, behavior, conservation, or related field.
  • Must have strong quantitative experience.
  • Excellent scientific writing skills with a demonstrated track record of peer-reviewed publications.
  • Must have a passion for linking rigorous scientific research with pressing conservation needs.
  • Extensive field research experience required.
  • Strong background in statistics.
  • Ability to travel internationally; must obtain and maintain a valid passport.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ability to speak, write, read, and understand French beneficial.
  • Experience with bioacoustics research, signal processing, occupancy modeling, density estimation, and a basic knowledge of MATLAB and/or R desirable.
  • Familiarity with social behavior, mating systems, and animal social network analysis helpful.
  • Candidates with a strong history of impact and productivity in their past research efforts.
  • Prior experience with identifying and securing grant funds.

Application Procedure:

Please send a single pdf file containing a letter of application outlining qualifications and experience for the position, curriculum vitae, and the names and contact details for three references. Email to [email protected] or in hard copy to Susan Taggart, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, 159 Sapsucker Woods Road, 291A Johnson Center for Birds & Biodiversity, Ithaca, NY 14850. Inquiries about position specifics can be directed to Peter Wrege at 607-254-2468 or [email protected] Review of applicants will continue until the position is filled.

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