Assistant Professor - Ecosystem Services AI

Gainesville, Florida
Approx. $90,000 commensurate with qualifications and experience, + benefits
Jan 11, 2022
Mar 12, 2022
Organization Type



Title:                           Assistant Professor – Ecosystem Services AI

Location:                    Agronomy Department
                                    University of Florida
                                    Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS)
                                    Gainesville, Florida

Salary:                        Commensurate with Qualifications and Experience

Review Date:             For full consideration, candidates should apply by 28 February                                        2022. The position will remain open until a viable applicant pool is determined.


Diversity and Accessibility

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is committed to creating an environment that affirms diversity across a variety of dimensions, including ability, class, ethnicity/race, gender identity and expression. We particularly welcome applicants who can contribute to such an environment through their scholarship, teaching, mentoring, and professional service. We strongly encourage historically underrepresented groups to apply.

If an accommodation due to a disability is needed to apply for this position, please call 352-392-2477 or the Florida Relay System at 800-955-8771 (TDD) or visit Accessibility at UF .

Duties and Responsibilities

This is a 9-month tenure-accruing position that will be 70% research (Florida Agricultural Experiment Station) and 30% extension (College of Agricultural and Life Sciences) in the Agronomy Department, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS), at the University of Florida. This assignment may change in accordance with the needs of the unit. Tenure will accrue in the Agronomy Department. The position is based at the Gainesville campus.

Research activities will include development of a program focused on the use of advanced artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to quantify ecosystem services (ES) and enhance sustainability across the continuum of managed/natural and rural/urban systems. Position will connect numerous faculty programs within IFAS and the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering (HWCOE). The position will use historical, current, and future data sources to generate basic discoveries and develop solutions to adapt or mitigate climate and other perturbations affecting environmental and agricultural systems through quantification of ES.

The ideal candidate will have a strong background in AI related to biological processes and assessment of ecosystem services from natural or agroecosystems. A primary goal of this position is to bridge different disciplines from IFAS Agronomy and the HWCOE optimizing the use of AI to assess ecosystem services. The ideal candidate is expected to apply for federal funding and have close interaction with federal, state, and regulatory agencies. Collaborative research is encouraged and expected, in particular with faculty from the HWCOE, plant breeders and genetics researchers, agronomists, ecologists, and other scientists across IFAS, UF, and other institutions.

The faculty member primarily will perform research and extension activities related to the discipline and will actively participate in undergraduate and graduate education by chairing graduate committees, serving on graduate committees, supervising thesis and dissertation research, supervising undergraduate research, and publishing the results with graduate students.

The faculty member will seek contract and grant funding to support the research and extension program. The successful candidate will develop a nationally and internationally recognized research program highlighting the use of AI to assess ecosystem services. The candidate must develop an applied extension program to help producers optimizing the delivery of ES from their operations by using AI methods.

Because of the IFAS land-grant mission, all faculty are expected to be supportive of and engaged in all three mission areas—Research, Teaching and Extension—regardless of the assignment split specified in the position description.

Applicants with experience and degrees from higher educational institutions other than the University of Florida are particularly encouraged to apply.



A doctorate (foreign equivalent acceptable) in Plant Science, Agronomy, Agroecology, Biology, Ecology, Animal Science, or a closely related discipline is required. The ideal candidate will have one of the aforementioned degrees and expertise in the use of AI, machine learning, and remote sensing. Candidates should have demonstrated skills in verbal and written communication and interpersonal relationships. Candidates must be supportive of the mission of the Land Grant system and committed to the UF/IFAS core values of excellence, diversity, global involvement, and accountability.


Postdoctoral, teaching, and extramural grant proposal experience is desirable. Experience with remote sensing, machine learning, and other artificial intelligence methods is preferred.

Background Information:

The University of Florida ( is a Land-Grant, Sea-Grant, and Space-Grant institution, encompassing virtually all academic and professional disciplines, with an enrollment of more than 56,000 students. UF is a member of The Association of American Universities. The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences ( includes the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences (, the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station (, the Florida Cooperative Extension Service (, the College of Veterinary Medicine (, the Florida Sea Grant program (, and encompasses 16 on-campus academic departments and schools, 12 Research and Educational Centers (REC) located throughout the state, 6 research sites/demonstration units administered by RECs or academic departments, and Florida Cooperative Extension Service offices in all 67 counties (counties operate and maintain).

IFAS employs over 2500 people, which includes approximately 900 faculty and 1200 support personnel located in Gainesville and throughout the state. IFAS, one of the nation’s largest agricultural and natural resources research and education organizations, is administered by a Senior Vice President and four deans: the Dean of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the Dean for Extension and Director of the Florida Cooperative Extension Service, the Dean for Research and Director of the Florida Agricultural Experiment Station, and the Dean for the College of Veterinary Medicine. UF/IFAS also engages in cooperative work with Florida A&M University in Tallahassee.

The Agronomy Department ( is an UF/IFAS unit with diverse teaching, research, and extension programs. The department has 35 faculty members located on the main campus in Gainesville and at Research and Education Centers throughout the state who conduct research on diverse crops, including cotton, peanuts, forages, carinata, sorghum, hemp, and edamame.

Employment Conditions

This position is available as soon as August 2022 and will be filled as soon thereafter as an acceptable applicant is available. Compensation is commensurate with the education, experience, and qualifications of the selected applicant.


Nominations are welcome. Nominations need to include the complete name and email address of the nominee. This information should be sent to:

Dr. Lynn E. Sollenberger

Chair, Search and Screen Committee

University of Florida

Agronomy Department

PO Box 110500

Gainesville, FL 32611


Phone: (352) 392-1811

Please refer to Requisition # 519397


Application Information

Application is online at and requires the following:

  • Cover letter that describes qualifications and interest in the position (1-2 pages)
  • Diversity and inclusion statement (approx. 1 page)
  • Research Statement, including previous and planned research (2-4 pages)
  • Extension Statement, including experience and philosophy (1-3 pages)
  • Complete CV 

Selected candidate will be required to provide an official transcript to the hiring department upon hire. A transcript will not be considered “official” if a designation of “Issued to Student” is visible. Degrees earned from an education institution outside of the United States are required to be evaluated by a professional credentialing service provider approved by National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES).

Hiring is contingent upon eligibility to work in the US. The University of Florida is a public institution and subject to all requirements under Florida Sunshine and Public Record laws.

The University of Florida is an Equal Opportunity Institution dedicated to building a broadly diverse and inclusive faculty and staff. The University and greater Gainesville community enjoy a diversity of cultural events, restaurants, year-round outdoor recreational activities, and social opportunities.