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Assistant/Associate Professor - Ecophysiology of Field Crop Systems

Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
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Closing date
Jan 16, 2024

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Agroecology, Education, Plant population ecology
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Assistant/Associate Professor - Ecophysiology of Field Crop Systems


Ecophysiology of Field Crop Systems

School of Integrative Plant Science, Cornell University


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) welcomes applications for a 9-month, full-time tenure-track position in the ecophysiology of field crop systems to be appointed at the assistant/associate professor level.  We are seeking a creative, team-oriented scientist who is motivated by a deep curiosity about fundamental crop growth processes, but who is equally driven by translational research that bridges between discovery and the practical application of knowledge to support sustainable development. This position will advance mechanistic knowledge of crop responses to abiotic stresses, thereby identifying opportunities for increasing climate resilience through strategies that combine crop improvement and agronomic management. Research may encompass a variety of stresses, including temperature extremes, drought, flooding, and elevated CO2. Interactions of these factors with photosynthesis, phenological development, and source-sink relationships will be used to develop new approaches to increase resource use efficiency (nutrients, water, and light) through stress tolerance and stress avoidance to support climate-adapted cropping systems.


Methods may span modeling of field crop physiological processes, assessing whole-plant responses to stress in field and controlled-environment experiments, and screening for the genetic sources of stress tolerance (GxExM) with high-throughput phenotyping. Research may also include proximal remote sensing and the development of novel computational approaches to efficiently process and utilize large-n observational datasets. We expect that the incumbent will establish robust collaborations within and beyond Cornell with plant breeders, soil and geospatial scientists, engineers, social scientists, and computer scientists. Several initiatives at Cornell act as catalysts for these types of collaborations, including the Cornell Institute for Digital Agriculture (CIDA) and the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability.



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


Research (60%) - The incumbent will contribute to several of the ‘grand challenges’ that inform the strategic plans for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and SIPS, including: i) production of crops in the face of impacts from global climate change, resource scarcity, and resource degradation, ii) ensuring food security for a growing world population with increasing affluence, and iii) achieving the first two sustainably within planetary boundaries. They will provide expertise that bridges fundamental research in crop ecophysiology to applied problem solving and will complement existing strengths in cropping systems ecology, environmental analytics and landscape-scale process modeling, and crop genetic improvement. 


Teaching (40%) - The incumbent will lead a foundational undergraduate course in Field Crop Ecology.  Additional teaching responsibilities at the graduate level will align with the incumbent’s interests and may include a course in the Physiology of Crop Productivity in a Changing Climate. Dedicated and thoughtful mentorship and academic advising of graduate and undergraduate students is highly valued and a core expectation for this position.


Department Affiliation: The successful candidate will be a faculty member of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences based in the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS) on Cornell’s main campus in Ithaca, NY. They will select one of five sections of SIPS as a tenure home and primary academic affiliation.  A mentoring program will support the personal and professional development of the new faculty member, providing advocacy, guidance, and assistance.


Qualifications: The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Crop Physiology, Crop Ecology, or related disciplines as required.  They will have significant experience in advancing mechanistic knowledge of crop responses to abiotic stresses, and a deep interest in translational research that links development of new knowledge to real-world applications for adapting cropping systems to climate change. Demonstrated success in contributing to inter-disciplinary teams is a must.


Applications and Starting Date: The anticipated starting date is July 1, 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 supporting diverse communities (this can be a stand-alone document (preferred) or the information can be embedded in other parts of the application materials) outlining how, through research, teaching, service. mentoring, extension, and/or outreach, the candidate has and will contribute to support Cornell’s historical 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 February 1, 2024, will be given full consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Inquiries may be directed to:

Dr. Andrew McDonald

Soil and Crop Sciences Section

School of Integrative Plant Science

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY 14853



CALS hiring range for position:

Assistant Professor: $79,400 - $135,000

Associate Professor:  $97,500 - $148,500


Cornell University offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Support for start-up costs will be available. Salary is commensurate with experience.


The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) is a pioneer of purpose-driven science and Cornell University’s second largest college. We work across disciplines to tackle the challenges of our time through world-renowned research, education, and outreach. The questions require and the answers we seek focus on three overlapping concerns: We believe that achieving next-generation scientific breakthroughs requires an understanding of the world’s complex, interlocking systems. We believe that access to nutritious food and a healthy environment is a fundamental human right. We believe that ensuring a prosperous global future depends on the ability to support local people and communities everywhere. By working in and across multiple scientific areas, CALS can address challenges and opportunities of the greatest relevance, here in New York, across the nation, 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.


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.


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 strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.


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