Assistant or Associate Professor of Urban Plant Ecology

Cornell University
Ithaca, New York
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Closing date
Apr 8, 2024

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Urban ecosystem ecology
Job Type
Organization Type

Assistant or Associate Professor of Urban Plant Ecology


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) in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) at Cornell University welcomes applications for a 9-month, full-time tenure-track position with an emphasis on the ecology and management of plants in urban green spaces. As New York State’s urban population continues to increase, the sustainable creation of green spaces and their integration into the built environment will be critical to ensure the healthy functioning of urban communities. The positive benefits of urban green spaces are increasingly valued for plant and animal biodiversity, human quality of life, and ecosystem services. 


Additionally, the benefits of urban green spaces in supporting human health are increasingly being recognized with initiatives to link environmental health with human and animal health. Urban forests and green spaces in the built environment are associated with mental and physical health benefits. A robust body of evidence confirms that time spent in nature – including urban green spaces – can reduce stress levels and blood pressure, improve sleep patterns, and improve memory. To reach diverse populations across the state, it is imperative to address the creation of urban green spaces as a priority for New York.


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


Research (60%) Possible topics might include breeding and selection of urban landscape plants, root biology in urban environments, ecophysiological modeling of urban tree ecosystem services, urban landscape management, ecotoxicology, resporation and remediation of damaged landscapes, development or exploitation of plant resistance to biotic and abiotic stressors and related topics.  There are extensive opportunies for collaboration across the College and University.


Teaching (40%) Expectations include teaching an undergraduate course on sustainable landscape management, a seven week modular course on plant identification in natural environments, and co-teaching an undergraduate course on urban plant biodiversity that includes woody plant identification and establishment in urban landscapes.

The successful candidate will assume an active role in advancing the Green Cities initiative, an informal group of Cornell faculty, staff, and students who contribute to improving urban ecosystem services and quality of life.

The successful candidate will also be positioned to collaborate with numerous colleagues throughout several Cornell colleges and units.


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 Ithaca, NY in the School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS).


Qualifications: The successful candidate will have a Ph.D. in Horticulture, Plant Science, Ecology, or related discipline, demonstrate potential to excel in the research and teaching activities described above, display excellence in communication and collaboration across a variety of audiences, and contribute to a culture of inclusive excellence through leadership and delivery of inclusive research and undergraduate and graduate educational programs.


Applications and Starting Date: The anticipated starting date is 1 July 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) the names and contact information of four references (letters will be requested after the applications are reviewed), and 7) unofficial academic transcripts. Materials should be submitted online to: Applications received by 10 March 2024 will be given full consideration. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


Inquiries may be directed to:

Prof. William Miller, Search Chair (

Michele Blackmore, Assistant to the Search Chair (


CALS hiring range for this position is:

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 we probe 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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