Cornell: Assistant or Associate Professor of Urban Plant Ecology

Posted on February 9, 2024
Cornell: Assistant or Associate Professor of Urban Plant Ecology
Position description:

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.


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 opportunities 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. 


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. 

application 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 (

equal employment opportunity:

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.