Research Associate - SE Asia Team Lead, Lab of Ornithology

Research Associate - SE Asia Team Lead, Lab of Ornithology


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Research Associate, Southeast Asia Team Lead

Cornell Lab of Ornithology

Johnson Center for Birds & Biodiversity

Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 

Who We Are

Located in the beautiful Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (the Lab) is dedicated to advancing the understanding and protection of the natural world and joins with people from all walks of life to make new scientific discoveries, share insights, and galvanize conservation action. The Lab is a vibrant unit within Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), and our management and staff are committed to the highest standards of ethics and excellence in all areas of our work.

The Southeast Asia Team Lead will join the Lisa Yang Center for Conservation Bioacoustics (KLY-CCB;, one of six programmatic centers within the Lab. KLY-CCB’s mission is to collect and interpret sounds in nature by developing and applying innovative technologies across multiple ecologically relevant scales to inspire and inform the conservation of wildlife and habitats. Our highly interdisciplinary team of scientists, educators, engineers, students, and research support personnel is working with many national and international collaborators on a wide variety of terrestrial, aquatic, and marine bioacoustic research projects tackling conservation issues worldwide.

What We Need

The position will work to integrate and expand on existing KLY-CCB projects in Southeast Asia, with a focus on establishing and maintaining long-term acoustic monitoring programs, broadening current capacity building efforts, and working towards a sustainable model of collaborating with local partners and communities. A major component of this work will be to maintain and grow collaborations with Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and World Hope International (WHI) in Cambodia, along with Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) in Malaysia. The candidate is expected to have excellent quantitative skills, experience designing large-scale passive acoustic monitoring programs and analyzing the resulting data, and a strong publication record on topics related to acoustic monitoring of Southeast Asian primates, birds and their habitats. Position will be based in Ithaca, but will need to travel internationally.

Applicants will be expected to:

  • Oversee and expand existing KLY-CCB projects in Southeast Asia, including those related to long-term acoustic monitoring, capacity building and community engagement.
  • Organize regional training workshops on acoustic monitoring methods, use of data collection equipment, use of specialized software for data analysis, and data interpretation.
  • Perform quantitative analysis and interpretation of acoustic data to inform conservation programs.
  • Publish high-impact conservation research in major peer-reviewed journals.
  • Mentor undergraduates and supervise postdoctoral researchers.

The Southeast Asia Team Lead must be able to foster and maintain excellent working relationships with coworkers, collaborators and students from very diverse cultural and educational backgrounds. This requires approaching all matters with an open mind, sense of curiosity, service-minded attitude, and diplomacy. KLY-CCB is an inclusive community (, and we welcome anyone who has an interest in bioacoustics without consideration of age, sex, gender/gender identity, ethnicity, race, skin color, religion, physical or mental ability, sexual orientation, nationality, or background, among others. We recognize that diverse, inclusive communities create more innovative and impactful work to address global challenges and benefit humanity and nature; We will work purposefully to amplify underrepresented and marginalized voices within KLY-CCB and the communities we aspire to serve. Applicants are invited to include a statement on how their experiences, perspectives, and aspirations can contribute to diversity and inclusion in support of KLY-CCB’s values.


Oversee and expand existing CCB passive acoustic monitoring projects in the Southeast Asia region. Develop, direct, and lead original independent conservation research in the area of terrestrial bioacoustics that is supportive of the overall mission and goals of CCB. Collaborate with non-governmental organizations (including WCS, WHI and USM) and local personnel on ongoing research in the Southeast Asia region. Perform quantitative analysis and interpretation of acoustic to explore to inform conservation programs. Synthesize data, write and prepare peer-reviewed publications. Work closely with the Program Director, Assistant Director and KLY-CCB’s leadership council on developing, implementing and communicating KLY-CCB’s vision, goals, and research objectives


Facilitate outreach, capacity building and community engagement in the Southeast Asia region. Organize regional 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 education and community engagement projects. Work with local collaborators in Southeast Asia on the development of grant proposals, project budgets, technical reports, and manuscripts (30%).

Supervision. Mentor undergraduate students interested in bioacoustic research and conservation. Supervise postdoctoral researchers hired with internal or external funds to advance related projects. Supervise analysts, field technicians, and other staff hired to support related projects (20%).

Other duties as assigned. Maintain and build upon relevant technical skills such as data management, interface design, web publishing, and machine learning. Establish and maintain a safe, productive, and respectful working environment that fosters a culture of inclusiveness, teamwork and high-quality research and development results. Serve on administrative committees (e.g., hiring committees, space committee) (10%).

Term of position

This is a full-time (100% FTE) position and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is a one-year appointment with possible extension depending on available work, funding and performance.

Required Qualifications

  • PhD in biology, ecology or evolutionary anthropology with experience analyzing large-scale acoustic datasets.
  • A strong publication record with an emphasis on acoustic monitoring of Southeast Asian primates and birds.
  • Experience using machine learning for ecological research and proficiency in one or more programming languages (e.g. R, Python, MATLAB).
  • Experience organizing and facilitating sound analysis workshops for international participants.
  • Good interpersonal skills are required to engage with a variety of stakeholders and collaborators, including maintaining ongoing research partnerships.
  • Demonstrated capacity for mentoring students at the undergraduate and graduate level.
  • Extensive field research experience required.
  • Ability to travel internationally; must obtain and maintain a valid passport.
  • A passion for linking rigorous scientific research with pressing conservation needs.
  • Self-motivated, willing to learn new skills, able to work both as part of a team and independently, and to regularly communicate status and progress.

Preferred Qualifications

Familiarity with ecology and conservation issues in Southeast Asia. Prior experience with identifying and securing grant funds. Experience leading large-scale, multi-layered projects.

What We Offer You

We hope you appreciate great benefits! Cornell receives national recognition, as an award-winning workplace for our health, wellbeing, sustainability, and diversity initiatives.

  • Our benefits program includes comprehensive health care options, access to wellness programs, employee discounts, and generous retirement contributions.
  • Our leave provisions include three weeks of vacation and 13 holidays: including an end-of-year paid winter break, from December 25th through January 1st.
  • Cornell's impressive educational benefits include tuition-free Part-Time Study and Employee Degree Program, Tuition Aid for external education, and Cornell Children's Tuition Assistance program.
  • We invite you to follow this link to get more information about current benefit options:

Application Instructions:

Interested applicants should submit a CV, letter of interest, research statement, teaching statement, contact information for 3 references and a statement of contribution to diversity, equity, and inclusion via Academic Jobs Online at the following link:

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a candidate is selected.  If you have questions about this position, please email Holger Klinck,

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Life. Changing.


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About Us

Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League 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. With our main campus located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell's far-flung global presence includes the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the Cornell Tech campus located on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City.

We offer a rich array of services, programs and benefits to help employees advance in their career and enhance the quality of personal life, including: employee wellness, workshops, childcare and adoption assistance, parental leave, flexible work options.