Circular Bio-Nutrient Economy

Tuesday, July 20, 2021
Job Type: 
Job Rank: 
Postdoctoral Scientist
Job Institution: 
Cornell University
Job Description: 

School of Integrative Plant Science; School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University


The Postdoctoral Research Associate will be part of an interdisciplinary team working on the development of new technology for the circular bio-nutrient economy.  The postdoctoral researcher will take leadership in the development of methods to recover nitrogen and phosphorus from urine onto biochar produced from feces and apply life-cycle assessment or other computational methods to quantify its potential environmental impact.  The postdoctoral researcher will work under the supervision of Johannes Lehmann and Rebecca Nelson (School of Integrative Plant Science) and Matthew Reid (Civil and Environmental Engineering), with the primary supervisor and home department dependent on the candidate’s background and interests. 


  • Design, execute, and publish studies that advance the conceptualization, fabrication and characterization of technology to recover nutrients and carbon from excreta from humans and livestock, which may include laboratory experimentation and computational studies
  • Contribute to grant-writing
  • Animate the “Soil Factory Network,” a broad community of diverse stakeholders working to advance the circular bionutrient economy
  • Supervise undergraduate students in research, if desired

This is a full-time position (100% FTE 12 month appointment and will be located in Ithaca, New York. This is initially a one-year appointment with possibility for extension dependent on satisfactory performance and availability of funds.


  • A PhD in environmental engineering, environmental science, soil science, or a related field
  • Enthusiasm for the design, fabrication, and testing of prototype reactor systems for nutrient recovery from waste streams
  • Experience with conventional wet chemical methods, such as ion chromatography
  • Demonstrated strength in written and oral communication, including a record of peer-reviewed publications
  • A track record of independent, self-driven research 


  • Experience with chemical speciation modeling
  • Experience with Life Cycle Analysis

SALARY:  Commensurate with experience

Interested candidates can send (i) a brief cover letter and (ii) a CV with names and contact information for two references to:,,

Diversity and inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage, beginning with Ezra Cornell’s founding principle: “I would found an institution where any person can find instruction in any study”.  We are an employer and educator recognized for valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans, and individuals with Disabilities.

Cornell University embraces diversity and seeks candidates who will contribute to a climate that supports students, faculty, and staff of all identities and backgrounds. We strongly encourage individuals from underrepresented and/or marginalized identities to apply.