Opportunity Type:

Open as of September 1, 2019 and will continue until an excellent candidate is found.

The Harvard Forest invites applications for a post-doctoral research position to contribute to a multi-institutional study of forest change in New England. The successful candidate will be a member of Jonathan Thompson’s Landscape Ecology Lab and be part of the Harvest Forest Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) program. The candidate will work with our existing landscape modeling framework and several large datasets to examine long-term broad-scale impacts of land use, climate change, invasive insects, and their interactions. Experience conducting regional-scale socio-ecological research is strongly preferred. The candidate should be interested in using landscape simulations and forest inventory data toward the overarching goal of understanding how diverse land uses—including conservation, forestry, land conversion and agriculture—affect the coupled natural and human systems in New England. While there are some side boards on the research topics, there is also substantial flexibility regarding the exact specification of questions and methods.

Work Environment

The post-doc will be based at Harvard Forest in Petersham, Massachusetts. The Lab strives to foster a team environment but the actual research conducted by this post-doc will require substantial independence. Please visit the lab’s website to learn more.

Required Qualifications

Ph.D. (awarded by start date) in ecology, geography or a related field. Evidence of strong scholarship, including peer-reviewed publications. Proven ability to plan and conduct independent research projects from beginning to end. Interest in translating and communicating research for land-use decisions.

Preferred Experience

Conducting complex spatial analyses (e.g., GIS, remote sensing, spatial statistics); landscape and/or earth system models (LANDIS-II, CLM), quasi-experimental methods (e.g., matching, counter-factual), analysis of large datasets (e.g., , FIA, PADUS, Census, NWOS); skilled at scripting within the R and/or Python programming languages. Candidates without these types of experience should clearly demonstrate how their skillset would benefit the lab.


We will begin reviewing applications immediately. There is some flexibility around the start date, but sooner is preferable. Initial appointment of one year is renewable based on performance.

Diversity and Inclusion

Harvard University is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law. Harvard is committed to enriching its educational experience and its culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration and staff. Harvard Forest is striving to be a welcoming and inclusive community and we encourage all qualified applicants to apply. Please see the Harvard Forest Diversity and Inclusion Statement.

Salary and benefits

Commensurate with experience and includes health insurance benefits through Harvard University. Outreach/career development opportunities will include funding for local and national meetings.

To apply

Send Cover letter, CV, PDFs of relevant publications, and the names and contact info for three references to Jonathan Thompson: jthomps@fas.harvard.edu

Harvard Forest, a department of Harvard University, is an internationally recognized center for basic and applied research in ecology and conservation, with 40 full-time staff. It is one of 28 Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites across the country sponsored by the National Science Foundation. The Forest includes a research and administrative complex, 4000 acres of land, and residential buildings. The Forest is located in Petersham, a rural, north-central Massachusetts town of 1,200 residents. Petersham is 1½ hour drive west of Cambridge.