Richard and Suzanne Belcher Endowed Chair in Environmental Sustainability

The Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) at Purdue University is a leader in natural resource sciences. It consists of 35 faculty members, 49 administrative, professional, clerical, and extension staff, and 290 undergraduate and 87 graduate students. The Department currently has endowments exceeding $74 million that provide substantial resources used to support core departmental missions. The Department’s interests and expertise are diverse and encompass teaching, research, and extension. Purdue FNR aims to advance knowledge of environmental, social, and natural resource sciences associated with the study, conservation, and sustainable management of ecosystems. Three undergraduate curricula are offered: aquatic sciences, forestry, and wildlife. The Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, the Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant Program, and the Indiana Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit are examples of federal-state-industry-university partnerships integrated within the Department. Purdue FNR is committed to inclusive excellence in all areas of faculty effort, including scholarship, instruction and engagement and promoting a diverse and equitable internal environment, as well as across the communities with which it interacts. The departments strategic plan can be accessed at

Preferred Skills:
Qualified candidates will have demonstrated internationally recognized research accomplishments - as evidenced by high-profile publications and significant grants - related to environmental sustainability across spatial and temporal scales. Qualified candidates will have established a research and teaching program using advanced quantitative and computational methods to improve our understanding of sustainability, biodiversity, disease ecology, invasive species, human-environment interactions, natural resource policy, the impacts of global change on ecological systems, or other closely related natural and social sciences research topics.


  • Engage with agencies and organizations to develop partnerships that address emerging environmental threats and collaborate on solutions.
  • Lead an active, externally-funded research program in the candidate’s areas of expertise, and facilitate research and teaching integration across academic units.
  • Mentor graduate students and postdoctoral research.
  • Teach graduate and/or undergraduate course(s) in the candidate’s area of expertise. Potential exists for teaching distance courses.

Required Qualifications:
Ph.D. or equivalent degree in Biology, Ecology, Wildlife, Forestry, Aquatic Sciences, Geography, Environmental Sustainability, or a related field, and experience in applications germane to grand challenges of environmental sustainability.

The College:
The Department is an integral part of the College of Agriculture, one of the world’s leading colleges of agricultural, food, life, and natural resource sciences and ranked fifth in the world in the 2023 QS World University Rankings. The College is deeply committed to the three land-grant missions (teaching, research, and extension), to international activities and perspectives that span all missions, and to excellence in all we do. The College of Agriculture and the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources are committed to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Our leadership, faculty, staff, and students are engaged in many efforts that are consistent with this commitment. The College has 11 academic departments and includes 309 faculty, 2889 undergraduate students, and 700 graduate students. The College’s current strategic plan can be accessed at Strategic Plan ( Purdue is an ADVANCE institution—

Application Process:
Submit: 1) letter of application, 2) vision statement (a statement of research goals and objectives for this position, two pages maximum), 3) statement of teaching philosophy (two pages maximum), and 4) curriculum vitae containing a complete publication list and the names and contact information for three professional references.

Application review will begin February 1, 2024 and continue until a suitable candidate is found. Questions may be directed to the Search Committee Chair, Dr. Zhao Ma (via telephone at 765-496-41790 or email Applicants must apply electronically at A background check will be required for employment in this position.

Purdue University is an EOE/AA employer. All individuals, including minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.