POSITION OVERVIEW: Position title: Postdoctoral Researcher in Remote Sensing for Rainforest Restoration and Livelihood Improvement, Salary range: Anticipated annual salary ranges from $60,000 to $80,000 depending on experience, Application review will begin on June 26 and continue until the position is filled.

POSITION DESCRIPTION: The Ebony Project, a collaboration between UCLA’s Congo Basin Institute (CBI) and Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars, was initiated with the goal of developing a participatory, science-based approach to rainforest restoration while improving community livelihoods. Over the past eight years, the project has achieved success in growing ebony and native fruit trees and improving livelihoods.

The next phase, supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and other funding agencies, is to expand this model to test alternative rainforest restoration approaches that can inform how to conserve, restore, and re-establish rainforests in the Congo Basin, while also promoting the creation of wildlife corridors that connect conservation areas and large forest blocks rich in biodiversity, allowing essential seed dispersers to move between regions.

To carry out our work we will build on lessons learned from our 30 years of research in Central Africa, and the need to simultaneously improve livelihoods of local communities, conserve tropical forest ecosystems, and minimize wildlife-human conflict.

We seek a postdoctoral scholar to join our interdisciplinary research team to contribute to the next phase of the project. The successful candidate will have expertise in remote sensing and its application in tropical forest ecology, management, conservation, and rural livelihoods.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will work with project partners, including Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) and other stakeholders, to develop and implement remote sensing techniques for mapping land-use changes, identifying forest types, and monitoring forest restoration progress in the Congo Basin region.

The candidate will develop and validate models for remote sensing-based forest type mapping, identification of restoration areas, and monitoring of non-timber forest product (NTFP) production, including mapping of NTFP species where possible. Work will be conducted closely with project partners to develop landscape-specific strategies for equitable and sustainable conservation and restoration that integrate socioeconomic data and information on NTFP value chains in Central Africa.

The Postdoctoral Researcher will collaborate closely with partners to ensure that local perspectives are taken into account in project design and implementation and integrate social safeguards and gender considerations into the strategies with the support of CBI staff. The Postdoctoral Researcher will be expected to invest time and energy in collaborating with Cameroonian researchers, and training and mentoring Cameroonian students.

One goal of this project is to confront tradeoffs between sustainable development and livelihood needs with biodiversity and carbon conservation. We seek a highly motivated candidate with an innovative outlook to engage in this complex challenge. We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and strongly encourage candidates from tropical forest countries and from underrepresented backgrounds to apply.

​The position is full-time for two years, with the possibility of extension based on performance and funding availability. The worksite location will be the Congo Basin Institute on the UCLA campus with frequent travel to Yaoundé, Cameroon.

The postdoctoral researcher will work closely with project partners in Cameroon and the broader Congo Basin. The salary is competitive and commensurate with qualifications and experience.


Basic qualifications (required at time of application)

  • PhD in remote sensing, ecology, geography, environmental science, or related discipline.
  • Strong analytical and technical skills, with experience in remote sensing data analysis and spatial modeling
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to work effectively in interdisciplinary and multicultural teams.
  • Strong publication record in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Proficiency in French.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience working with Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs) and other stakeholders in a participatory manner.
  • Field experience in Central Africa.
  • Familiarity with socio-economic data and experience integrating it with remote sensing data
  • Experience in NTFP value chain development, natural resource management, or rural livelihoods


Document requirements

  • Curriculum Vitae – Your most recently updated C.V.
  • Cover Letter

Reference requirements:

  • 3 required (contact information only)
  • Only references for shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

To Apply: Email your CV and Cover letter to Elsa Ordway at elsaordway@ucla.edu


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