Senior Scientist, Livestock Methane

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 700 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace where innovation and results are a way of life.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  

EDF’s Climate-Smart Agriculture Initiative seeks a Senior Scientist with proven research, analysis, and writing skills to work collaboratively with external and EDF scientists, as well as decision makers (governments and industry) on policy-relevant research that characterizes methane emissions from global livestock and identifies realizable reduction methods.  The selected candidate will: (i) develop and support scientific projects that enhance our understanding of enteric and manure methane emissions, (ii) advise on the progress and scientific integrity of global research on solutions for enteric methane emissions (iii) help EDF work at the cutting-edge of how to measure and monitor livestock methane emissions, (iv) advise on the development of methane mitigation and emission monitoring policies. This role will report to the Lead Senior Scientist in EDF’s Office of the Chief Scientist and will be a central role within the Climate-Smart Ag team.

The Senior Scientist will work with EDF’s Climate Smart Agriculture program and the Office of the Chief Scientist in close collaboration with EDF+Business Programs on projects related to global livestock methane emissions.


Methane is expected to cause nearly half of the projected temperature rise due to new greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades. Agriculture is the largest source of human-caused methane emissions globally (approximately 40%), and livestock alone accounts for approximately one-third of those emissions.


This role can be based remotely or in any US EDF office location.


Key Responsibilities

  • Play a leading role in the execution of EDF’s expanding work on quantifying and reducing global livestock methane emissions including, but not limited to, studies to quantify and measure methane emissions and reduction opportunities in the US, EU, India and China.
  • Coordinate and ensure rigor of scientific initiatives collaboratively undertaken with a diverse group of stakeholders including industry, academics, multilateral organizations and the public sector.
  • Integrate livestock methane work with EDF’s larger methane emission reduction program.
  • Support development and demonstration of novel sensing approaches which enhance the ability to detect and quantify methane emissions from livestock globally.
  • Support development of monitoring, reporting and verification frameworks for livestock methane emission reductions.
  • Remain at the cutting-edge of climate and agricultural science, including staying up to date with the scientific literature.
  • Ensure scientific integrity of EDF-generated materials.
  • Participate/lead in the analysis and writing of papers for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
  • Attend and represent EDF at external meetings and interact with the scientific community at large.
  • Participates in advancing EDF Diversity Equity and Inclusion goals in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected, included, and empowered to address the environmental and organizational challenges in alignment with EDF values.




  • A PhD in agricultural, animal/dairy, climate science or related fields.
  • Five or more years relevant post-PhD experience.
  • Strong quantitative analysis skills.
  • Able to lead and mentor others.
  • Proven strategic thinker with demonstrated scientific and analytical expertise in livestock methane
  • Demonstrated scientific expertise, including but not limited to a record of scholarly publications and/or involvement in scientific panels.
  • Experience in performing rigorous analysis with short deadlines in support of highly visible work.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills. 
  • Initiates and maintains extensive contacts within the international scientific community.
  • Ability to synthesize, interpret, and communicate scientific data in an advocacy setting and for non-scientific populations.
  • Exceptional personal organization and attention to detail.
  • Self-starter, detail oriented, well-organized, and able to plan and execute projects from conception to completion.
  • Willingness to travel internationally.
  • The ability to communicate complex ideas in writing and orally to multiple stakeholders with different levels of expertise, including the public and industry.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds. 

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.