PhD positions available – Amphibian occupancy patterns, population genetics, and disease dynamics

Funded by a Strategic NSERC grant, we are seeking a PhD students to complete our team on research related to the detection and monitoring of amphibians and their pathogens (chytrid fungus, ranavirus) in Canada. Using environmental DNA as a basis for the research, the team will conduct: 1) Habitat occupancy modeling for amphibians and their pathogens; 2) Analysis of the evolutionary dynamics of pathogens and amphibian hosts; 3) Assessment of potential synergistic interactions between pathogens and aquatic contaminants; and 4) Modeling the drivers of amphibian population decline. Students will develop research projects that fit within the context of the broader program, such as: Validation of eDNA for detecting amphibians; Assessment of ranavirus pathogenicity; Chytrid fungus evolutionary dynamics; and Modeling drivers of amphibian occupancy.  We are seeking students to initiate their research in Spring or Fall 2017, with the research to be conducted across southern Ontario. Interested applicants should submit a letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcripts and names of 3 references to: Dennis Murray, Trent University, ( or David Lesbarreres, Laurentian University (


PhD RESEARCH ASSISTANSHIP: Variations in species assemblages following climate change

The variations in environmental conditions resulting from climate changes can be such that a given location can become most suitable to different species assemblages over time. To identify suitable targets for ecosystem restoration and biodiversity conservation, we need to be able to predict those changes. This PhD research project aims at developing tools to anticipate variations in biodiversity that will take place following climate change in northern boreal forests. The project will be mostly based on existing datasets of vascular plants, beetles and birds surveyed along latitudinal transects located in the boreal forest of Quebec and Alberta. The gradual latitudinal changes in climate conditions will serve as our proxy for ongoing climate change. Fieldwork is needed to complete the bird and beetle surveys at the northern portion of the Quebec’s transect.

We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to participate in this project on the temporal change in species assemblages in boreal forests following climate change. The project is part of the transdisciplinary research program of Sentinel North. The successful candidate will join a research group comprised of biologists, statisticians and physicists working on Network Analysis of Umbrella and Indicator Species. The student will be co-supervised by Daniel Fortin (biologist, U. Laval), Christian Hébert (entomologist, Canadian Forest Service) and Marcel Darveau (ornithologist, Ducks Unlimited).

Qualifications: Hold an MSc in terrestrial ecology or related field. Be familiar with the use of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing data, and have a strong interest for statistics and quantitative ecology. Université Laval is a French university, and the student will be asked to learn French within the first two years.

A scholarship of 18,000$/year is available for 3 years. Small scholarships from U. Laval will be added to this amount. Students admissible for NSERC and FRQNT fellowships will be favoured.

Documents to provide by email: Applicants for this position should forward a short cover letter indicating their motivation, accompanied by a current CV, unofficial transcripts and contact information of three references to: Daniel Fortin ( We will start reviewing the applications on 15 April 2017.

Daniel Fortin
Département de biologie, Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon, 1045, av. de la Médecine, Université Laval, Québec (Qc) G1V 0A6, Canada

Open position for PhD project in Arctic Ecology / Bioinformatics. Application deadline: 30 March, 2017.

We aim to measure the changes in phenology of important northern species using field data, including automatic acoustic systems. The project will be a combination of bioacoustics programing, population monitoring, and experimental manipulation. The project will be at the forefront of research in the fields of ecology, bioacoustics, and machine learning. Many applied outputs of the project are anticipated and so are the job opportunities after the completion of the project because the fields of artificial intelligence and applied ecology are thriving.Research question: To determine and model the impact of climatic variability on the phenology of Arctic breeding birds.

Supervision: Nicolas LecomteÉric Hervet, Marie-Andrée Giroux, Université de Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada.

Contributors: Joël Bêty (UQAR), Jean-François Therrien (Hawk Mountain), Gilles Gauthier (Université Laval), Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Arctic University of Norway

Qualifications and skills:

  • Team spirit and initiative
  • Academic record to apply for a grant from NSERC and / or FQRNT
  • Ability to work in remote areas
  • Interest in quantitative analyses
  • Good organizational skills and rigour in scientific reasoning
  • Good writing skills (English and French)
  • Master of R software and other common programming languages (Python, C++, Matlab)
  • Ability to work on artificial intelligence algorithms
  • Be ready to enroll in a Ph.D program starting in fall 2017

Eligibility: Must have completed a MSc in biology, ecology, applied mathematics, computer science or any related field.

How and when to apply?

The application documents are: a letter of motivation (maximum one page), a CV including the contact information of two references (maximum 2 pages), and all academic transcripts. Applications must be sent to Nicolas Lecomte ( before March 30, 2017.

Note: Registration to the Ph.D. program in life sciences at Université de Moncton is free for Canadian citizens and Permanent residents of Canada.

Graduate student positions – Laurentian University

Our research lab is looking for three new graduate students, all funded.

PhD student – We are looking for a PhD student to work on questions related to the microbiome and captive populations, particularly endangered species of mammals. Funding for the student’s stipend is provided by the NSERC CREATE training program ReNewZoo (, and the project is a collaboration with Dr. Gabriela Mastromonaco at the Toronto Zoo. ReNewZoo is a training program for graduate students that involves a research thesis, internships at a zoo/aquarium, and a specialized on-line course. Students earn a certificate in Zoo Conservation recognized by Canada’s Accredited Zoos and Aquariums (CAZA).

MSc student – As part of a long-term small mammal-monitoring program in Alqonquin Provincial Park, we are seeking an MSc student to test hypotheses related to host-parasite interactions (fleas and their rodent hosts). Funding for the student’s stipend is provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (OMNRF). The project is in collaboration with Dr. Jeff Bowman, Research Scientist at OMNRF.

MSc/PhD student – We have been investigating the evolutionary and physiological ecology of urban mammals, and are looking for a graduate student to continue this work. We have used eastern chipmunks and raccoons to examine phenotypic differences between wild and urban populations. Funding provided by the Canada Research Chair in Applied Evolutionary Ecology.

Our lab ( is a dynamic group that is part of the Centre for Evolutionary Ecology and Ethical Conservation (CEEEC – at Laurentian University. Our students benefit from a highly collaborative atmosphere, where graduate students will integrate their own work with other researchers, both at Laurentian and beyond. We work on questions of both applied and theoretical interest, mostly on mammals.

Please contact Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde ( if interested.

Ph. D. position with Jeff Houlahan’s lab in the Department of Biological Sciences/The Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick Saint John (UNB Saint John). Application deadline: 1 July, 2017.

The Houlahan lab is looking for a Ph.D. student interested in fundamental questions in population and/or community ecology to begin in the fall of 2017 (although later start dates could be negotiated). We are happy to hear from students with a wide range of interests – some examples of topics include (i) the relationship between diversity and stability, (ii) the relative importance of density dependent effects on population dynamics, and (iii) the stability of competitive hierarchies in nature but we are less concerned about the question than the approach. The approach would involve developing theoretical and/or statistical models that would then be tested on new data (see Houlahan et al. 2017 in Oikos) to assess the predictive ability of those models and how predictive ability changes over time and space. The successful applicant will have strong quantitative skills, and more particularly, be somebody who is comfortable analyzing data and modeling in something like R or Python. Students will have an opportunity to improve their analytical and modeling skills, become better grounded in basic ecology theory, and improve writing, logical thinking and problem-solving abilities. We are interested in ecology, environmental science, computer science and/or mathematics students. Funding of at least $21,000/year is guaranteed for 4 years and comes from TA’ships, RA’ships and scholarships.

The University of New Brunswick is a comprehensive university with campuses in Saint John and Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada with approximately 10,000 students. The Houlahan lab is part of the Department of Biological Sciences and The Canadian Rivers Institute at the Saint John campus. This is a vibrant department with a focus on aquatic and marine biology and more than 50 graduate students. Saint John is a small (pop – 68,000) attractive, coastal city in southern New Brunswick.

If you are interested in the position drop me a note at and attach your cv, transcripts (unofficial or official) and 3 references with contact info.

Expiry date: July 1, 2017.

Fully funded MSc Position: Modeling post-fire forest cover by linking species traits with fire severity

A fully funded MSc position with Dr. Azim Mallik in the Department of Biology, Lakehead University is available examining the changes in forest cover type after wildfires and prescribed burning in Pakaskwa National Park. This will be achieved by linking fire survival and regeneration traits of dominant species with fire severity. The research project is supported by the Parks Canada. The student will work closely with another MSc student performing experimental work on abiotic trait filtering by different levels of fire severity leading forest composition change. I am looking for an HBSc Forestry, Biology or Geography graduate with experience in remote sensing and GIS and interest in modeling plant regeneration traits with habitat conditions. You will link environmental variables created by high and low severity fires with species traits and predict changes in species composition.

Salary/stipend: Up to CND$25,000 per year for two years including GA


– A thesis based (research) BSc. degree in Biology/Forestry/Geography with experience in GIS and remote sensing.
– Experience in managing and analyzing large plant and environmental data sets.
– Experience and/or willingness to learn about climate change models and use of plant traits and fire severity to predict forest cover change by climate change scenario analysis.

Apply asap via e-mail to Dr. Azim Mallik ( with

i)  a cover letter describing your background and research experience


ii)  an up-to-date CV,


iii)  unofficial transcript(s),


iv)  example(s) of your writing (e.g. extract from your thesis, or a class project).

Graduate Student Opportunity in Evolutionary Ecology at the University of Pittsburgh

The Turcotte Lab at the University of Pittsburgh is looking for PhD students to experimentally test the dynamic interplay between rapid evolution and community ecology in the field. Using various plant and insect study systems and complementary approaches, including experimental evolution, modeling, and genetic analyses, we test cutting-edge hypotheses in Evolutionary Ecology. We are especially interested in testing how rapid phenotypic changes, both plastic and evolutionary, impact concurrent ecological dynamics and species interactions. The aim of the lab is to disentangle and quantify how ecological and evolutionary processes reciprocally impact each other and understand their importance in nature.

Please visit the lab webpage for more information

I am also presenting at CSEE 2017. If you would like to meet please send me an email (

The University of Pittsburgh is a leading research university and the Department of Biological Sciences is a dynamic and growing team of enthusiastic researchers and educators. The department also runs the Pymatuning Lab of Ecology, which is equipped with lab space and housing to facilitate field-based research in northwestern Pennsylvania. The City of Pittsburgh is a vibrant and beautiful place to live (info). It is often voted the ‘Most Livable city in the U.S.’ (info). All graduate students in the department are provided with a competitive stipend and benefits for 5 years through a combination of fellowships, TAships, and research assistantships. Although funding from the lab itself is available, I expect all prospective students to apply for external funding.

Prospective students should email me with a short paragraph stating why you are interested in the lab and describe your past research experience. Please include your C.V., any publications, and contact information for a few references.



Graduate Research Opportunities in Adaptation Across Species’ Ranges

We are recruiting two graduate students (MSc or PhD) to work on the ecology and genetics of adaptation and geographic range limits in flowering plants endemic to the wonderful Pacific coastal dunes of California and adjacent Oregon and Baja California. The students would be co-supervised by Chris Eckert (Queen’s U) and Karen Samis (U Prince Edward Island) and based in the Biology Department at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Our research programs provide opportunities for diverse graduate student projects, and PhD students, especially, are encouraged to develop their own research directions. Here are some examples:

(1) Using experimental evolution to investigate constraints on adaptation at and beyond geographical range limits.
(2) Contribution of hybridization to adaptation across geographic ranges.
(3) Does geographic variation in metapopulation dynamics yield stable range limits?
(4) Reproductive isolation during diversification of the mating system and life history across species’ ranges.

All projects will involve considerable field work in California, Oregon and Mexico, field experiments and genomic analyses.

Here’s some background reading:

Samis, K.E., A. López-Villalobos & C.G. Eckert. 2016. Strong genetic differentiation but not local adaptation toward the range limit of a coastal dune plant. Evolution doi: 10.1111/evo.13047
Hargreaves, A.L., K.E. Samis and C.G. Eckert. 2014. Are species’ range limits simply niche limits writ large? A review of transplant experiments beyond the range. American Naturalist 183: 157–173.
Samis, K.E. and C.G. Eckert. 2009. Ecological correlates of fitness across the northern geographic range limit of a pacific coast dune plant. Ecology 90: 3051–3061.
Eckert, C.G., K.E. Samis & S.C. Lougheed. 2008. Genetic variation across species’ geographic ranges: the central-marginal hypothesis and beyond. Molecular Ecology 17: 1170-1188.
Darling, E., K.E. Samis & C.G. Eckert. 2008. Increased seed dispersal potential towards geographic range limits in a Pacific coast dune plant. New Phytologist 178: 424-435.
Samis, K.E. & C.G. Eckert. 2007. Testing the abundant center model using range-wide demographic surveys of two coastal dune plants. Ecology 88: 1747–1758.

For more details and recent publications, please check out our web sites:

The Biology Department at Queen’s University ( includes active research groups in diverse areas, including plant ecology & evolution, behavioural ecology, molecular population genetics & systematics, paleolimnology, and plant physiology & molecular biology. Our large community of graduate students provides a stimulating & friendly academic environment. Graduate students are guaranteed financial support of $22,000/year from scholarships, research stipends & teaching assistantships (2 years for an MSc, 4 years for a PhD,

The position is open to all students who are Canadian citizens. Acceptance of international students is contingent on successful application for a tuition waiver or independent funding to cover foreign student tuition fees.

If you are interested, please send a CV and contact information for at least 2 academic references plus a covering letter.

Informal inquiries are also welcome.

Dr. Christopher G. Eckert        and      Dr. Karen Samis         


We are seeking an enthusiastic candidate with a strong academic record to undertake a master’s research project on the effect of landscape connectivity on the diversity and trophic structure of forest ecological communities.

Project summary: Anthropogenic transformations of landscapes impact ecological community in complex ways. Understanding the relationship between spatial and temporal biodiversity patterns and the processes of habitat loss, degradation and fragmentation constitutes an important challenge for preserving the functioning and structure of forest ecological communities. As part of this project, the student will be in responsible for developing a dynamical model to study the influence of habitat connectivity and species dispersal on diversity and trophic structure within forest metacommunities.

The candidate will enroll in the Master’s program in biology and will join the Center for Forest Research under the supervision of Élise Filotas (TÉLUQ) and Daniel Kneeshaw (UQAM).
Starting date: summer 2017 or fall 2017.
Stipend: 15,000$/year for 2 years.

Expertise/ Profile required

  •   BSc in biological sciences or related disciplines *AND* good knowledge and skills in modelling and quantitative analysis.OR

    BSc in mathematics or physics *AND* a high motivation to learn community ecology.

  •   Familiar with computer programming (R, matlab, C or python).
  •   Independent, rigorous and excellent skills in analysis and problem solving.
  •   Be able to work and write in French and English (or motivation to do so).Applicants should provide a copy of their CV and transcripts, a short motivation letter (max 1 page), and the contact information of two referees to: Applications will be considered until the position is filled.


We are seeking an enthusiastic candidate to undertake a PhD in ecosystem modelling to compare the long-term and large-scale impact of even and uneven-aged management on forest sustainability

Project summary: Uneven-aged management (i.e. partial logging) is gaining strong public support due to numerous finding showing that in the first few years following logging, at the stand scale, it provides more habitat for biodiversity, store more carbon, and are better for recreational and touristic purposes than are even-aged management (i.e. clearcuts). However, few studies have examined the large-scale, long-term effects of uneven-aged management on forest sustainability. Because uneven-aged management practices usually require the construction of more roads they may also lead, on large spatial and temporal scales, to increase forest loss and fragmentation, as well as carbon emission. As part of this project, the student will use a spatially explicit model of forest dynamics to investigate the impact of harvesting strategies with different levels of retention and spatial distributions on available wood volume, road construction and landscape connectivity for biodiversity.

The candidate will enroll in PhD program in biology or environmental sciences at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) and will join the Center for Forest Research under the supervision of Élise Filotas (TÉLUQ) and Christian Messier (UQAM-UQO).
Starting date: summer 2017 or fall 2017.

Stipend: 20,000$/year for 3 years.

Expertise/ Profile required

  •   MSc in biological sciences or related discipline *AND* good knowledge and skills in computer modelling and quantitative analysis.


    MSc in mathematics, physics or computer science *AND* a high motivation to learn forest ecology.

  •   Familiar with computer programming (R, matlab, C or python).
  •   Independent, rigorous and excellent skills in analysis and problem solving.
  •   Be able to work and write in French and English (or motivation to do so).

    Applicants should provide a copy of their CV and transcripts, a short motivation letter (max 1 page), and the contact information of two referees to: Applications will be considered until the position is filled.