MASTER’S POSITION IN THEORETICAL COMMUNITY ECOLOGY

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: elise.filotas@teluq.ca. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.
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PhD POSITION IN FOREST ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT

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.

    OR

    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: elise.filotas@teluq.ca. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

FOUR FUNDED PHD AND MSC POSITIONS AVAILABLE AT THREE CANADIAN UNIVERSITIES (CONCORDIA, CALGARY, UQAM): THE GENE-TO-ECOSYSTEM CONSEQUENCES OF FISHERIES-INDUCED EVOLUTION

We are seeking highly motivated PhD and MSc students to investigate the eco-evolutionary consequences of different harvesting practices in natural fish populations, from genes to ecosystems. This is an unprecedented opportunity to conduct experimentally-replicated depletion of natural populations of a socio-economically important fish (brook trout) in closed ecosystems where the species is invasive and the target of removal efforts, in exceptionally beautiful places (Rocky mountain alpine lakes). The research offers an outstanding opportunity for student training in applied conservation and fisheries science research as a collaborative NSERC Strategic Project between three universities (Concordia University, UQAM, Calgary), Parks Canada, Alberta Environment and Sustainable Resource Development and Fisheries & Oceans Canada. The four student projects (*location) are:

Project1 (PhD): Does FIE affect population-productivity relationships? (Calgary)
Project2 (PhD): Does FIE cause genomic changes to functional phenotypes?(Concordia or Calgary)
Project 3 (MSc): What are long-term population genomic consequences of FIE? (Concordia or Calgary)
Project 4 (PhD): Does FIE alter ecosystem functioning linked to fisheries productivity? (UQAM)

Applicants should be team-oriented, autonomous, and have demonstrated oral/written communication skills and quantitative skills (e.g. R stats). Applicants should also have a keen interest and/or background in evolutionary ecology (project 1), conservation genetics/genomics (projects 2,3) or aquatic community and ecosystem ecology (project 4). Field experience is an asset for all projects; french is not required but is encouraged for projects based at Concordia/UQAM. The project start date is May 2017.

Interested applicants should send (electronically) a cover letter, CV, unofficial transcripts and the names of two references to Dylan Fraser, Associate Professor, Department of Biology, Concordia University; Email: dylan.fraser@concordia.ca, Tel: (514) 848-2424 ex. 8729. Lab website: http://www.dylanfraser.com

Other professors involved in this research:

John Post, Professor Email: jrpost@ucalgary.ca
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Calgary
http://bio.ucalgary.ca/bio_info/profiles/john-robert-post

Sean Rogers, Associate Professor Email: srogers@ucalgary.ca
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Calgary
Lab website: http://people.ucalgary.ca/~srogers/

Alison Derry, Associate Professor Email: derry.alison@uqam.ca
Département des sciences biologiques, UQAM
Lab website: http://aquaticecoevo.uqam.ca/English/Homepage.html
http://aquaticecoevo.uqam.ca/Francais/Bienvenue.html

FUNDED PHD OR MSC POSITION AVAILABLE AT CONCORDIA UNIVERSITY: THE DYNAMICS OF SMALL, PERSISTING POPULATIONS

We are seeking a dynamic student to investigate a significant yet understudied aspect of conservation biology: mechanisms that may allow some small, isolated populations to persist in the face of environmental change. Core topics on natural fish populations would include:

(i) Effectiveness of purging of inbreeding depression

(ii) Epigenetic maintenance of genetic diversity via DNA methylation

(iii) Population persistence  despite maladaptation

This is a collaborative research project between Dr. Dylan Fraser (Concordia U.) and Dr. Louis Bernatchez (Laval U.) with funding for 4 years (PhD) or 2 years (MSc). Stationed out of Concordia U. (Montreal) with additional research training at Laval U. (Quebec City), the student will benefit from the expertise of two leading conservation genetics laboratories. The student will conduct field, common-garden and genomic work on a series of small, isolated brook trout populations from Cape Race, Newfoundland. Interested candidates should have: a keen interest and background in conservation genetics and genomics, quantitative skills (e.g. R stats), effective oral and written communication, and autonomy; experience with fish husbandry is an asset. Speaking French is not required but is encouraged. The start date is May 2017.

Interested applicants should send (electronically) a cover letter, CV, unofficial transcripts and the names of two academic or research references to:

Dylan Fraser, Associate Professor
Department of Biology, Concordia University
Email: dylan.fraser@concordia.ca
Tel: (514) 848-2424 ex. 8729
Lab website: www.dylanfraser.com

Graduate Research Opportunities in Tree Improvement, University of Alberta

Seedlings produced from tree improvement programs in Alberta currently account for ~15% of all reforestation in Alberta. Erosion of the forested land base through expansion of the energy sector, agricultural and urban development combined with climate change, signals an increasing demand for fast growing, well-adapted trees. The main goal of this research is to fill knowledge gaps in both hardwood and softwood tree improvement programs needed to, for example, support the selection of parent trees for seed orchards, develop clonal deployment standards, and assist with integration of genetic gain into operational growth and yield models. Ultimately, the findings from this research will provide industry and the Alberta government with the information required to make science-based decisions in their operational programs and also assist with both economic and policy decisions.

Students will collaborate and learn from scientists, professional foresters and government officials from various organizations including Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc., Weyerhaeuser Canada, West Fraser Mills Ltd., and more.

Project 1: Understanding patterns and mechanisms driving clone size and gender performance in trembling aspen in Alberta (PhD)

I am seeking a highly motivated PhD student who is interested in genetics, ecology, ecophysiology and their interaction on the landscape. The goal of this project is to describe the patterns of aspen clone size and gender distribution in active aspen forest management regions in Alberta, while also using genetic markers to understand recent declines in aspen health due to drought.

Qualifications:

  • A background in forestry, ecology, quantitative genetics, or plant physiology is an asset.
  • Familiarity with an IRGA or other ecophysiological equipment would also be an asset.
  • Preference will be given to Canadian students with experience in field work and must have a class 5 driver’s licence.

Funding: This project is fully funded ($22000 – $24000/year) through an industrial research program for 3-years with additional scholarship funds available with a GPA of 3.7 or greater.

Start date: Summer or Fall 2017

 

Project 2: Parental selection and assessing the potential impacts of elite breeding in white spruce (PhD)

I am seeking a highly motivated PhD student to test the hypothesis that gene expression of gibberellic acid in seedlings can be used as an indicator of trees with superior growth characteristics. Faster growing parents will be selected based on growth data and physiological markers for gibberellic acid and gene expression based on greenhouse trials. With identification of elite parents, an advanced breeding strategy will be designed and implemented using tools such as a differential evolution algorithm developed from animal breeding.

Qualifications:

  • Previous degree in forest genetics or related field and familiarity with ecophysiology.
  • An advanced understanding of breeding strategies will be needed to undertake exploration of an elite breeding strategy approach in white spruce using a differential evolution algorithm developed for animal breeding.
  • Preference will be given to Canadian students with experience in field work, tree breeding and must have a class 5 driver’s licence.

Funding: This project is fully funded ($22000 – $24000/year) through an industrial research program for 3.5 years with additional scholarship funds available with a GPA of 3.7 or greater.

Start date: Summer or Fall 2017

 

Project 3: Flower induction in a lodgepole pine seed orchard (MSc or 1-year PDF)

Seeking a highly motivated MSc student (2-years) or a PDF (1-year) to complete a project initiated in summer 2015. This project aims at understanding the mechanisms underlying the unprecedented loss of conebuds in one of Alberta’s key lodgepole pine seed orchards. A gibberellic acid flower induction treatment was applied in the summer of 2015 with considerable data already collected including 2-years of cone and seed harvest, and conelet abortion counts on ~ 320 trees.

Qualifications:

  • Familiarity with forest genetics, conifer breeding and plant physiology with a strong interest in seed and cone development would be an asset.
  • Preference will be given to Canadian students with experience in field work, tree breeding and must have a class 5 driver’s licence.

Funding: This project is fully funded ($22000 MSc/year, $44000 PDF, 1-year) through an industrial research program with additional scholarship funds available with a GPA of 3.7 or greater for an MSc student.

Start date: Immediate

 

Project 4: Evaluation of early establishment growth and survival in genetic realized gain trials of spruce and pine.

We are seeking a field-oriented MSc student to work with industry and provincial government partners in studying results from newly established genetic realized gain trials associated with several provincial tree improvement programs. After initial establishment, the student will measure and assess paired plots of improved and unimproved seedlots planted on operational reforestation sites throughout Alberta.

Qualifications:

  • Preference will be given to Canadian students with a background in forestry and experience in field work and tree breeding an asset. The student must have a class 5 driver’s licence.

Funding: This project is fully funded ($22000 – $24000) through a FRIAA funded project for 2-years with additional scholarship funds available with a GPA of 3.7 or greater.

Start date: Summer or Fall 2017

 

To apply for any of the above positions: please send 1) a brief letter stating your interest, 2) your curriculum vitae, and 3) the names of two references to Barb Thomas (bthomas@ualberta.ca) and CC: Morgan Randall (mrandall@ualberta.ca). Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Informal inquiries to gain more information about the positions are also welcome.

Barb Thomas
Associate Professor
NSERC Industrial Research Chair in Tree Improvement
Chair, Resilient Forests (RES-FOR): Genome Canada LSARP
University of Alberta, Department of Renewable Resources
442 Earth Sciences Building, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada – T6G 2E3
Ph: 780-492-8016 – Fx: 780-492-1767
Email: bthomas@ualberta.ca
http://people.ales.ualberta.ca/barbthomas

Forest regeneration after disturbance – 1 MSc position

Start date May to September 2017.

The Leroux Ecosystem Ecology Lab (http://shawnleroux.wix.com/lerouxlab) and Hermanutz Conservation Ecology of Northern Ecosystem Lab (http://www.faculty.mun.ca/lhermanutz/) in the Department of Biology at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) are recruiting 1 outstanding MSc student to study forest regeneration after disturbance by insects (natural) and moose (non-native and overabundant) herbivory on the island of Newfoundland, Canada.

The student will be co-supervised by Drs. Leroux & Hermanutz and will work in partnership with the Nature Conservancy of Canada to provide recommendations for restoration of their Salmonier Nature Reserve property on the Avalon Peninsula. The project will involve field data collection and the development of models for forest regeneration scenarios following disturbance. Successful candidates should have a good working knowledge of Geographic Information Systems and mathematical modeling or be willing to develop such skills.

Project background: In 2015, the Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) acquired their first property along the Salmonier River, a unique forested region on the Avalon Peninsula of the island of Newfoundland. NCC now owns 437 acres of land in the area. These large tracts of land represent a unique opportunity to restore and protect boreal forest on the Avalon Peninsula. However, the impacts of non-native species, particularly moose (Alces alces), are limiting the ability of the forest to regenerate after disturbances such as insect outbreaks. In order to effectively manage these lands, NCC is interested in using baseline data, along with possible strategies identified in the literature, to model the outcomes of various forest management practices on these lands. An outcome of this work will be to provide practical recommendations for effective restoration and stewardship of the forest habitat on NCC’s Salmonier Nature Reserve.

Memorial University of Newfoundland is in St John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada. It is a beautiful place with icebergs in spring, whales and Atlantic salmon in summer and wonderful culture year-round. See Tourism NL for more details (http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/).

Applicants should send an updated CV, unofficial transcripts, and a statement of interest to Drs. Leroux: and Hermanutz: as soon as possible. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

Keywords: forest ecosystem modelling, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, forest succession, herbivory, invasive species, restoration

PhD Position : Ecosystem and community consequences of fisheries-induced evolution in alpine lakes – Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), Montréal, QC Canada

An exciting PhD opportunity is available at the Department of Biological Sciences, Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) to evaluate the community and ecosystem consequences of fisheries-induced evolution in alpine lakes, as well as the potential feedbacks resulting from indirect trophic interactions that could alter fish production. The project is part of a broader NSERC-funded strategic research program that will be the first experimental assessment in nature of whether, and to what degree, evolutionary changes elicited by common harvesting approaches cause changes in fisheries productivity, from genes to entire ecosystems, on fish species of socio-economic importance. Our strategic project will directly help facilitate Parks Canada’s goals of restoring previously fishless alpine lakes in three national Rocky mountain parks (Banff, Yoho and Kootenay).

The successful candidate will receive training in population, community, and ecosystem ecology, evolutionary biology, aquatic ecology and experimental ecological research. He/she will collaborate closely with researchers at Concordia University and the University of Calgary, and with Parks Canada. The successful applicant will benefit from a strong scientific core in freshwater science at UQAM, as well as a dynamic and collaborative research environment in Montréal, QC.

Qualified applicants will ideally have an MSc degree in biology or a related field, demonstrate evidence of research potential, and have a strong work ethic and keen interest in aquatic ecology as well as community and ecosystem ecology. Limnological experience, and strong statistical, communication, and interpersonal skills are assets. French linguistic skills are not required, but would be considered an asset.

The start date is May 2017. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, unofficial transcripts, a C.V. and contact information for two academic/research references, to:

Alison Derry, Associate Professor
Département des sciences biologiques, Université du Québec à Montréal
Case postale 8888, Succursale Centre-ville, Montréal (Québec) H3C 3P8
Email: derry.alison@uqam.ca
Tel: 514-987-3000 ext. 3496 | Fax: 514-987-4647
Webpage : http://aquaticecoevo.uqam.ca/English/Homepage.html

1 MSc and 1 PhD In Conifer Genomics and Physiology – Open Immediately

The Ensminger Lab in the University of Toronto’s Department of Biology seeks MSc and PhD student candidates to join an exciting large scale research project on climate adaptation in conifers. As climate change is impacting forest health and productivity, this project is using genomic tools combined with experiments testing the resistance of trees to heat, cold and drought stress. Expected results will help select and plant trees that will be healthy in new climates in Canada.

DUTIES

The successful candidates will work in the project “CoAdapTree” and investigate the function of genes involved in climate adaptation. A combination of phenotyping and RNASequencing approaches will be used to validate climate relevant candidate genes and their contribution to cold hardiness, drought hardiness and heat stress responses. Candidates are expected to work in an interdisciplinary research project with collaborators at the University of British Columbia, the University of Calgary and the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, British Columbia.

PROFILE

Candidates should have a background in plant biology or physiology, molecular biology or a related discipline and should have strong quantitative and writing skills. Experience or an interest in learning programming languages such as Python, and Rcran tools for the analysis of large data sets is required.

HOW TO APPLY

Please send your application electronically as a single PDF to Ingo Ensminger (ingo.ensminger@utoronto.ca). Use the words “Grad Students Conifer Genomics” in the subject line of your email. Please include a cover letter with a brief statement of your research interest (max. 1 page), your CV, and contacts of two references. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the positions are filled. Possible starting dates are between April 2017 and September 2017).

For more information on the project please contact Ingo Ensminger (ingo.ensminger@utoronto.ca, +1 905 569 4599) or check http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/ensminger/.

M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduate student positions in plant functional and evolutionary ecology at the University of Guelph

The Maherali Lab in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph seeks M.Sc. and Ph.D. students with interests in plant physiology, plant ecology and evolutionary biology. Our research group examines the mechanisms responsible for the evolution of functional diversity and the consequences of this evolution for communities and ecosystems.

We are specifically interested in the evolution and diversification of the symbiosis between plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. This 450 million year old symbiosis influences how nearly all plant lineages, including a majority of crop species, perceive and respond to their environment. The symbiosis has consequences for plant physiological responses to environmental stress, competitive ability, trophic interactions with pollinators and herbivores, and the functioning of ecosystems. Students will be encouraged to explore topics in these areas when formulating their research hypotheses.

Interested applicants should submit a CV, unofficial transcript, a letter describing their research interests and career goals, and contact information for two references to Dr. Hafiz Maherali (maherali@uoguelph.ca). Further information on our lab’s research interests and publications can be found at: https://maheralilab.wordpress.com/.

Candidates must be Canadian citizens. The successful applicant should possess a strong transcript (at least a B average in their last 2 years of study). The successful applicant will be guaranteed financial support for the duration of the degree program (2 years for M.Sc. students and 4 years for Ph.D. students). Applications will be considered for a September 2017 start date.

Funded Ph.D./M.Sc. position: Competition with and predation of reintroduced Atlantic salmon (immediate start)

The Great Lakes Institute of Environmental Research (GLIER) at the University of Windsor is recruiting for a Ph.D. position focussing on resource competition with and predation of Atlantic salmon reintroduced to Lake Ontario. The successful candidate will analyze the diet of re-instroduced Atlantic salmon, salmonid competitors, and potential predators using genetic analysis of stomach contents and stable isotope analysis of body composition. This project will build on our previous work examining in-stream mortality of introduced Atlantic salmon and will contribute to the development of best practices for hatchery rearing, release timing and strain and site selection to support the restoration of this commercially and ecologically critical species across Canada.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to experience two different subdisciplines and lab environments in conservation biology, being co-supervised by Dr. Aaron Fisk and Dr. Daniel Heath at GLIER. As part of a larger team project, they will work closely with scientists from government, academia, industry and NGOs.

Applicants should have a strong interest and a prior degree in conservation biology, ecology, molecular biology or related discipline. Applicants should have extensive past research experience, evidence of strong writing and quantitative skills and the ability to work independently.

Interested candidates should contact Dr. Daniel Heath as soon as possible for admission to the Winter session of 2017; fieldwork could start as early as spring 2017. To apply, please email Dr. Heath (dheath@uwindsor.ca) (1) a cover letter outlining your research interests, career goals, relevant experience and why you are applying for this position; (2) your CV; (3) academic transcripts; and (4) contact information for at least three professional references. The student must also meet the minimum requirements for admission into the Graduate School at GLIER (www1.uwindsor.ca/glier/doctor-of- philosophy-phd-degree). For more information about the Heath and Fisk labs, please visit www1.uwindsor.ca/glier/heath-research-group and www.fisklab.com.