PhD and MSc positions in Conservation Science at University of Northern British Columbia

The Integrated Forest Decisions Lab at the University of Northern British Columbia is now seeking two PhD students and two MSc students to undertake theses in the areas of:

1)         Conservation planning. Research in this theme seeks to test existing approaches and develop novel methods for systematic conservation planning in temperate and northern ecosystems.

2)         Cumulative impacts. Research in this theme seeks to elucidate the ecological responses of species and ecosystems to cumulative environmental impacts.

These are general themes, and students will have the latitude to refine their projects based on their interests.

Ideal students will have a strong quantitative background, a passion for biodiversity conservation and ecological sustainability, and a desire to work as part of a team in a collaborative setting. In addition to a background in the ecological sciences, valuable skills for this work are: programming, statistics and R, working with big data, high level GIS experience. Students will receive a living and tuition stipend and access to departmental scholarships.

Expressions of interest should be made by September 30th for a January 2018 start and by October 30th for a May or September 2018 start.

Contact Oscar Venter at oscar.venter at unbc dot ca to discuss further.


PhD Opportunity – Trent University: Climate change and shorebird breeding ecology in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Ontario

One Ph.D. project is available as part of an initiative to improve understanding of how climate change may affect the habitat and ecology of shorebirds breeding in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. This is a great opportunity to directly support wildlife conservation and management and gain experience on a collaborative project with a government agency (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry).

The project will use existing datasets (shorebird nesting, climate, aerial imagery, and remotely sensed products) and new field sampling to assess habitat selection and relationships among variation in climate/weather, the availability of preferred habitat features, and observed patterns in nest site selection and breeding success. The study area is in the Coastal Hudson Bay Lowland Ecoregion, and field work will be based at the Burntpoint Research Station in Polar Bear Provincial Park, Ontario. Target species may include one or more species of shorebirds (e.g. Whimbrel, Dunlin, and Semipalmated plover).

The student will be enrolled in the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, and under the co-supervision of Dr. Glen Brown and Dr. Erica Nol. The project will begin January, 2018.


A minimum stipend of $22, 000 per year for three years will be provided (includes a Teaching Assistantship).


Candidates should have a solid background in ecology and an aptitude for statistical and spatial analysis (including geographic information systems and imagery processing), as well as the ability to conduct laborious field work in remote areas for extended periods of time. A willingness to become licensed in firearm use is also required. Prospective students should meet the minimum requirements for admission to the PhD program and possess an 80% average in last two years of undergraduate courses.

Prospective students should send a letter of interest, a CV, unofficial transcripts, and the names of two references to Dr. Glen Brown (



PhD in Numerical Evolutionary Physiology and Ecology

We are looking for a talented PhD candidate with a background in biology, ecology or environmental sciences. The candidate should have basic knowledge and skills in quantitative modeling and computer programming. Experience in analyzing large dataset is also a plus. The student will develop an exciting and challenging project aiming to include physiological variation and plasticity detected across different populations and life stages of marine organisms with complex life cycles in species distribution models to study marine species’ responses to ocean warming and acidification. Whilst the northern shrimp Pandalus borealis will represent a primary model for the study, other species of economic and ecological importance will be considered to tackle the central question of the PhD. Biogeographical models outputs will be used by the candidate to develop models useful for ecological risk assessment. The candidate will be based at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR), with opportunities to visit the University of British Columbia to work with the co-supervisor. Successful candidate should be proficient in French and English (written and spoken), as she/he is expected to interact and communicate on a regular basis with other students involved in the project, as well as partners and stakeholders, in both languages. Demonstrated experience in scientific writing is a requirement. The position will be fully funded by project grants for up to four years.

Supervisors: Prof. William Cheung (UBC), Prof. Piero Calosi (UQAR).

Funding: Ouranos-MITACS, MEOPAR, NSERC

Partners and stakeholders: Ouranos, MPO, MAPAQ, ACPG, FAP, Aghamm, Amik.

PhD start date: 1st of January 2018

Deadline for application : 1st of October 2017.

Application : send a letter of expression of interest (maximum one page) in both French AND English, as well as a CV (maximum three pages, in English OR French) to piero_calosi AT


PhD student position in Plant Conservation and Phylogeography at Memorial University of Newfoundland-Canada

I am seeking a motivated PhD student to conduct a project with two main objectives. The first is to characterize a trans-Andean migration route for rainforest taxa. This project will use palm taxa (Arecaceae) as case studies to elucidate a pattern of trans-Andean migration across a region of low elevation in the Andes of Loja, Ecuador. There are numerous taxa in the palm family with a disjunct distribution on the pacific side of Ecuador and Colombia (Choco region) and the eastern side of the Andes in Peru and Bolivia (Western Amazonia). Diversification times for taxa on either side of this barrier and a potential directionality of the migration will be inferred through a phylogeographic approach. A second goal is to conduct a conservation genetics study of the palm genus Parajubaea hypothesized to have colonized the Andes from the Atlantic forest of Brazil <22 million years ago. This genus contains only 3 species (did not radiate much), two of which are IUCN threatened with wild populations confined to Bolivia, where it is economically important. Its reproductive biology and specialized habitat could explain its limited diversification and colonization to the rest of the Andes. Other research questions of interest to the student are welcome within the framework of Neotropical plant evolution. The PhD student will work under the mentorship of Dr. Julissa Roncal, and will interact with other graduate and undergraduate students in the team, as well as with collaborators in Ecuador (Dr. Nora Oleas), Colombia (Dr. Maria Jose Sanin) and Bolivia (Dr. Monica Moraes).

Student’s qualifications:

  • A MSc degree in a related discipline (e.g. biology, botany, ecology, molecular biology, bioinformatics)·    Experience in organismic botany, phylogenetics and/or population genetics analyses, and bioinformatics is highly desirable.
  • Excellent analytical, organization and communication skills. Attention to detail.

Written and oral proficiency in English is mandatory for international students. TOEFL test required for admission to the university, but not the GRE tests.

Position characteristics:

Project start date is January 5, 2018. The PhD program comprises four years with an annual stipend of $19,500. The student is expected to teach on average 10 hr/wk during the fall and winter semesters but not in the spring. The department of Biology at Memorial University has 29 faculty members and over 100 graduate students. Memorial University is Atlantic Canada’s largest university offering a multicultural environment. Screening will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.

How to apply: Interested applicants should send their CV, a one-page statement of research interests and career goals, transcripts, and contact information of 3 references (who have agreed to be contacted) in a single pdf or word file to Dr. Julissa Roncal at Email: more information on the research group visit: instructions on how to apply to Memorial’s graduate program visit:


PhD (preferred) and/or MSc position, University of Alberta, Edmonton.


PhD (preferred) and/or MSc position to study the effect of extreme weather events on alpine butterfly populations. This project takes advantage of a long-term (23 years) study of dynamics of alpine Parnassius (Apollo) butterfly populations in the front ranges of the Rocky Mountains of Alberta. The project examines interactions among population dynamics, weather and climate, physiology, geographic range, and population genetics. The position will be co-supervised by Drs. Jens Roland and Felix Sperling at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.

The study examines the role of extreme weather events as a component of dynamics, life-history, and adaptation, in light of the effects of climate change in a highly variable environment.

Students should have a strong interest in population biology, ecology, and dynamics, as well as strong quantitative (R) and field skills. Projects involve both descriptive and experimental studies of Parnassius butterfly ecology and physiology as they relate to spatial and temporal variation in alpine environments, and their effects on population dynamics. Previous experience working on butterflies is an advantage but not a requirement.

Please contact Dr. Jens Roland (, and include a CV and a 2-3 page letter that outlines your career goals, previous research experience, and contact information for 3 references.


Ph.D (or M.Sc.) student position (Canada)

A graduate student position is available with Dr. Craig Purchase at Memorial University, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, Canada.

A Ph.D. student is preferred but I will consider taking M.Sc. students with highly relevant backgrounds.

We conduct research on a variety of marine and freshwater fishes. Lab research includes life history variation, phenotypic plasticity, local adaptation, sperm & egg quality, habitat selection and conservation biology.

I am primary looking for a student who’s research project would address evolutionary ecology questions related to fish reproduction, and will likely focus on aspects of sperm biology. It is not an aquaculture-oriented project. I may take other students for other projects. Most of the work will focus on wild Atlantic salmon, but other species may be involved.

For more information on my research program visit A PhD student will receive a financial package of at least $80,000 (strong students are likely to obtain significantly more). Start date should be January or May 2018.

Interested students should send a cover letter, CV, and unofficial copy of transcripts to I am most interested in students that have backgrounds in fish reproduction, or salmon biology, or sperm biology (any taxa).

Review of applications will begin immediately (posted June 19/17) and continue until the position is filled.




Graduate student opportunity in Hotwater Physa at Liard River Hotsprings Provincial Park

We are seeking potential graduate students (MSc preferred) to work on projects that address natural history knowledge gaps, the life history, food requirements, threats, captive rearing, taxonomy, systematics and relatedness to snails in other thermal springs. Fieldwork may be a component of the project.

Hotwater Physa (Physella wrighti) is a small freshwater snail endemic to thermal springs within Liard River Hotsprings Provincial Park situated in northeast British Columbia. The species was assessed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC) in 1998 as Endangered, a status that was re-examined and confirmed in 2000 and 2008. Hotwater Physa was listed as Endangered under the federal Species At Risk Act in 2003. The University of Regina, Royal Saskatchewan Museum, British Columbia Ministry of Environment and federal Fisheries and Oceans Canada are collaborating on the species’ recovery actions.

Natural history and biological information on Hotwater Physa is limited. The species was first noted in 1973 and taxonomically described in 1985. The initial COSEWIC status report is the earliest information on population estimates, and water quality data such as temperature, pH, conductivity and dissolved oxygen. Further work completed in 2000 and 2001 provides additional water quality data (temperature and conductivity) and estimated snail abundance along a portion of Alpha Stream. Additional field studies were completed in 2007, 2008, 2012-2016.

These graduate positions will be based out of the University of Regina, in collaboration with the BC Ministry of Environment, and the Royal Saskatchewan Museum. Travel costs between sites, including field work at Liard hotsprings, and to international conferences will be covered.

To apply, please send: 1) a CV; 2) unofficial copies of academic transcripts; and 3) a brief description of your research interests to: Applications will be evaluated as soon as they are received. Start dates are flexible, but preference will be made for students who can begin in Sept 2017 or Jan 2018. For more details on graduate applications see: More detail on Dr. Finlay’s lab can be found at


PhD, MSc, and potential PDF positions in ecology at University of Ottawa

The Conservation and Macroecology research group at University of Ottawa, led by Jeremy Kerr, is offering fully funded PhD (preferred) and MSc positions to address questions related to how habitat and climate changes interact with species’ traits to alter the structure of butterfly and bumblebee communities across environmental gradients. This work includes collaborative opportunities with national and international research leaders and for interactions with policy processes uniquely available in Ottawa. Postdoctoral (PDF) applications will also be considered.

Research will integrate field research with broad-scale (macroecological) models. Projects include opportunities for advances in conservation biology, global change biology, integrating understanding from evolutionary ecology. Projects will fall within the scope of Kerr’s research program ( and are supported by an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement.

Our research group embraces diversity and we maintain a welcoming and enriching atmosphere in all aspects of our work. Current and past lab members have enjoyed outstanding successes, finding careers in the professoriate, research scientists, and as conservationists.

Successful applicants will possess strong written and oral communication skills, have skills with R or a strong motivation to learn those skills, excellent capacity to work collegially and supportively with all members of the research group, and an interest in combining field research on butterflies and/or bumblebees and macroecological analyses. Applicants with interests in both pure and applied conservation questions are particularly welcome.

Ottawa is one of Canada’s most exciting and beautiful cities, with exceptional cultural and outdoor activities throughout the year.

For graduate students, preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. We will begin considering applications on June 26 and will continue doing so until all positions are filled. We are looking for successful applicants to begin as soon as possible.

Send electronic applications, including a brief and informative cover letter, CV, transcript copies (official or unofficial), and the names of two references to Jeremy Kerr (