Graduate positions in Urban Ecology and Ecosystem Services

The Ziter Urban Landscape Ecology lab at Concordia University is looking for MSc (possibly PhD) students for Fall 2019 interested in research at the intersection of urban landscape structure, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. The successful applicant will have considerable opportunity to shape specific research questions, but project directions may include: 1) Characterizing relationships among biodiversity and multiple ES provided by green infrastructure; 2) The role of urban landscape structure in moderating biodiversity and ES provision; or 3) Ecosystem services (and particularly climate adaptation) provided by the urban forest. Research in our lab typically combines fieldwork with laboratory and/or computer analysis, with most data collection occurring in the summer in urban or peri-urban areas around Montreal. Applicants can read more about our recent and upcoming research on our lab website:

Concordia is an English-speaking University in the vibrant and diverse city of Montreal (rated the world’s best student city in 2017!). Our lab is based in the Department of Biology on Loyola Campus – a beautiful green campus in the western part of the city, but within reach of downtown. Home to 4 universities, Montreal has one of the largest concentrations of ecologists in Canada, and is also a growing center of excellence for urban ecology and urban forestry. Consequently, graduate students will have numerous opportunities to learn and collaborate outside the lab, including affiliation with the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Science and Concordia’s new hub for Sustainable, Smart, and Resilient Cities and Communities. 

Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a collaborative team environment, work closely with research partners, present results at professional conferences, and publish in the peer-reviewed literature. Applicants should have a BSc in biology, ecology, geography, or a related field (PhD applicants should have an MSc), and be willing and prepared to conduct fieldwork in an urban environment (often involving significant interaction and communication with members of the public). A valid driving license is strongly preferred. Ability to speak French is an asset, but not required. Preference will be given to Canadian applicants.

Interested applicants should contact Dr. Carly Ziter directly ( with a statement of motivation/interest, and include: 1) A CV/Resume; 2) An unofficial transcript; 3) The names and contact information for 2 references.



PhD position in seabird ecology, investigating population dynamics of alcids (Atlantic Puffins and Razorbills) in the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine ecosystem. Alcids nesting in the Bay of Fundy/Gulf of Maine are at the southern extent of their range, thus climate change is likely to result in local population declines. The goal of this project is to collate demographic information collected by our group from 1995 – present for nesting puffins and Razorbills at Machias Seal Island, New Brunswick, use this information to relate population trends with dispersal rates, and produce population models for each of the two focal species.

The candidate will be a member of the Atlantic Laboratory for Avian Research on the Saint John campus of the University of New Brunswick. Research will involve extensive field work on Machias Seal Island (i.e., presence on the island for 3.5 months) over three years (2019-2021), where the candidate will contribute to our ongoing long-term research. While on the island, the candidate will lead our research team of 3-4 people completing annual seabird monitoring of six focal species (Atlantic Puffin, Razorbill, Common Murre, Arctic Tern, Common Tern, Leach’s Storm-petrel), and aid other graduate students with their field research.


  • MSc in biology or related field
  • Demonstrated field experience, previous experience leading a field camp is preferred
  • Extensive experience banding seabirds, experience banding alcids preferred
  • Experience calculating apparent survival using Program MARK, R, or other similar program
  • Experience developing and running population models in R, MatLab, or other similar program
  • Strong quantitative skills
  • Candidate should have a driver’s license and the ability to travel between Canada and the United States

If interested, please contact Dr. Heather Major ( with a single PDF that includes: 1) a 1-page letter of interest describing your qualifications and experience; 2) current CV; 3) GPA and unofficial transcripts; and 4) contact information for 3 references who can speak to your academic performance and/or field experience. Review of applications will be ongoing until a suitable candidate is identified. The successful candidate will start in May 2019.


M.Sc. or Ph.D position on mycorrhizal network assembly

In natural environments, plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi interact in complex webs/networks. These networks have a deterministic, non-random structure, yet we still poorly understand the drivers and functional consequences of such structure. We also have yet to fully appreciate the flexibility of these networks, and thus their potential resistance and resilience to disturbances and anthropogenic pressures. The aim of this project is to look at mycorrhizal network assembly along gradients (e.g., temporal, environmental) to determine how the structure of these interaction networks is shaped by preferential rewards and environmental selection of AM fungal and/or plant traits. This project will also prime the development of trait-based research in AM fungal ecology, a major frontier in the field.

Université de Montréal is one of the highest ranked university in the world, ranked third in Canada, in the city rated THE world’s best student city in 2017. Research in plant science and microbial ecology is done in research labs adjacent to the Botanical Garden, a truly unique research environment.

Interested candidates should:

• Have some background in statistics and R programming
• Ideally have experience in molecular biology
• Have a valid driving license
• Be motivated to work in sometimes hard meteorological conditions in the field

Interested applicants should send to<>:

1- A letter of motivation
2- A short CV with research-related work experience and a publication list
3- An unofficial transcript


M.Sc. or Ph.D position in fungal functional diversity

Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi operate crucial functions in terrestrial ecosystems, contributing to nutrient cycling, soil C storage and altering plant net primary productivity. Yet, we still lack a sound understanding of their functional diversity, and how this diversity is distributed across taxonomic and spatial scales in natural landscapes. The aims of the currently available project are to (1) better appreciate intraspecific trait diversity in ECM fungi, (2) determine how the abiotic environment filters ECM fungal traits and (3) look at plant ECM fungal trait selection. As such, this project will involve a rich mixture of practice and theory in community assembly, ecological niches, evolution of cooperation and partner selection. The project will be held at Université de Montréal, in the Station de Biologie des Laurentides. This field station is extremely well suited for this project, with a heterogeneous and precisely mapped landscape of various ECM host plants, which offer a great opportunity to look at ECM community filtering. We are looking for a motivated student with (1) excellent academic record, (2) demonstrated potential for autonomy and (3) sound understanding of mycorrhizal symbioses and community ecology. The student should begin by January 2019, or May 2019 at the latest. Interested candidates should send their CV (with references) and a motivation letter to<>.


Ph.D. Assistantship studying movement ecology of reintroduced bison in Banff National Park

The Merkle Research Group in collaboration with Banff National Park is looking for a highly motivated, creative, and quantitative Ph.D. student to lead a field-based project studying the movements of reintroduced bison in Banff National Park. Although the successful applicant will be admitted through the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming and will be based in Laramie, Wyoming (USA), all field work will be conducted in Banff National Park (Canada).

The goals of the research project will be to make fundamental contributions to the field of movement ecology while also providing reliable knowledge to manage and conserve bison. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to shape the specific research questions within the following topics: 1) home range formation by bison in a novel environment; 2) the influence of prescribed burns, hazing, and containment fencing on bison movement; and iii) the influence of social status and sociality on space use of bison.

Candidates must have a B.S. and preferably a M.S. degree in Ecology, Biology, Wildlife, or related fields. Applicants must have an excellent undergraduate GPA and competitive GRE scores. Applicants must also have a demonstrated ability to work independently and with a team in harsh field conditions. Field work will require backpacking and hiking off trail in stochastic field conditions at high elevations in sometimes extremely steep terrain. Applicants with experience managing and analyzing large datasets (including remote sensing data) in program R or Python, and publishing research will be favored. Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a team environment, work closely with a large field crew, present results at professional conferences, and publish results in a timely manner in peer-reviewed scientific outlets.

A competitive graduate assistantship will be provided, which includes annual stipend, tuition, and benefits. To apply, please email a SINGLE PDF file that includes 1) a cover letter outlining field and quantitative experience and interest in studying animal movement, 2) a CV, 3) unofficial GRE score sheet, 4) contact information for three references, and 5) transcripts to Jerod Merkle ( and Jesse Whittington ( Review of applicants will begin 25 February 2019. The successful applicant will start in autumn 2019.


Graduate Opportunity (PhD) Habitat and Foraging Ecology of Moose across Disturbed Landscapes

We are recruiting a PhD student to investigate the habitat and foraging ecology of moose across central British Columbia, Canada. The work will focus on the response of moose to broad-scale and rapid salvage harvest of lodgepole pine. The study will be conducted in the John Prince Research Forest ( where there has been stable levels of forest harvest and the surrounding landscape that has been the focus of salvage harvest.

There is considerable flexibility in research question and design, but we anticipate methods that potentially employ field-based analyses of recently deployed high-frequency GPS collars, 4 years of broader-scale GPScollar data, and 3 years of camera-trap data. The study area has Lidar derived forest/cover attributes and there is an effort to monitor wolves. We expect the dissertation to have an applied focus, with application of findings to the development or improvement of forest management practices that enhance moose populations.

The qualified student will attend classes at the Prince George campus of the University of Northern BC. UNBC is a small, but dynamic research intensive university ( The Prince George area offers abundant outdoor recreation activities. Please see our website for more information on the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Graduate Program including degree requirements and expectations ( Research activities will be conducted at the John Prince Research Forest.

Qualifications: This is a challenging, but rewarding project requiring a range of interests and aptitudes. Preferably, the successful applicant will have a degree in biology or ecology. The student should be willing to work in a collaborative environment with multiple research partners. Demonstration of field-based competencies (e.g., GPS operation, compassing, backcountry safety/skills) is an asset as well as a desire to get dirty and potentially work long hours. Also, the student should have a keen interest in quantitative ecology, including the development of species distribution models and the analysis of camera-trap data. The successful student should be prepared to spend a portion of the summer working at the study site near Fort St. James, British Columbia with a program start date of September 2019. We offer a competitive stipend ($22,000/year for 3 years) and funding to support field and lab activities.

For further information please contact Dr. Chris Johnson, (; 1-250-960-5357;


PhD–Plant phenology and climate change in the high Arctic (University of Guelph).

Full funding support is available for four years for a PhD position in the lab of Dr. Andrew MacDougall – University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. I seek a highly-motivated PhD candidate with a theoretical or empirical background at the MSc or undergraduate level, ideally with a background in plant ecology or plant evolution. The research will explore long-term responses in plant performance (leafing, flowering, senescence) to climate change in the high arctic mountains of northern Scandinavia. The work will be based off a globally unprecedented century-long data set initiated in 1917, tracking seasonal and annual variations in the timing and extent of plant performance for 140+ vascular plant species. The student is expected to generate their own research projects, based on these data and their own interests. The projects can involve field work and/or big data analysis, with ecological and/or evolutionary emphases. The student will be based out of the Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph. The project is coordinated from the Abisko Scientific Research Station (Abisko, Sweden), in collaboration with Umeå University, Queens College -Belfast, and Imperial College – London. The student is encouraged to collaborate with researchers at one or more of these institutions, depending on the research emphases they chose to follow. Please e-mail a brief statement of research interest, your CV, an unofficial transcript, and the names of two academic referees to The position starts fall 2019, or even summer 2019. Preference will be given to Canadian applicants, but the position is open to any suitable candidate.

Department of Integrative Biology
University of Guelph
Abisko Scientific Research Station
Umeå University
Queens College Belfast
Imperial College London




The Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at the University of Toronto is currently recruiting graduate students to begin in May 2019, Sept. 2019, or Jan. 2020. We will be accepting domestic and international PhD students, and domestic MSc students. PhD students starting with a BSc have guaranteed funding for 5 years, including a tuition waiver.

Our graduate students conduct research in both field and lab settings on a variety of organisms, and using a variety of approaches including genomics, bioinformatics, experimentation, modelling and theory. Our department has outstanding faculty with research strengths in several areas including:

  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Population, community, and landscape ecology, including global change ecology
  • Mating systems and life history evolution
  • Conservation and biodiversity
  • Paleobiology
  • Disease ecology and evolution

Interested students should consult the full list of EEB faculty and research topics to identify a prospective supervisor(s):

Application Instructions: Prospective applicants should first contact one or more potential faculty advisors (or co-advisors) and consult the additional application details about EEB admissions on the departmental website:

If one or more professors indicate that they may be willing to support them and their research, applicants should complete the School of Graduate Studies’ online application.

EEB’s graduate students actively engage in all aspects of our community of scholars, including reading/discussion groups, seminars, professional development workshops (e.g., R/Python coding, writing and scientific communication, academic soft skills, career options) and social events (e.g., Darwin Day celebrations, Atwood Colloquium, New Student Welcome and retreat to our field station at the Koffler Scientific Reserve, celebratory Grad Student Appreciation dinner).

The University of Toronto is a leading academic institution in Canada and the world, and our department has with over 60 faculty members, located on three campuses, specializing in ecology and evolution. EEB enjoys strong links with the Royal Ontario Museum, the Centre for Global Change Science, and the School of the Environment. The EEB-affiliated Koffler Scientific Reserve field station is dedicated to ecological and evolutionary research ( EEB also partners with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for access to lab facilities in Algonquin Provincial Park ( and to long-term data sets. Genomics is supported by several high-performance computing resources including SciNet (, bioinformaticians, as well as staff in the Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution and Function.

Toronto is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, one of the most desirable in the world in which to live and study.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous /Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.



Peter M. Kotanen
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Toronto Mississauga

 I am looking for new Ph.D. and M.Sc. students to start work in 2019. My lab studies the ecology of plants and their natural enemies (herbivores and pathogens) in Ontario and elsewhere. Recent work has centred on the effects of insects and soil pathogens on non-native species, and whether damage depends on latitude, population isolation, and other factors. I’m also planning new projects studying factors setting northern range limits of invaders, and investigating herbivore tolerance of invasive species. Information on our research can be found at my home page:

We are a thriving department at a leading research institution, with excellent resources and many opportunities for interaction and collaboration. All graduate students are guaranteed a stable minimum income, currently $26,750 from a variety of sources, which provides for tuition (ca. $8500) and living expenses ($18,250). Additional support is available for research and conference travel. Information on application procedures and our tri-campus graduate program can be found at our grad student website, This year, we are inviting applications for Canadian M.Sc. and Ph.D. candidates and a limited number of foreign Ph.D. positions. Application are now open, and we will begin to review them in January 2019 for start dates in the summer or fall of 2019. Interested students should first contact me via e-mail:

Some recent publications: 

  • Nunes & Kotanen (2018) Does local isolation allow an invasive thistle to escape enemy pressure? Oecologia 188: 139-147.
  • Nunes & Kotanen (2018) Comparative impacts of aboveground and belowground enemies on an invasive thistle. Ecology and Evolution 8: 1430-1440.
  • Fitzpatrick, Gehant, Kotanen, & Johnson (2017) Phylogenetic relatedness, phenotypic similarity, and plant-soil feedbacks. Journal of Ecology 105: 786-800.
  • Anstett, Nunes, Baskett, & Kotanen (2016) Sources of controversy surrounding latitudinal patterns in herbivory and defence. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10: 789-802.
  • Kambo & Kotanen (2014) Latitudinal trends in herbivory and performance of an invasive species, common burdock (Arctium minus). Biological Invasions 16: 101-112.

Peter M. Kotanen
Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6 CANADA

[This notice may be downloaded at]


Graduate position – Ecology and Evolution of Host-parasite Interactions

A graduate research position (PhD) is available in Dr. Lien Luong’s research group ( at the University of Alberta. Students interested in the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases and/or parasite-host interactions are encouraged to apply.

Levels of parasitism vary continuously in nature, with some species shifting along a continuum from benign to pathogenic over ecological and evolutionary time scale. One of our aims is to investigate the ecology and evolution of parasites that express variation in host exploitation strategies, a form of phenotypic plasticity. Facultative parasites present a unique and interesting opportunity for addressing these questions because they regularly shift from free-living to parasitic lifestyles depending on the environmental conditions. The facultative ectoparasitic mite, Macrocheles subbadius feeds and reproduces on highly ephemeral habitats. Mites become parasitic under certain circumstances by attaching to and feeding on Drosophila fruit fly hosts. Our research group also utilizes insect respirometry to investigate the physiological ecology of exposure to and infection by mites and a nematode parasite.

The Department of Biological Sciences at U of A is one of the largest and most scientifically diverse departments of its kind in Canada. We offer research-orientated, thesis-based graduate programs at both the MSc and PhD levels. Study programs are tailored individually to graduate student needs and emphasize interdisciplinary thinking. All students accepted into our MSc program have guaranteed funding for at least 2.3 years and 5 yrs for the PhD program. Teaching training is provided and is mandatory for all students on graduate teaching assistantships. With ~200 graduate students, >65 full-time faculty, excellent support facilities and ample research funding, a vibrant and exciting learning environment is provided. For more information about applying to the graduate program:

To apply, please send a brief explanation of your research experience and interests and a copy of your curriculum vitae to For more information, please contact Dr. Lien Luong (