GRADUATE STUDENT POSITIONS – DEPARTMENT OF ECOLOGY & EVOLUTIONARY BIOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO

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):
http://www.eeb.utoronto.ca/research/areas.htm

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:
http://www.eeb.utoronto.ca/grad/prosp.htm

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 (www.ksr.utoronto.ca). EEB also partners with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for access to lab facilities in Algonquin Provincial Park (www.harkness.ca) and to long-term data sets. Genomics is supported by several high-performance computing resources including SciNet (www.scinethpc.ca), 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.

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GRADUATE POSITIONS IN INVASION ECOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO – APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN

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: www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota.

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, http://www.eeb.utoronto.ca/grad.htm. 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: peter.kotanen@utoronto.ca.

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
e-mail: peter.kotanen@utoronto.ca
www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota

[This notice may be downloaded at http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota/students_wanted_2018.pdf]

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Graduate position – Ecology and Evolution of Host-parasite Interactions

A graduate research position (PhD) is available in Dr. Lien Luong’s research group (https://grad.biology.ualberta.ca/luong/) 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: http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/programs/graduate/prospective/

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

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Graduate Students in Flying Squirrel – Adaptive Genomics

A collaborative research program on inter- and intra-specific characterization of adaptive genes to assess adaptive potential under changing environmental and climate models, disease-spectra, and introgression is seeking PhD students with strong quantitative skills. This project is a partnership between academic and provincial government agencies and builds on a multi-year dataset. Students with interest or experience in conservation genomics, molecular ecology, landscape ecology/genetics and/or bioinformatics will be considered.  Specific projects range from assessing the adaptive differences and hybridization between northern and southern flying squirrels, to characterizing the spatial genetic structure and environmental variables influencing populations within these species. Projects will build on neutral genetic markers and existing transcriptome and whole genomes to expand into genome-wide surveys of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) analyses, functional genes and mitogenomics for larger-scale population genomic profiling. Applicants should submit a CV, a statement of research interests, and the names and contact information for three references.

Please submit applications to:

Dr. Paul J. Wilson
Professor of Forensic Science and Conservation Genomics, Biology Department
Trent University DNA Building
2140 East Bank Drive
Peterborough, ON, K9L 0G2
pawilson@trentu.ca
Website: http://wilsoncrcresearch.ca/

or

Dr. Jeff Bowman
Research Scientist
Wildlife Research & Monitoring Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry
Trent University DNA Building
2140 East Bank Drive
Peterborough, ON, K9L 0G2
jeff.bowman@ontario.ca
http://people.trentu.ca/jebowman

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PhD funding opportunities in Epidemiology and Geo-informatics

Advancing the epidemiological context of emerging infectious disease threats detected by the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN)

(Expected start date: January 2019, may be earlier) 

The Public Health Risk Sciences Division, National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada is offering funding for two three-year PhD positions for PhD candidates enrolled (or expecting to enrol) at universities in Québec or Ontario 

Funding background and project scope: The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has been awarded funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) to begin immediately. The project is focused on developing a suite of advanced analytical tools and incorporating them into GPHIN to enhance its current functionality as a health intelligence surveillance system for Canada and the international community. GPHIN was set up as a global network to detect, identify, assess, prevent and mitigate emerging human health threats. It is the world’s first web-based all-hazard, 24/7 event-based surveillance system using natural language processing and machine learning techniques to scan the internet for open source data. GPHIN successfully provided advanced warning and prospective monitoring of SARS in 2003, H1N1 in 2009, MERS-CoV in 2012-13 and Ebola in 2014-15. The project will focus on enhancing current features and incorporating additional analytical tools into GPHIN.

We require two motivated doctoral researchers with interest and experience in epidemiology, biostatistics and geoanalytics to join a multi-disciplinary team. Our team offers a rich and stimulating work environment. PHAC is the lead organisation with partnership from the Natural Resources Canada, McGill University, Université du Québec à Montréal, and the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre. 

PhD student 1 (to be based in either Toronto or Guelph, Ontario)

This student will focus on: (i) exploring mathematical models capable of estimating and forecasting the intensity of a range of infectious diseases at the start of an outbreak or event; (ii) developing and validating identified models using retrospective GPHIN data; (iii) exploring models capable of estimating the international spread (importation) of diseases; and (iv) developing and validating importation models using retrospective GPHIN data.

Requirements:

  • MSc in a relevant field including Epidemiology, Mathematics, Biostatistics or other Health Science fields (minimum GPA of 3.5)
  • Strong background in quantitative epidemiology; preference will be given to candidates with experience in infectious disease modelling

PhD student 2 (to be based in Quebec)

This student will focus on developing models to identify populations vulnerable to infectious disease threats. Project outcomes include developing tools that can be used by GPHIN to communicate the potential of detected threats to spread, globally and domestically. Statistical models will be developed to assess for associations between emerging threat event/case data and high-resolution data for the environment (climate, landcover, weather or meteorological conditions), human and vector/reservoir populations. Model outcomes will provide an ecologically-informed filter to validate GPHIN-detected events. Data visualisation tools will developed to dynamically communicate model outputs through the GPHIN epidemiological dashboard.

Requirements:

  • MSc in a relevant field include Geo-informatics, Geomatics, Statistics, Ecology, Epidemiology (minimum GPA of 3.5)
  • Strong background in biostatistics and GIS; preference will be given to candidates with experience in geomatic applications, Bayesian disease mapping and/or ecological niche modelling

Terms for both positions:

  • Experience and interest in the field of public health and surveillance systems
  • Proficiency in coding and model development (e.g. R, python)
  • Ability to take initiative, work independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Strong analytical skills, good oral and written communication skills
  • Project management skills
  • Both PhD researchers will work with GPHIN and McGill researchers to incorporate models and outputs as a tool to be incorporated into the GPHIN development environment

Directors: Drs. Erin Rees and Victoria Ng, PHAC

Eligibility: These positions are enacted through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP). The candidate must be enrolled in FSWEP to be eligible.

Funding & Salary: This position is funded for three years with a salary beginning at $25,000. Additional funds are available for training, software licenses and conference/meeting attendance. 

To apply:

Please send a cover letter (one page), CV, latest university transcript, and a list of two references (name and contact details) to: erin.rees@canada.ca and victoria.ng@canada.ca.

Closing date: Position open until filled.

For further details about this opportunity, please contact

Drs. Erin Rees (erin.rees@canada.ca) and Victoria Ng (victoria.ng@canada.ca)

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Graduate studies in Theoretical Ecology or Epidemiology – Memorial University

The Hurford Lab (http://amyhurford.weebly.com/) at Memorial University is recruiting graduate students at both the M.Sc. and Ph.D. levels. Our research group studies population dynamics incorporating temperature effects, animal movement, disease, and evolution. We formulate and test specific hypothesis using mathematical models and parameterize and evaluate our models using data. We analyze mathematical models that are systems of ordinary differential equations, delay differential equations, partial differential equations, integrodifference equations, or optimization problems and these models are applied to a wide variety of systems including green crab, rabies, and salmon lice. Specific research projects may include optimal pest treatment strategies in seasonal environments, temperature effects on population dynamics and movement, explicit models of animal movement and contact rates, or collaborative work deriving models related to laboratory research on antibiotic resistance in Klebsiella. Our research usually involves computer coding and numerical methods and many scripts pertaining to lab research are available here: https://amyhurford.weebly.com/publications.html

A competitive salary will be offered with additional funding available for conference travel. The ideal candidate will have experience deriving and analyzing mathematical models, formulating scientific questions, computer programming, mathematical analysis, and scientific writing, however, all interested candidates are encouraged to apply.

Applicants should email Dr. Amy Hurford (ahurford@mun.ca). This email should include: (i) 1-2 paragraphs describing your research interests and any relevant past experience, (ii) your CV, and (iii) unofficial transcripts pertaining to your previous or ongoing studies (if possible). I will consider applications as they are received. For full consideration applicants should indicate their interest before November 15, 2018, but applications received after this date may be considered.

Memorial University is located in St John’s, Newfoundland, Canada. The city offers many unique experiences with a vibrant arts community, stunning coastline, and proximity to a variety of outdoor activities (hiking, fishing, cross-country skiing, etc: http://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com).

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Graduate student positions in plant evolutionary ecology at the University of Guelph

I am looking for graduate students (MS or PhD) interested in studying (1) the evolution and maintenance of gynodioecy (a breeding system where female and hermaphroditic plants coexist) or (2) the effect of pollinator declines on floral evolution in native wildflowers.

For more information on these projects and my lab, check out:

www.christinamariecaruso.com

Students will have considerable freedom to develop their projects, and could start in either Fall 2019 or Winter 2020.

Interested candidates should email me at carusoc@uoguelph.ca. Please include a statement of interest, CV, and transcript (unofficial is fine). Because of funding restrictions, preference will be given to candidates who are Canadian citizens or landed immigrants.

Christina M. (Chris) Caruso
Associate Professor
Department of Integrative Biology
University of Guelph
Guelph, Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada

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MSc opportunity, rattlesnake road-ecology work in British Columbia

We anticipate an opening for an MSc student continuing work on the road-ecology of a population of Western Rattlesnakes in the Okanagan valley of British Columbia.   We are looking for someone with a genuine, demonstrated interest in animal ecology, rather than solely a fascination with snakes.   We anticipate an early-April start date in the field, although there likely will  be opportunity to do some advanced work (with pay) prior to the spring emergence of snakes.

Inquiries and/or statements of interest from prospective students should be directed to Karl Larsen at Thompson Rivers University.   Following that, an unofficial copy of transcripts along with a Cv (providing references) will be needed.

Karl W. Larsen    klarsen@tru.ca
Professor, wildlife ecology & management
Department of Natural Resource Sciences
Thompson Rivers University

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GRADUATE POSITIONS IN INVASION ECOLOGY

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

I am on sabbatical from July 2018 – June 2019, but will be recruiting several Ph.D. and M.Sc. students to start when I return. 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 a new project studying factors setting northern range limits of invaders. Information on our research can be found at my home page: www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota.

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 http://www.eeb.utoronto.ca/grad.htm. We will be accepting new applications beginning in November 2018, and 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: peter.kotanen@utoronto.ca.

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
tel: 905-828-5365; fax: 905-828-3792
e-mail: peter.kotanen@utoronto.ca
www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota

[This notice may be downloaded at http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota/students_wanted_2018.pdf]

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Ph.D. student needed to study the resilience of trees to drought in the temperate forest

Description:

The selected student will (1) validate the tolerance of different species to drought in stands with different structures and compositions using a dendrochronological approach that investigates responses during the numerous episodes of droughts in recent years and 2) evaluate water harvesting strategies and climate variables that control transpiration in the dominant commercial species in southern Quebec using water tracing and flow measurement techniques.

The student will become a member of the Center for Forest Research (CFR) and will benefit from services in statistics, databases, GIS, etc. The project will be conducted in collaboration with the regional hardwoods forestry agency (mostly on private forest lands), Ouranos (a climate change consortium)and the Ministry of forests, wildlife and parks. The student will be supervised by Professors Daniel Kneeshaw (UQAM) and Daniel Houle (MFFP-Ouranos). The latter will also be the supervisor of the MITACS internship at Ouranos.

Requirements: The candidate must have completed a master’s degree in forestry, biology or another relevant discipline and must have an excellent academic record, good writing skills and good analytical skills. Knowledge in ecophysiology and experience in database management are assets.

Treatment: $ 20 – 21,000 / year or more at the doctoral level (funded by a MITACS project), potential to increase salary through TA ship as well, possibility of recruitment scholarship, internal univerity top-up scholarships. A waiver of foreign student fees for foreign students will also be applied

Duration: 3 years

For more information or to apply:

Daniel Houle: Daniel.Houle@mffp.gouv.qc.ca

Daniel Kneeshaw: kneeshaw.daniel@uqam.ca

 

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