1 PhD and 3 Msc positions on quantitative genetic and reproductive strategies in natural systems at uOttawa

Multiple graduate student positions (Msc and PhD) available in Julien Martin lab’s at the University of Ottawa (https://juliengamartin.github.io). Enthusiastic graduate students will carry out research on reproductive strategies and life-history trade-offs using a quantitative genetic approach based on several long-term studies including the yellow-bellied marmots project in Colorado (>55 years of data) and the alpine swifts project in Switzerland (>25 years of data). For more details about the projects go to https://juliengamartin.github.io/opportunities/.

Financial support is available for 3 and 2 years for PhD and Msc respectively. Students are expected to complete a minimum of one teaching assistantship per year.

The ideal candidate should have:

– BSc or Msc. in biology.

– A strong interest for statistical analyses and R programming.

– The ability to work alone and in teams.

– The motivation for long field seasons.

Students that are interested should send a writing sample (thesis, paper or scientific article), a CV, a motivation letter, and the contact of two references to Dr. Martin (julien.martin@uottawa.ca). We will continue to consider applications until the position is filled.

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MSc position: Continental-scale morphological variation in long-distance migratory bat species – Memorial University of Newfoundland (Grenfell Campus); deadline is February 7, 2020

Description: Seeking a qualified and enthusiastic candidate to complete an MSc research project investigating variation in skull and skeletal morphology of migratory bats. Data collection will involve taking measurements of bat specimens stored in museum collections. The student will be supervised by Dr. Erin Fraser (Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland in Corner Brook, NL, Canada) with a start date of September 2020. The successful applicant will be based out of Corner Brook, but may have the option of spending some parts of the degree in St. John’s. Occasional short-term travel to various North American museum collections will be required. Western Newfoundland is a beautiful and rugged region of Canada, with abundant opportunities for summer and winter outdoor pursuits, a wide diversity of marine and terrestrial wildlife, challenging hiking trails, and beautiful scenery.

Qualifications: Previous involvement in wildlife and/or morphometrics research are assets. The successful candidate should have a degree in biology, environmental science, or a related field and a minimum 75% average to meet the graduate program requirements. The successful applicant will receive a competitive graduate salary for the duration of their program.
 
To apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three academic references to Erin Fraser at efraser@grenfell.mun.caReview of applications will begin Feb 7, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled. 
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MSc position: Using strontium and stable isotope methods to study annual migrations and lifetime movements of an endangered bat species in Newfoundland, Canada – Memorial University of Newfoundland (Grenfell Campus); deadline is February 7, 2020

Description: We are seeking a qualified and enthusiastic candidate to complete an MSc research project investigating the uses of strontium and stable isotope analyses to learn about the movements of endangered little brown myotis (Myotis lucifugus) in Newfoundland, Canada. The student will be enrolled in the Boreal Ecosystems and Agricultural Science MSc program at the Grenfell Campus of Memorial University of Newfoundland in Corner Brook, NL, Canada with a start date of August/September 2020. The position will be co-supervised by Dr. Erin Fraser and Dr. Vaughan Grimes. The successful applicant will live in Corner Brook and will travel occasionally to St. John’s to complete laboratory work for several weeks at a time. Some field work and bat capture may be required. Western Newfoundland is a beautiful and rugged region of Canada, with abundant opportunities for summer and winter outdoor pursuits, a wide diversity of marine and terrestrial wildlife, challenging hiking trails, and beautiful scenery.

Qualifications: Experience conducting laboratory work and previous involvement in wildlife research are assets. The successful candidate should have a degree in biology, environmental science, or a related field and a minimum 75% average to meet the graduate program requirements. The successful applicant will receive a competitive graduate salary for the duration of their program.

To apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter, CV, and contact information for three academic references to Erin Fraser at efraser@grenfell.mun.caReview of applications will begin Feb 7, 2020 and will continue until the position is filled.  

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Weston Family Conservation Science Fellowship: PhD or MSc Position: Breeding Ecology and Conservation of Grassland Songbirds. Application deadline: February 3, 2020.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s leading private land conservation organization. Since 1962, NCC has helped to conserve 14 million hectares of land across Canada. Research by Weston Family Conservation Science (WFCS) Fellows will support conservation of important natural areas and biological diversity across Canada.

Project Summary

The objective of this project is to establish a long-term study on the ecology of grassland songbirds in the Waterton Park Front Area (just outside of Waterton National Park), Alberta. The student will examine how different grazing regimes or other management actions influence breeding productivity and survival and examine how conditions during other periods of the year affect songbird health. Fieldwork, which will occur from ~ May to July each year, will involve capture and handling of birds, nest finding and monitoring, as well as interacting with a variety of stakeholders. The student will be working with Dr. Nicola Koper (University of Manitoba) and Dr. Ryan Norris (NCC Weston Family Senior Scientist, University of Guelph). They will be based at the University of Manitoba, Natural Resources & Environmental Management program.

Fellowship Details

The Fellowship will begin in September 2020 and consist of up to four years of support with a minimum $15,000 annual stipend. The student will be eligible to apply for a Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship to match the base stipend for a total of $30,000 of support annually. Fellows will also receive $5,000 annually to cover costs associated with an annual Fellows meeting and for select training/development opportunities. The Fellowship funds are not intended for research costs; these costs, including field accommodation, will be covered separately.

As a part of the Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship, the student will spend a portion of their time interning with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. They will have the opportunity to gain experience with activities such as conservation planning, GIS, property stewardship, science communication, or community outreach.

If a Fellow receives another fellowship or scholarship (e.g. NSERC), NCC will only contribute stipend up to a total of $30,000 annually, but the student will still be considered a WFCS Fellow and participate fully in the program.

Fellowship Requirements

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in science or a related field is required. Successful applicants will have a strong, demonstrated interest and knowledge of ecology and conservation. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in banding/ringing/aging passerines, and with additional relevant field experience. Fellowships are open to international students, but preference will be given to Canadian applicants. Applicants must meet the graduate admissions criteria for the University of Manitoba and applicants with a minimum A- average are strongly preferred. A valid driver’s license is required.

How to Apply

We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive program. Individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. If you are interested in the Fellowship, please forward your CV, contact information for three references, unofficial transcripts, and a detailed cover letter indicating “Grassland Songbird Fellowship” in the subject line to samantha.knight@natureconservancy.ca by February 3, 2020. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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Weston Family Conservation Science Fellowship: PhD or MSc Position: Demography of the Endangered Mottled Duskywing. Application deadline: February 3, 2020.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s leading private land conservation organization. Since 1962, NCC has helped to conserve 14 million hectares of land across Canada. Research by Weston Family Conservation Science (WFCS) Fellows will support conservation of important natural areas and biological diversity across Canada.

Project Summary

The objective of the study is to collect data on Mottled Duskywing population size, adult lifespan, dispersal, survival, and response to land management activities. The student will use these data to develop a predictive stage-based matrix population model for this species that will be directly applicable to future recovery decisions, including re-introductions. Field research will involve a mark re-sighting study and surveys from May through July at sites in southern Ontario. Lab research will involve experiments at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory to quantify overwintering survival. The student will be working with Dr. Ryan Norris, NCC’s Weston Family Senior Scientist, and will be based at the University of Guelph (www.norrislab.ca). The student will also collaborate closely with partners from various other organizations.

Fellowship Details

The Fellowship will begin in September 2020 and will consist of up to four years of support with a minimum $15,000 annual stipend. The student will be eligible to apply for a Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship to match the base stipend for a total of $30,000 of funding annually. In addition, Fellows will receive $5,000 annually to cover costs associated with an annual Fellows meeting and for select training/development opportunities. All research costs and field work accommodations for the project will covered separately. If the student is available, they may be hired for 8 weeks in May–July 2020 for project field work.

As a part of the Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship, the student will spend a portion of their time interning with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. They will have the opportunity to gain experience with activities such as conservation planning, GIS, property stewardship, science communication, or community outreach.

If a Fellow receives another fellowship or scholarship (e.g. NSERC), NCC will only contribute stipend up to a total of $30,000 annually but the student will still be considered a WFCS Fellow and participate fully in the program.

Fellowship Requirements

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in science or a related field is required. Successful applicants will have a strong, demonstrated interest and knowledge of ecology and conservation. Prior field experience, preferably on insects, and a strong work ethic, are required. Fellowships are open to international students, but preference will be given to Canadian applicants. Applicants must meet the graduate admissions criteria for the University of Guelph and applicants with a minimum A- average are strongly preferred. A valid driver’s license is required.

How to Apply

We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive program. Individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. If you are interested in the Fellowship, please forward your CV, contact information for three references, unofficial transcripts, and a detailed cover letter indicating “Mottled Duskywing Fellowship” in the subject line to samantha.knight@natureconservancy.ca by February 3, 2020. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

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POSTDOC & PhD POSITIONS – EVOLUTIONARY MITOCHONDRIAL BIOLOGY – UNIVERSITÉ DE MONTRÉAL. Application deadline: February 14, 2020.

A postdoctoral position and a PhD position are available in the laboratory of Dr. Sophie Breton (Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Mitochondrial Biology) at the Université de Montréal (http://labobreton.ca/) to study the role of mitochondria and their genomes in adaptation and speciation processes. The projects take a multidisciplinary approach using epigenetic, genetic, transcriptomic, epigenomic, and biochemical methods in different animal/organismal model systems, including yeasts, bivalves and flatworms.

The postdoc position is available immediately and is renewable annually depending upon progress. The PhD is expected to start in September 2020.

Applicants should have recently obtained a PhD degree (for the postdoc position) and a MSc degree (for the PhD position) in biology, molecular biology, cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, or a related field. The ideal postdoc candidate is expected to be self-motivated, resourceful, with a record of scientific rigor, productivity, and creativity; the ability to work both independently and as part of a team; and a strong publication record. Excellent oral and written communication skills are required. Those with interest and experience in mitochondrial biology, genetics and epigenetics such as DNA methylation are strongly encouraged to apply. Prior experience in Southern, Northern and Western analysis and immunoprecipitation is beneficial. The successful postdoc candidate is expected to design and perform experiments and interpret data independently.

Interested applicants should email a cover letter with the description of research interests and experience, curriculum vitae, and contact information of two references (in pdf format) to s.breton@umontreal.ca before February 14, 2020.

Please note that only those selected for an interview (Skype or telephone) will be contacted.

Sophie Breton, PhD
Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Mitochondrial Biology
Département de Sciences Biologiques
Université de Montréal
Montréal, Canada

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INTERESTED IN GRADUATE RESEARCH ON PTARMIGAN HABITAT ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT IN LABRADOR?

GRADUATE ASSISTANTSHIP (M.Sc.) at Memorial University (St. John’s and Corner Brook, NL, Canada) beginning September 2020 — A M.Sc. graduate assistantship is available to conduct research assessing spatial ecology and habitat use of ptarmigan species in Labrador. Specific goals include developing a clear understanding of ptarmigan winter and summer range, mapping potential habitat for ptarmigan, and predicting potential impacts of climate change on ptarmigan populations and migration. The project will be conducted in collaboration with staff from Nunatsiavut Government, members of local communities of Labrador, and staff from both the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Division and Parks Canada.

The position will be co-supervised by Dr. Ian Warkentin (Memorial University) and Dr. Darroch Whitaker (Parks Canada). There will be an opportunity to participate in field work being carried out by the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife Division, but primary responsibility of the student will be analyses of tracking data.  Strong applicants will have (1) developed statistical skills (experience working with large datasets would be an asset) and (2) experience working with geospatial data and applications such as ARC GIS.  The candidate must meet Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology Program requirements (www.mun.ca/become/graduate/programs/cognitive.php) with a B.Sc. in biology, ecology or relevant field and be eligible for fellowship support (minimum 75% average); stipend of $20,500 plus research funding, with the opportunity to earn more through teaching assistant positions.  Please send (as electronic attachments) a letter of interest, CV and un-official transcripts, and also arrange for three professional/academic references to be sent to DR. IAN WARKENTIN (Email ian.warkentin-at-grenfell.mun.ca). Application review begins 1 February 2020 and continues until the position is filled.

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Multiple graduate positions in honey bee health genomics at York University, Toronto, Canada.

The Zayed lab (http://www.yorku.ca/zayedlab/) in the Department of Biology at York University (Toronto, Canada) is looking for enthusiastic graduate students (PhD or MSc), starting September 2020, to carry out research on a Genome Canada funded project called BeeCSI (beecsi.ca). Our team will develop biomarkers for a large number of stressors, and combinations of stressors, that affect the health of honey bees. This effort will ultimately involve analysis of approximately 3,000 honey bee transcriptomes, proteomes and gut microbiomes in collaboration with a large network of researchers from across Canada including colleagues at UBC, AAFC, University of Manitoba, University of Guelph, and Laval University.

Successful candidates will receive training in genomics, bioinformatics and sociobiology in a very collaborative environment. Additionally, candidates will benefit from interacting with many researchers at YorkU’s Bee Ecology, Evolution and Conservation consortium (BEEc, https://bees.yorku.ca). Together, BEEc includes 10 full time faculty (4 bee biologists, 1 mathematician, 1 engineer, and 4 social scientists), 39 graduate students, 11 post-doctoral fellows, and 4 research assistants and associates.

Toronto is a great city to live and work in; BEEtheNORTH! If you are interested, please send your c.v., contacts for 3 references, and a cover letter to zayed@yorku.ca

Information about applying to graduate school at York University can be found here
https://biology.gradstudies.yorku.ca/apply/

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Ph.D. project : Forecasting the spread of spruce budworm outbreaks

Context

The spruce budworm  (SBW,  Choristoneura fumiferana) is the most important defoliating insect of coniferous stands in North America. In 2017, this insect affected an area of 7 million hectares, more than 12% of Quebec’s boreal forest.

The frequency of SBW outbreaks has changed over the last century, and both their frequency and severity are expected to increase due to climate change. Thus, if we could improve our capacity to forecast which areas will be affected by an ongoing outbreak, the economic (timber loss and growth reduction) and ecological (carbon emissions) impacts of the outbreaks could be partly mitigated.

Objectives and Methodology

This project aims to develop spatiotemporal models of the spread of SBW outbreaks at the scale of Quebec, as a function of the climate and the structure of the forest landscape. Those models will synthesize various sources of data already available (aerial surveys, remote sensing, dendrochronological series). Several advanced approaches to ecological modeling (hierarchical models, machine learning) will be used and the resulting models will be evaluated on their ability to predict the dynamics of an outbreak after being trained on data from the previous outbreak. Access to Compute Canada supercomputers will allow the application of complex models to large datasets.

Keywords: sustainable forest management, climate change, forest ecology, spatial modelling, natural disturbances.

Location: The student will be based at the Forest Research Institute (IRF; https://www.uqat.ca/programmes/irf/) at the Rouyn-Noranda or Amos campus of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and will be co-supervised by Philippe Marchand (https://bit.ly/2DFyGl6) and Miguel Montoro Girona (https://bit.ly/34LfttX). The IRF is dynamic, multicultural and international and provides a quality environment for students to develop their research, with 12 professors and more than 60 graduate students working on very diverse topics such as forest dynamics, silviculture, genetics, biodiversity, ecophysiology and sustainable forest management. IRF students also benefit from professional development resources and opportunities (scholarships, participation in conferences, workshops) offered by the Centre for Forest Research (www.cef-cfr.ca). In addition, the student will be a member of the Chair in Sustainable Forest Management (http://chaireafd.uqat.ca/). As part of this project, the student will also have the option of completing an international internship funded with our collaborators in the United States (Harvard University) or the Netherlands (Wageningen University).

Funding: $21,000 annual scholarship for 3 years.

Preferred qualifications: Master’s in ecology or forestry with an interest in statistics and modelling, OR Master’s in mathematics, statistics, geomatics or informatics, with an interest in their environmental applications in a context of climate change.

Preferred start date: Summer or Fall 2020

Project collaborators: Yves Bergeron (UQAT), Mathieu Bouchard (MFFP), Louis De Grandpré (SCF), Matthew Duveneck (Harvard), Élise Filotas (TÉLUQ), Anouschka Hof (Wageningen), Hubert Morin (UQAC), Pierre Therrien (MFFP).

Are you ready to begin your Ph.D. on this fascinating topic? Send your CV, a cover letter, a transcript and contact information for two references to Philippe Marchand (philippe.marchand@uqat.ca) and Miguel Montoro Girona (miguel.montoro@uqat.ca). Review of applications will start on January 20, 2020 and continue until the position is filled. A professional adventure in the great boreal forest of Abitibi awaits you!

Links :

Abitibi-Témiscamingue Tourism : https://www.abitibi-temiscamingue-tourism.org/

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M.Sc. project: Historical impact of climate on the defoliation of black spruce by the spruce budworm

Context

The spruce budworm  (SBW,  Choristoneura fumiferana) is the most important defoliating insect of coniferous stands in North America. In 2017, this insect affected an area of 7 million hectares, more than 12% of Quebec’s boreal forest.

Black spruce, one of the most abundant and economically important species in the boreal forest, is relatively resistant to SBW outbreaks. However, studies have shown that a warming climate, creating greater synchronicity between the emergence of black spruce buds and SBW larvae, would increase the susceptibility of this species to future outbreaks.

Objectives and Methodology

This project aims to determine the interaction between climate and defoliation caused by SBW on the growth of forest stands in the 20th century throughout Quebec. We will use existing dendrochronological (tree ring measurements) databases  for black spruce and the other SBW-affected species, white spruce and balsam fir, to model their growth as a function of climate in the presence or absence of an outbreak (https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2018.01905). Hierarchical models will allow dendrochronological series to be combined with other sources of information on outbreaks (e.g. aerial surveys since 1968) and produce more accurate maps of the historical progression of SBW activity. Access to Compute Canada supercomputers will allow the application of complex models to large datasets.

Keywords: sustainable forest management, climate change, forest ecology, dendrochronology, natural disturbances.

Location: The student will be based at the Forest Research Institute (IRF; https://www.uqat.ca/programmes/irf/) at the Rouyn-Noranda or Amos campus of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, and will be co-supervised by Philippe Marchand (https://bit.ly/2DFyGl6) and Miguel Montoro Girona (https://bit.ly/34LfttX). The IRF is dynamic, multicultural and international and provides a quality environment for students to develop their research, with 12 professors and more than 60 graduate students working on very diverse topics such as forest dynamics, silviculture, genetics, biodiversity, ecophysiology and sustainable forest management. IRF students also benefit from professional development resources and opportunities (scholarships, participation in conferences, workshops) offered by the Centre for Forest Research (www.cef-cfr.ca). In addition, the student will be a member of the Chair in Sustainable Forest Management (http://chaireafd.uqat.ca/). As part of this project, the student will also have the option of completing an international internship funded with our collaborators in the United States (Harvard University) or the Netherlands (Wageningen University).

Funding: $18,000 annual scholarship for 2 years.

Preferred qualifications: Undergraduate degree in biology, ecology, environmental science or forestry with an interest in statistics, GIS and modelling, OR degree in mathematics, statistics, geomatics or informatics, with an interest in their environmental applications in a context of climate change.

Preferred start date: Summer or Fall 2020

Project collaborators: Yves Bergeron (UQAT), Mathieu Bouchard (MFFP), Louis De Grandpré (SCF), Matthew Duveneck (Harvard), Élise Filotas (TÉLUQ), Anouschka Hof (Wageningen), Hubert Morin (UQAC), Pierre Therrien (MFFP).

Are you ready to begin your Master’s on this fascinating topic? Send your CV, a cover letter, a transcript and contact information for two references to Philippe Marchand (philippe.marchand@uqat.ca) and Miguel Montoro Girona (miguel.montoro@uqat.ca). Review of applications will start on January 20, 2020 and continue until the position is filled. A professional adventure in the great boreal forest of Abitibi awaits you!

Links :

Abitibi-Témiscamingue Tourism : https://www.abitibi-temiscamingue-tourism.org/

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