PhD position available to study spatial ecology of bumble bee pollinators of blueberry in Canada

We are seeking a graduate student to begin work on a PhD in January 2018, to join the labs of Paul Galpern and Ralph Cartar at the University of Calgary, in a biology department with considerable expertise in pollination and pollinator ecology, and beneficial insects.

The funded research will involve landscape-scale study of wild-nesting bumble bee pollinators of blueberries in the Fraser Valley, British Columbia.  It will examine landscape context, off-crop foraging alternatives, distance-based foraging, foraging competitors, and reproductive success of bumble bee colonies in the context of wild bumble bees providing ecosystem pollination services to blueberry crops.  The project will involve an integration of landscape ecology, behavioural ecology, and chemical ecology, and will span basic and applied ecology.

Applications are welcome immediately, and selection of a candidate will likely happen before 31 October 2017. Canadian applicants already holding an MSc would best fit the short timeline for entry into the program by January 2018. Salary stipend is $23,000 per year, some of which would obtain from TAing a course in the Fall term.

To apply, please email a statement of interest, a CV, and the names of 3 referees to:  Paul Galpern <paul.galpern@ucalgary.ca> or Ralph Cartar <cartar@ucalgary.ca>

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M.Sc. Opportunity: Incorporating Indigenous Knowledge in Moose Ecology

Description

Moose populations in North America are starting to decline with reasons not well understood. Moose are the primary source of protein for many Indigenous groups and preserving this species is not only important in terms of food acquisition and sustaining ecological integrity, but essential for securing traditional ways of life and cultural values associated with this species. An M.Sc. student will investigate the demographics of declining moose populations in Ontario with a focus on integrating Indigenous Knowledge with western science techniques. The M.Sc. candidate will be based out of Laurentian University and will collaborate with Dr. Jesse Popp, Dr. Frank Mallory, the Anishinabek/Ontario Fisheries Resource Centre, and Indigenous communities within the Anishinabek Nation.

Qualifications

Competitive candidates will have completed a Bachelor’s degree in Wildlife Ecology, Zoology, or a related field with a grade average of 70% or higher. Previous experience in large mammal ecology is desirable, but not essential. Experience in Indigenous cultural settings considered an asset.

Anticipated Start Date

January 2018

Stipend

~$17,000 per year (funding pending)

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter, c.v., and a list of 3 references electronically to: Dr. Jesse N. Popp, Adjunct Professor, Department of Biology, Laurentian University, 935 Ramsey Lake Rd., Sudbury, ON. P3E 2C6, jpopp@laurentian.ca

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Ph.D. positions, Biology Department at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. Application deadline: Oct 27, 2017.

The Swanson Lab is recruiting two PhD students for exciting, multi-disciplinary work in Canada’s north. Students should have a BSc or MSc degree in aquatic ecology, fisheries ecology, or a related field, and be independent, self-motivated. A strong work ethic is required. These projects would be based out of the Biology Department at the University of Waterloo, in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

Graduate Project #1: Arctic fish ecology and contaminant accumulation

Northern Water Futures (Dehcho Region, NWT)

This project will assess interactions of life history, trophic ecology, and mercury concentrations in northern fishes used in subsistence and commercial fisheries. Both field work in the north, as well as lab work will be required for this project. The student will examine fish movements (telemetry) by tagging live fish with acoustic tags. The health and life history of fish will be examined by collecting tissue and bone samples to examine chemical tracers (stable isotopes). The student will also be trained in science communication skills, such that they can successfully present their work to multiple stakeholders, including Indigenous peoples.

Graduate Project #2: Arctic fish genetics and habitat use

Coastal Restoration Fund-Fisheries and Ocean Canada (Kugluktuk, NU)

Isostatic rebound and climate change are affecting the ability of anadromous fishes, such as the SARA-listed (“special concern”) species Dolly Varden Char (Salvelinus malma malma) and Arctic Char (Salvelinus alpinus) to successfully migrate between spawning, rearing, and overwintering habitats in coastal freshwater systems and summer feeding habitats at sea; low flows in migratory streams can result in fish stranding, and subsequent declines in productivity of fisheries. The student will use genetic samples to identify if the fish in these streams are only Arctic Char, or if SARA-listed Dolly Varden are also present. The student will also use chemical tracers or radio tags to examine fish movement in coastal streams.

Experience desired: BSc in biology, MSc preferred. Valid Canadian driver’s licence. Students should have taken undergraduate courses in statistics/experimental design. Experience in aquatic sample collection, ecotoxicology, use of field multi-meters, stable isotope analysis, mercury analysis, and/or otolith microchemistry would be considered assets.

These projects will involve rewarding field experiences in remote northern communities in Canada. Students would ideally have some experience in travel, backwoods camping, hiking, fishing, operating boats with small outboard motors, driving large trucks with trailers. If you lack this experience, then a good attitude, and the ability/desire to learn these skills will be required.

Interested students should send a CV to Dr. Heidi Swanson by Oct 27, 2017.

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Project with M.Sc. Scholarship Functional – Assemblage of vascular and bryophyte plants in arctic tundra, Bylot Island (Nunavut)

Arctic plants experience among the most extreme climatic conditions on Earth. Locally they are also subject to a diversity of resource availability and perturbation gradients, including strong grazing intensity with the large population of Great Snow Geese reported in Bylot Island. How do plants respond to this set of environmental conditions? Do vascular plants respond in a similar way than bryophytes? Can we apply the same response laws for these two major plant groups?

The objective of the student will be to quantify the functional assembling of arctic tundra communities in response to a gradient of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization coupled with a contrast of grazing pressure (Snow Goose exclosure), which had been set up 16 years ago. A comparative approach will be used by measuring on both vascular plants and bryophytes the plant functional traits that characterize their strategies to survive, grow and reproduce in such harsh environments.

We are looking for a candidate passionate about botany, northern and community ecology. The student will work with a team of ecologists from the Universities of Laval and Quebec in Trois-Rivières, under the supervision of Line Rochefort (site web) and Vincent Maire (site web). The work will take place both in the field at a remote area site in the Arctic (Bylot Island) as well as in the laboratory. She or he may be based at U. Laval or UQTR with stays at the co-supervisor university, and will be affiliated with the Research Center for Northern Studies.

This is a fully funded position with an annual stipend of $15,000 CAD per year (for two years). Candidates who already have a major scholarship (eg NSERC, FQRNT) or who will obtain it during the Master’s degree will receive additional profits. Teaching opportunities can be proposed according to the interest and expertise of the student. The student will ideally start in the winter of 2018 but with an opportunity to start in the summer of 2018.

If you are interested in this offer, send to line.rochefort@fsaa.ulaval.ca and vincent.maire@uqtr.ca, by December 1, 2018: (1) your CV, (2) an unofficial transcript of marks (3) a short description of your research interests and your career plan, and (4) the names and email addresses of 3 people who can provide an assessment of your ability to do a master degree in research. Preference will be given to Canadian students and permanent residents. Applications may be accepted after December 1 if the position is not filled.

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M.Sc. in Theoretical Epidemiology –  Memorial University of Newfoundland

The Hurford (http://amyhurford.weebly.com/) and Tahlan (http://www.faculty.mun.ca/ktahlan/index.php) laboratories at Memorial University (Canada) are recruiting 1 M.Sc. student to design and perform experiments, and to develop models and analyze data for a host-parasite model system. The experimental system involves Klebsiella sp. infection of nematodes. The theoretical models used to describe this system will consider coinfection and disease-induced mortality for different Klebsiella strains.

A competitive salary will be offered with additional funding available for conference travel. The ideal candidate will have experience deriving mathematical models, and epidemiological models in particular, and experience simulating and fitting these models to data. An interest in microbiology is necessary and previous experience in microbiology is an asset, 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 October 31, 2017, but applications received after this date may be considered. Applicants should be able to begin their studies in May or September, 2018.

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 Positions in Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology

Funding is available for PhD or MSc students in the Morand-Ferron lab, University Research Chair in Cognitive Ecology.

Research on cognitive processes has historically targeted mechanistic questions via neurosciences and psychology, leaving evolutionary considerations mostly unexamined. As a consequence we still do not understand why cognitive abilities vary so drastically between or within-species, or the consequences this variation has on cultural and biological evolution. The graduate projects will seek to: (i) quantify variation in cognitive abilities, i.e. learning, memory, social information use; (ii) examine sources of variation in cognitive performance, including heritability, the developmental environment, and the ecological and social context of tests; and (iii) examine consequences of this variation on life-history traits and fitness.

Cognition, behaviour and winter survival in wild black-capped chickadees, Poecile atricapillus, along an urbanization gradient:
Chickadees form small social groups during the non-breeding season and stay on a common home range throughout winter. This project will investigate the causes and consequences of sociality during the non-breeding season, and examine links between social information use, sociability, leadership, dominance and overwinter survival in wild chickadees. Moreover the project will quantify variation between flocks along an established series of field sites that extends from urban parks in Ottawa to neighbouring rural areas.

Evolutionary ecology of spatial cognition in crickets Gryllus spp.
Crickets have been suggested to use spatial memory of landmarks around their burrow to navigate their environment. This project aims to investigate spatial cognition in males and females crickets, determine the heritability of related traits, and the effect of various ecological conditions during development via controlled experiments in the lab, with a possibility for accompanying field experiments.

Cognition and personality in a colony of zebra finches Taenopygia guttata
Zebra finches allow examining research questions on the development of cognition and correlated traits, and provide opportunities to conduct long-term experiments on individual and social information use and learning.

To apply: Send a short cover letter, resume, and latest unofficial transcript to jmf@uottawa.ca

Selected candidates will be guaranteed a paid position of 20 000$CAD per year (4 years for PhD, 2 years for MSc). Canadian applicants with >80% CGPA in their last two years of studies automatically obtain a UO scholarship covering tuition fees for the duration of their studies, and are expected to apply for NSERC and OGS scholarships. International graduate students are eligible to a partial scholarship from UO that covers the difference between international and Canadian fees; applicants from French-speaking countries or institutions pay their tuition fees at the level of Canadian citizens (approx. 8000$/year). Ideal candidates would have research experience in cognitive or behavioural ecology; applicants for a PhD position are expected to also have experience with scientific writing.

Dr Julie Morand-Ferron
Associate Professor and University Research Chair in Cognitive Ecology
Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Canada
http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca/jmorandf

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MSc position: Ecology and conservation of monarchs using the strontium isotope geolocation tool. Application deadline: November 15th 2017.

Clement P. Bataille (University of Ottawa) is seeking a graduate student to join his research group beginning April 2018 to develop a new isotopic tool to study the ecology of monarchs

The project will involve a combination of experimental, analytical and numerical work to develop a novel isotopic tool to constrain the birthplaces of origin of monarchs that overwinter in Mexico. Monarch numbers have decreased rapidly in the last few decades, and the outcomes of this project will help develop new management strategies to protect habitats and conserve the species.

Location: The home department for the selected student will be the department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Ottawa but the student will be co-advised by Tyler Flockhart (UMCES).

Field research will involve collecting plants and soils across the United States and Canada (Summer) and managing a team of volunteers.

Qualifications: Successful applicants will have a strong interest in and knowledge of ecology, conservation, geology, and geochemistry. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in science with excellent academic standing and a valid driver license. Experience in field sampling, geology, clean laboratory isotope geochemistry and proficiency in GIS methods (ArcGIS, or R) will be an advantage. Domestic (Canadian) applicants and/or students eligible for international tuition waiver at University of Ottawa are preferred.

Contact information: Interested individuals should contact Clement Bataille (cbataill@uottawa.ca) & Tyler Flockhart (tyler.flockhart@umces.edu). Please include your CV, list of references, and unofficial transcripts in a single pdf. Applications sent by November 15th will be given full consideration.

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PHD POSITIONS IN AVIAN GENOMICS, SPECIATION, AND COMPARATIVE PHYLOGEOGRAPHY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

Multiple Ph.D. positions are available in the Weir Lab (http://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/~jweir/) for students with bioinformatic, genomic, or field skills. Our lab uses genomic and comparative methods to address broad scale questions related to speciation and the pace of evolution in tropical versus temperate faunas.

Ph.D. student positions are available for:

1) Genomic analyses of avian hybrid zones in Amazonian or Canadian birds.

2) Genomic analysis of reproductive isolation in a recently discovered avian hybrid species from the Amazon.

3) Conservation genomics and phylogeography of New Zealand kiwi.

4) Comparative phylogeography and population genomics across multiple co-distributed avian species complexes to better understand biogeographic drivers of diversification in boreal or Amazonian regions.

The positions would begin in September 2018 and would involve field work (collecting genetic samples in the Amazon of Peru or Brazil), lab work (generating genetic data sets using next generation sequencing methods that sample broadly across the genome), and bioinformatic analyses (mining genomic data).

In addition, students can pursue graduate projects in any of the key research areas of the lab and exceptional students may wish to pursue their own projects.

Students would be enrolled in the Graduate program of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. If interested, please send Dr. Jason Weir (jason.weir at utoronto.ca) a statement of interest, a CV and an electronic copy of your transcripts. External sources of funding (e.g. fellowships) are generally required for international students (many Latin American countries as well as the EU and USA offer these).

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PhD project on amphibian disease ecology

Institution: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (www.trentu.ca)

Co-supervisors: Dennis Murray (http://www.dennismurray.ca); David Lesbarreres (http://gearg.jimdo.com/people/head/)

We are initiating a PhD project to assess responses of amphibians to chytrid and/or frog virus #3 (i.e., ranavirus) infection. These pathogens are contributing to the global decline in amphibians, and there is increasing concern over their effect on larval amphibians either across strains of the pathogens themselves (which are known to have different levels of virulence), or through synergistic interactions with other environmental stressors (e.g., contaminants, food limitation, predation risk). Our recent investigations in this area highlight the opportunity to test fundamental questions in disease ecology, host-parasite coevolution, and conservation biology via experimental, field and molecular techniques. The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop specific research questions within the scope of the larger project.

The funding package includes a competitive stipend, foreign tuition waiver (if the student is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident) as well coverage of all research expenses. Successful candidates will have an MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications, strong quantitative, genetics, and/or field skills, and an interest in working collaboratively as part of a larger group. The PhD student will join the Integrative Wildlife Conservation laboratory at Trent University (www.dennismurray.ca) and be part of an interdisciplinary team addressing innovative solutions to environmental change (www.create-enviro.ca).

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references, to: Dennis Murray (dennismurray@trentu.ca) and David Lesbarreres (dlesbarreres@laurentian.ca). The successful candidate will begin enrolment at Trent University by January or May 2018, and we will accept applications until a suitable candidate is found, so apply early.

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Graduate Research Opportunity, Lake Carbon Biogeochemistry and Metabolism

Start date: Winter – Spring 2018

Location: Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

A graduate assistantship is available to carry out either a Master’s or Ph.D. thesis in the Aquatic Ecology Group of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). The project will be associated to the NSERC-funded L-CARE (Landscape Carbon Accumulation Through Reductions in Emissions) Project, to the UNESCO Chair in Global Environmental Change (www.ceeg.uqam.ca), and to the Industrial Research Chair in Carbon Biogeochemistry in Boreal Aquatic Systems (CarBBAS, http://www.carbbas.uqam.ca/). The research project will focus on linking lake greenhouse gas emissions, organic C dynamics and ecosystem metabolism to watershed features, and to determine the role of lakes ecosystems in the regional carbon budgets across the boreal regions of Northern Ontario and Québec. The project will involve the combination of approaches, including in situ point and continuous gas, chemical and physical measurements, optical, isotopic and chemical characterization of organic matter, a wide range of process measurements, GIS and landscape modeling measurements. Applicants interested in limnology, aquatic C biogeochemistry, and ecosystem and landscape ecology are encouraged to apply. Our students are part of a highly dynamic, diverse and multidisciplinary aquatic group in the Département des sciences biologiques of the UQÀM, with expertise ranging from nutrient and C biogeochemistry, modeling, to plankton and fish ecology. The UQÀM is a francophone university, but graduate students have a choice of courses and can submit their theses in English. Interested students should send a letter of introduction, academic resume, and the names of two references, to Yves Prairie (prairie.yves@uqam.ca) or Paul del Giorgio (del_giorgio.paul@uqam.ca). E-mail enquiries and applications are welcome. Starting date: Winter – Spring 2018.

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