MSc project on the development of chorus frog monitoring and assessment protocols

In collaboration with Blazing Star Environmental and the Canadian Wildlife Service, we are designing a long-term monitoring program to estimate changes in the distribution of the western chorus frog across its Canadian range. Western Chorus frogs are highly cryptic and are listed as Threatened in Canada, it is therefore essential that robust monitoring protocols be developed to document population status, distribution and trends. The project will involve conducting field surveys and assessing factors affecting species occupancy and detectability in their natural habitat. Ultimately, the project will involve development of protocols for chorus frog monitoring as well as models predicting their habitat suitability and detectability, for broader use in long-term population monitoring.

The funding package includes a competitive stipend as well as coverage of all field-related travel and other expenses. Successful candidates will have a BSc in Biology or related field, familiarity with and quantitative skills in occupancy and habitat modeling, a strong work ethic, and interest in working collaboratively in a large and diverse research group. Additional desirable skills include amphibian field skills and working independently.

To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray (murraylabapplicants@gmail.com). The successful candidate will begin enrolment at Trent University by May (preferably) or September 2019, and we will accept applications until a suitable candidate is found, so apply early. See www.dennismurray.ca for additional information.

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M.Sc. opportunity in forest ecology and modelling

Title: Effect of intra-stand spatial structure on succession dynamics in a mixed boreal forest

Context and project overview: Understanding the succession dynamics of a forest following a major disturbance, such as a fire or harvest, is essential for developing management plans that maintain the forest’s biodiversity and ecosystem functions. In the mixed boreal forests of northwest Québec, this succession follows well-known general patterns, but multiple outcomes are possible depending on stand and landscape-level factors. This project aims to determine to which extent the spatial organization of the different species and age classes at the stand level (i.e. one or a few hectares) affects the long-term composition and productivity of the stand.

This project will use the data from permanent census plots at the Lake Duparquet Research and Teaching Forest (FERLD). The student will simulate stand dynamics with the SORTIE-ND forest model, with initial conditions matching empirical stand structure, and compare the composition and structure of the simulation outputs with that of census plots measured at different times since fire.

Location: The student will be based at the Institut de recherche sur les forêts (IRF) at the Rouyn-Noranda campus of the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue, under the supervision of Philippe Marchand. The IRF offers a dynamic research environment, with 10 faculty members and over 60 graduate students working on a variety of topics with direct applications to sustainable forest management. IRF students also benefit from resources and professional development opportunities offered through the Québec Center for Forest Research (www.cef-cfr.ca).

Financial support: A scholarship of 18 000 $ per year for two years is provided.

Required profile: A good or excellent academic record, an interest in ecology and forestry research, and experience with (or interest in) computer programming for simulations or statistical analyses.

Start date: Fall 2019

To apply: Send a curriculum vitae, a cover letter, an academic transcript and the contact information for two references to Philippe Marchand (philippe.marchand@uqat.ca). The position will be open until filled, with priority given to applications received before March 8, 2019.

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Ph.D. Position Molecular Microbial Ecology

The Heath Research Group at the Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER), University of Windsor is seeking a Ph.D. student to lead a project investigating the microbial communities associated with sediment-water nutrient flux processes. We specifically want to target gene transcription profiles associated with nutrient flux variation across multiple environmental stressors and develop early warning indicators of nutrient flux based on multigene transcriptional profiles. The student would thus be trained in fieldwork, microbial genomics and transcriptomics and advanced bioinformatics. The student will work closely with Industry partners, the Essex Region Conversation Authority and Government laboratories (Environment and Climate Change Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada). GLIER is an internationally recognized interdisciplinary research institute with advanced genomics and microbial infrastructure situated on the shores of the Detroit River.

Requirements: Experience in any of Microbiology, Biochemistry, Chemistry, Environmental Sciences and Computer Science, with an interest in microbial ecology and evolution. Experience in bioinformatics (especially metagenomics and metatranscriptomics), mathematical modeling and/or molecular biology are strong assets but not absolute requirements. Canadian citizens and landed immigrants will be given first consideration. The most important qualifications are strong motivation to learn new things and solve problems and willingness to participate in research expeditions and to pursue research in an interdisciplinary framework.
To apply, please send an email (Subject: Ph.D. student Molecular Microbial Ecology) to Dr. Daniel Heath (dheath@uwindsor.ca) and Dr. Subba Rao Chaganti (chaganti@uwidnsor.ca) with a cover letter describing previous research experience and interests, a C.V., and contact information for two to three references.
Application deadline: open until filled
Start date: ASAP
Location: Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research,

University of Windsor, Windsor, ON, Canada

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PhD Assistantship in Wildlife Biology at the University of Montana

Long-Term Research in Elk Population Dynamics, Migration, and Predator- Prey Dynamics

I am anticipating having one position in Fall 2019 for 1 PhD project focused on long-term research on elk population dynamics in a partially migratory system, elk-bison-wolf dynamics, and wolf-elk predator-prey dynamics. This is part of an NSF-funded Long-term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB). The PhD student will work with long-term datasets on wolves, elk, vegetation and climate change collected in the Ya Ha Tinda ecosystem, Banff National Park, from 2002 to the present. The study area is also the site of a recent Parks Canada Bison re-introduction program<https://www.pc.gc.ca/en/pn-np/ab/banff/info/gestion-management/bison>, so there are opportunities for elk-wolf-bison modeling and empirical analyses working closely with Parks Canada collaborators.  The exact nature of the research focus for this PhD student is intellectually quite open, and would be well-suited to students with spatial, dynamic, and empirical modeling and field skill sets.

The Ya Ha Tinda Elk Project: We have collected long-term data on over 250 individually marked adult female elk, including survival, reproduction, and migration. We have also collected data from over 30 GPS collared wolves since 2002. See http://yahatinda.biology.ualberta.ca for more information about the study area and project. The project is highly collaborative in nature, jointly lead by Dr. Mark Hebblewhite (University of Montana) and Dr. Evelyn Merrill<https://grad.biology.ualberta.ca/merrill/> (University of Alberta) together with Alberta Fish and Wildlife and Parks Canada, Banff National Park. There are opportunities to take courses or be in residence at the University of Alberta, for example.

Qualifications: M.Sc./M.A. in wildlife biology, ecology, conservation biology, or related field; outstanding work ethic; exceptional quantitative skills and motivation; field experience in ungulate or predator ecology preferred; experience with analyses of GPS movement data from animals; demonstrated excellence in oral and written communication and interpersonal skills; demonstrated experience working with wildlife management agencies. Experience with statistical modeling, programming, R, JAGS, GIS analyses, remote sensing, scientific writing, and spatial modeling an asset.

How to apply: send cover letter summarizing interest and relevant experience, resume/CV, unofficial transcripts, GRE scores, and contact information (including phone and email – letters not required at initial screening stage) for 3 references to Dr. Mark Hebblewhite (mark.hebblewhite@umontana.edu<mailto:mark.hebblewhite@umontana.edu>), Wildlife Biology Program, College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT, USA, 59812. See here<http://www.cfc.umt.edu/research/heblab/> for more information about ongoing projects in my lab. The position is anticipated to start, pending funding, in Fall 2019. While the University of Montana Wildlife Biology Program application deadline is Jan 15, 2019, late applications will be considered with review of applications starting February 25, 2019.

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Graduate student positions – integrative ecology of white-footed mice

Graduate-level applications are being accepted for the Functional Ecology lab at the University of Ottawa, Ontario. We study co-adaptations among metabolic, behavioural, performance, and life-history traits using diverse tools ranging from comparative to quantitative genetic approaches. Current openings include field-based projects on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus). Interested students should visit the Functional Ecology lab webpage (see the “join the lab” page) for more information why and how to apply (http://vincentcareau.weebly.com/)

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MSc and PhD Opportunities in Palynology and Paleoecology at the University of Victoria, Canada

I am seeking MSc and PhD students to join my paleoecology lab in the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria (www.uvic.ca/science/biology), starting September 2019. Research in my lab focuses on the ecological dynamics of forests since the last glaciation, wetland succession and peatland carbon accumulation, and the development of paleoecological tools aimed at improving our ability to make inferences about the past.
The available MSc position will focus on investigating morphological differences in fir (Abies spp.) pollen, for application in paleoecological studies. The area of focus for the PhD position is negotiable; PhD students are encouraged to develop their own research projects related to past ecological change. Potential research areas include: long-term forest dynamics including disturbance regimes; the past effects of tephra deposition on plant communities; and, the links between climate, vegetation and carbon accumulation in peatlands. PhD-level research combining paleoecological techniques with neoecological or molecular approaches is also possible.
Research funding and a guaranteed stipend are available. Ideal candidates will have a solid background in plant ecology, palynology, paleoecology or a related discipline, and excellent academic standing. Applicants for the PhD position must have a MSc degree or equivalent experience. Interested applicants are encouraged to send a brief statement of research interests, CV, unofficial university transcripts, and contact information for two academic references to Terri Lacourse (tlacours@uvic.ca).
Information about graduate studies at the University of Victoria can be found at: www.uvic.ca/graduatestudies.
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PhD or MSc POSITION: AQUATIC INVASION ECOLOGY – McGILL UNIVERSITY

The Ricciardi Lab at McGill University (http://redpath-staff.mcgill.ca/ricciardi/) is looking for a graduate student at the MSc or PhD level to investigate how the impacts of non-native freshwater fishes and crayfishes are influenced by climate warming. This is a fully funded position (salary & tuition paid) for 2 years (MSc) to 4 years (PhD).

Our students also have the opportunity to take a unique summer NSERC training program in lake & fluvial ecology (https://oraprdnt.uqtr.uquebec.ca/pls/public/gscw030?owa_no_site=4180) as well as a graduate-level course on Invasion Ecology at McGill.

The candidate will have completed a BSc Honors or MSc degree by Dec 2018, and have independent research experience and field training in aquatic ecology. Owing to funding requirements, we are giving priority to Canadians (or permanent residents in Canada); however, exceptional international candidates will be considered if they are deemed likely to qualify for a major scholarship. Applicants must meet the requirements of the graduate program of the Dept of Biology (http://biology.mcgill.ca/grad/gradstudies.html) to enrol for September 1, but the preferred start date to join the lab (with salary) is July 1 to begin field work.

Strong candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. The position is open until March 1st, or as soon as candidate is chosen. 

Please provide:

1) An up-to-date c.v.

2) University transcripts (a scanned copy or pdf is acceptable)

3) Names and contact information of at least two referees,

4) A short (~1 page) statement of research interests and relevant experience.

Send applications – as a single combined pdf if possible – to Prof. Anthony Ricciardi (tony.ricciardi@mcgill.ca). The student we select must apply to the Biology department by March 15 for admission into the graduate program for September 2019.

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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: www.carlyziter.com.

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 (carly.ziter@concordia.ca) 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.

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PHD POSITION IN ALCID POPULATION MODELING

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.

Qualifications:

  • 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 (hmajor@unb.ca) 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.

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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 pierre-luc.chagnon@umontreal.ca<mailto:pierre-luc.chagnon@umontreal.ca>:

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

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