Graduate Research Opportunity, Aquatic Carbon Biogeochemistry in Boreal Aquatic Ecosystems

Start date: Summer – Winter / Spring 2020

Location: Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Several graduate assistantships are available to carry out Master’s or Ph.D. theses in the Aquatic Ecology Group of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). The projects will be associated to the NSERC-funded Chair in Carbon Biogeochemistry in Boreal Aquatic Systems (CarBBAS). The research projects may focus on a wide range of issues related to C biogeochemistry and greenhouse gas dynamics in northern aquatic ecosystems, including lake and river organic carbon dynamics and processing, greenhouse gas dynamics, and ecosystem metabolism; links between aquatic and terrestrial C biogeochemistry and ecosystem function; the role of aquatic ecosystems on regional carbon budgets; greenhouse gas dynamics in hydroelectric reservoirs and the C footprint of hydroelectric power generation. The projects will likely involve a 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, and molecular microbial techniques. The research favors an integrative, network scale perspective of inland waters across the boreal biome of Québec, but comparative work in temperate and subarctic systems in Québec and elsewhere will also be carried out. The candidate will join the highly dynamic, diverse and multidisciplinary team of the NSERC-funded Industrial Research Chair in Carbon Biogeochemistry in Boreal Aquatic Systems (http://www.carbbas.uqam.ca/), which in turn is part of a aquatic group in the Département des sciences biologiques of the UQAM, with collective expertise in nutrient and C biogeochemistry, ecosystem and landscape modeling, population, community and ecosystem ecology, genomics and molecular ecology. The UQÀM is a francophone university, but English is the working language in the group, our students can choose to take courses in our sister universities and can submit their theses in English. Interested students should send a letter of introduction, academic resume, and the names of two references, to Paul del Giorgio (del_giorgio.paul@uqam.ca, 514-7957983). E-mail enquiries and applications are welcome. Starting date: Winter-Spring 2020.

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PhD: Evaluation of the factors affecting tree vulnerability in a context of assisted migration: an approach by key functional traits

Due to climate change, it is anticipated that current tree populations will be exposed to very different environmental conditions from the current conditions. Assisted migration is a potential management strategy, but the planted trees are confronted with more rigorous conditions, especially during their early establishment phase. We have established an experiment in the Quebec mixed forest to better understand vulnerability of trees planted for assisted migration. Nine thousand seedlings of 9 different species and 3 provenances representing current climate, that of 2050 and of 2080, were planted and subject to treatments testing different abiotic and biotic constraints : microclimate, herbivory (exclosures) and vegetation competition. We are seeking a PhD candidate interested in working on this unique site with a team of researchers from Quebec and the United States (USDA). The project includes three dimensions : 1) monitoring of phenological traits; 2) herbivory : evaluation of the risk of predation as a function of species and provenance and 3) functional traits : measure of key traits and their plasticity across species and provenances. The project is supervised by a multi-disciplinary team: Jean-Pierre Tremblay (Jean-Pierre.Tremblay@bio.ulaval.ca) and Alison Munson from Université Laval, and Patricia Raymond from the Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.

We are offering a fellowship of 21000 $/yr for three years. The candidate should have a Masters or MSc in biology or forest sciences (or be completing a degree). We are looking for qualities of autonomy, curiosity, science communication skills (written and oral). Please send your CV, your recent marks, a letter of motivation and a list of 2-3 references who can be contacted, for November 15th, 2019.

Pour en savoir plus : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iTHoc2ZST4

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PhD project on Canada lynx population dynamics at Kluane Lake, Yukon

The Integrative Wildlife Conservation lab at Trent University is initiating a PhD project on lynx population dynamics and foraging ecology near Kluane Lake, Yukon. Our research on lynx and their prey in the Kluane region spans decades, and the current project builds on our recent work assessing the functional response of lynx to different prey types and how such relationships are more complex than previously thought (see Chan et al. 2017, Ecology DOI:10.1002/ecy.1828). Specifically, through lynx GPS telemetry and accelerometry, and assessment of prey distribution and abundance, we aim to understand the mechanisms driving population dynamics of lynx and their primary (snowshoe hare) and secondary (red squirrel) prey species across space and time. We have studied lynx intensively for 4 winters during a period of hare abundance at Kluane, so the ongoing cyclic crash in hare numbers presents a fascinating opportunity to assess variation in lynx foraging behavior and the dynamic drivers of their relationships with prey. This research project likely will extend into largely unexplored realms including lynx foraging ecology in summer and the role of intraspecific competition on the structure of their functional responses. The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop specific research questions within the scope of the larger project.

Successful candidates will have an MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications, strong field and quantitative skills, and an interest in working collaboratively within a large and diverse research group. Additional desirable skills include animal handling, GPS telemetry, remote sensing and GIS analysis, and working in remote field conditions, including during winter.  For additional details, see www.dennismurray.ca and www.ualberta.ca/science/about-us/contact-us/faculty-directory/stan-boutin.

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray (murraylabapplicants@gmail.com).

The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

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PhD project on snowshoe hare movement ecology at Kluane Lake, Yukon

The Integrative Wildlife Conservation lab at Trent University is initiating a PhD project on the movement and habitat dynamics of snowshoe hares at Kluane Lake, Yukon. Snowshoe hares have been studied for >30 years on-site, and we are launching an assessment of the role of food and cover on hare movements and population dynamics. Using GPS telemetry and accelerometry on adult hares, combined with remote sensing technologies identifying structural cover and food patches on the landscape, we will evaluate spatially-explicit hare movement and behaviour in relation to environmental risks (predation) and rewards (nutrition). The work may also involve assessing hare movement ecology in the context of energy landscapes that vary dynamically with accumulation/melt of snow in winter, and the implications of climate change on these dynamics. Our team has worked on hares and their main predators, Canada lynx, for many years at Kluane, so there is already a large dataset available to support the research. Because hare populations at Kluane exhibit 10-year population cycles, this project also presents a unique opportunity to assess the dynamic relationship between population density and individual behaviour. The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop additional research questions within the scope of the broader project.

Successful candidates will have an MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications, strong field and quantitative skills, and an interest in working collaboratively within a large and diverse research group. Additional desirable skills include animal handling, GPS telemetry, remote sensing and GIS analysis, and working in remote field conditions, including during winter.  For additional details, see www.dennismurray.ca.

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray (murraylabapplicants@gmail.com).

The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

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Ph.D. on mycorrhizal networks and symbiotic partner selection, Institut de recherche en biologie végétale, Université de Montréal

Species do not live nor evolve separately in nature. Rather, they form complex networks of interactions. It is believed that some properties of these ecological networks can inform us about community-level dynamics processes such as propensity to local extinction, community productivity or even network collapse. However, these postulates are rarely (if ever) tested experimentally.

The Chagnon lab is recruiting a Ph.D. student to pursue a degree on experimental network ecology, using the arbuscular mycorrhizal symbiosis as a model system. This symbiosis is ecologically and phylogenetically widespread, and believed to be of prime importance for plant net primary productivity, negative density dependence and soil carbon storage. Thus, there is a strong incentive to better understand how resistant and resilient will mycorrhizal networks be to any form of disturbance or environmental pressure or insult. Better understanding how networks assemble along ecological gradients is also key to eventually predict how networks may respond to global climate change.

Interested candidates should :

  • Hold a B.Sc., and ideally a M.Sc. in Biology or Ecology;
  • Be comfortable with R programming;
  • Be autonomous to perform molecular work in the lab (basic work with nucleic acids);
  • Have a valid driving license;
  • Be highly motivated to perform a myriad of parallel, exciting projects!
  • Send a motivation letter and unofficial transcripts to: pierre-luc.chagnon@umontreal.ca.

Position is to be filled as soon as possible.

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MSc and PhD opportunities to study gene regulatory networks and climate change resilient plants at the University of Manitoba

The Wilkins Lab is looking to hire multiple graduate students to join the lab in 2020 (January, May, September). We study the evolution and diversification of gene regulatory networks in agricultural crops and forest trees. Our goal is to characterize the modes of resilience that will allow plants to grow well in future climate conditions. Achieving these goals will require interdisciplinary work that combines wet and dry lab analyses, and large unbiased and small targeted experiments.  Our work is principally in rice, canola and hybrid poplar. In the lab we use functional genomic assays to discover, validate, and manipulate regulatory interactions in plants.

There are multiple projects available in the lab related to the discovery of molecular and physiological mechanisms of drought response in controlled and field conditions and related to high temperature stress response and the circadian clock. There are also several large data sets that we have recently generated which are available for immediate analysis.

I am looking for MSc and PhD students who are eager to work across disciplines (molecular stress physiology, evolutionary and computational biology) and who are interested in the fundamental biology of gene regulation and in applying discovery to application to agriculture and forestry. I am seeking students who are eager to work in productive and respectful environment, and who look forward to actively participating in lab life (journal clubs, mentoring, troubleshooting, fun, etc.).

I am a co-principal investigator on the Genome Editing for Food Security and Environmental Sustainability NSERC CREATE grant (gefses.com) and all lab members would be eligible to participate in this program.

To apply, please email me (olivia.wilkins@umanitoba.caa CV, cover letter, and contact info for two references. Applications will be read until the positions are filled. In your cover letter please include a statement that describes your interests in our lab and research project, as well as your general career goals. I am accepting students for January, May, and September 2020.

About the lab: oliviawilkinslab.com

About Winnipeg. It is really great! https://www.tourismwinnipeg.com/

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Ph.D. student opportunity in eco-evo dynamics of range expansions – University of British Columbia, Vancouver

Williams Lab, Department of Geography & Biodiversity Research Centre

The Williams Lab at UBC is looking for a Ph.D. student to start in Fall 2020. Ongoing research includes projects on (1) eco-evolutionary dynamics of range expansions (including invasive species), (2) plant life history strategies in changing climates, and (3) variation in plant-herbivore interactions across space and time. We take a variety of approaches including experiments in the field and greenhouse and quantitative modeling. The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop his or her own research goals related to the broader lab objectives. I am particularly interested in prospective students who would like to use an empirical approach in the greenhouse or field to evaluate new theory about variability in range expansions.

Competitive applicants will have independent research experience; be motivated to develop or expand on their quantitative skills (statistical or modeling); and will bring curiosity and independence to their research. Ph.D. applicants should have or be working toward an M.Sc. (or have completed independent research that is moving toward publication) and a valid driver’s license.

Students in the group benefit from interacting both with a diverse group of geographers interested in the environment, and with ecologists and evolutionary biologists from across UBC, who are brought together by the Biodiversity Research Centre for classes, seminars and discussion groups. We have ties with the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and land managers at native prairie sites across the Pacific Northwest that can facilitate locating field sites and developing applied angles of research projects.

Applications for Ph.D. students in early January 2020, but I encourage interested students to contact me well beforehand. Please send an email (jennifer.williams@geog.ubc.ca) including a brief statement that describes your research interests, past research experience, and why you are interested in this position, and attach your CV and an unofficial transcript.

Please see the lab website for more information: http://williamslabubc.weebly.com/ and find information about applying to UBC Geography here: http://www.geog.ubc.ca/graduate/. All students admitted to Geography are guaranteed a stable minimum income that comes from a combination of teaching assistantships and UBC fellowships. Outstanding students will be competitive for a UBC Four Year Fellowship or UBC International Doctoral Fellowship and I would be happy to assist Canadian students with their NSERC applications.

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Two MSc Positions in seascape genetics. Applications are due: November 1 2019.

The D’Aloia Lab at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, Canada, invites applications for two graduate positions in seascape genetics. Our lab integrates field studies with molecular ecology and modeling approaches to address questions about the patterns, causes, and consequences of marine larval dispersal. For more information about our ongoing research, please see: www.cassidydaloia.com. We are seeking to fill the following two positions:

MSc 1: This position will explore the intrinsic and extrinsic factors affecting the demography and dispersal of Caribbean coral reef fishes. Quantifying the direct and indirect effects of seascape degradation will be a focal point. The student will receive extensive training in subtidal field work, high throughput genotyping, and seascape genetic analyses. This position begins May 2020 and requires SCUBA diving experience (please detail your experience in your cover letter).

MSc 2: This position will quantify a local connectivity network of waved whelk in the Bay of Fundy using genetic population assignment methods.  This position can begin May or September 2020.  Students without diving experience may elect to focus more on the genetic lab work and data analysis portions of this project. Students can also participate in cold-water scientific diving during one or both years (if so, please indicate your experience with or interest in learning more about cold-water SCUBA diving in your cover letter).

All applicants must have a BSc by the start date. Full stipends are guaranteed for two years.

Lab Info: The D’Aloia Lab is committed to building a diverse and supportive team of marine ecologists. We are looking for students who are self-motivated and have a strong work ethic. The nature of marine field work means that being a team player is essential, so we also strongly value collaboration. Because we collect large observational data sets, quantitative skills will be considered an asset.

Department Info: The Department of Biological Sciences at UNBSJ is a productive and collaborative group with a strength in marine biology. Saint John is a wonderful place to live with great access to the outdoors, a low cost of living, and all the perks of a small but vibrant port city.

To Apply: Please send the following to Dr. Cassidy D’Aloia (cdaloia@unb.ca), preferably as a single PDF: (1) a cover letter identifying the position(s) you would like to be considered for and a brief description of how your research experience and interests relate to these positions; (2) your CV; (3) transcripts (unofficial is ok); and (4) contact information for 2-3 references. A writing sample is also welcome, but optional. Applications are due: November 1 2019.

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M.Sc. project in PLANT COMMUNITY ECOLOGY (Forest edges)

I am looking for an accomplished and motivated M.Sc. student for study on vegetation structure at forest edges. The project would begin in 2020 in the Masters in Applied Science program at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Possible study sites are in Brazil (in the Atlantic Forest near Rio de Janeiro or São Paulo) or in Nova Scotia (e.g., Kejimkujik National Park or Cape Breton). Possible research topics include (but are not limited to): development of forest edges next to regenerating pasture in Brazil, patterns of structural diversity in heterogeneous landscapes, global synthesis of edge influence on vegetation. Methods could include field data collection, spatial pattern analysis, meta-analysis, LiDAR or drone imagery. Results could be linked to conservation, climate change or species at risk.

If you are interested in research on the edge, please contact: Karen Harper, Adjunct Professor, Saint Mary’s University, Karen.Harper@smu.ca

Forest Edge Research Network (FERN), http://karenaharper.com

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MSc or PhD project: Evolutionary ecology of Tree swallows. Application deadline: 11 October 2019.

We are seeking to recruit a student at the MSc or PhD level to join our research team at the Département de biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, starting in January or May 2020.

Our research aims at assessing the effects of environmental heterogeneity on evolutionary-related parameters in a population of Tree swallows (Tachycineta bicolor). The research project of the candidate will thus be developed within this framework. The candidate will participate to a long-term study conducted in southern Québec since 2004 and will benefit from biological data collected on more than 13000 individuals. The candidate will contribute to field work (2-3 months each year) and should ideally have skills in handling birds and a good knowledge of statistical analyses. The Université de Sherbrooke is a French-speaking institution, therefore either some knowledge of French or an interest in learning it is essential.

Interested candidates should send a CV and a cover letter, as well as the contact information of two references before 11 October to:

Dany Garant : Dany.Garant@Usherbrooke.ca

https://labogarant.weebly.com/

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