MSc project: Evolutionary Ecology of Eastern chipmunks

We are seeking to recruit a student at the MSc level to join our research team at Université de Sherbrooke and Bishop’s University, starting in September 2018 or January 2019.

Our research aims at assessing the effects of fluctuating food resources on a population of Eastern chipmunks (Tamias striatus). The research project of the candidate will be developed within this framework, by integrating aspects from genetics, physiology and behaviour. The candidate will participate in a long-term study conducted in southern Québec, near Mansonville, since 2005 and will benefit from biological data collected on several hundred individuals. The candidate will contribute to field work (4 months each year) and should ideally have skills in handling small mammals and a good knowledge of statistical analyses, genetics and evolutionary ecology. 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 10 March 2018 to:

Dany Garant : Dany.Garant@Usherbrooke.ca
Patrick Bergeron: pbergero@ubishops.ca

See also: labogarant.weebly.com for more details on our research.

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MSc and PhD Positions – Genetics of Endangered and Invasive Freshwater Fishes in the Great Lakes Basin. APPLICATION DEADLINE: 31 JANUARY 2018.

Lovejoy Lab
Mandrak Lab
University of Toronto

The Lovejoy and Mandrak labs have two graduate student openings for September 2018. The students will examine the use of genetics in the management of endangered and invasive freshwater fishes.

The MSc student will use genetic methods to examine the structure among, and size of, Endangered Lake Chubsucker (Erimyzon sucetta) populations in Canada.

The PhD student will take a metagenomic approach to identifying fish eggs and larvae from bulk samples. The approach will be used to identify the locations of endangered fish spawning and nursery habitats, to facilitate invasive fish monitoring, and to estimate larval fish production.

Candidates should have genetics laboratory experience and require strong written and oral communication skills, quantitative skills, and other skills relevant to the specific projects. The students will be enrolled in the graduate Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology or Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences and be based at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Students will also have access to the expertise, facilities, and resources of the Fisheries and Oceans Canada Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences, Burlington, Ontario.

Interested students should send a letter of intent, resume, unofficial transcripts, and a writing sample to Nate Lovejoy by January 31, 2018.

Nate Lovejoy
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Toronto Scarborough
lovejoy@utsc.utoronto.ca

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MSc and PhD Positions – Thermal Ecology of Endangered and Invasive Freshwater Fishes in the Great Lakes Basin. Application deadline: 31 January 2018.

Mandrak Lab
University of Toronto

Drake Lab
Fisheries and Oceans Canada

The Mandrak and Drake labs have several graduate student openings for September 2018. The students will examine the potential influence of climate change on endangered and invasive freshwater fishes.

To evaluate the variation in the susceptibility of endangered fishes to increasing water temperatures, MSc1 will conduct CTMax experiments in the field on endangered fishes to determine thermal tolerances across populations. MSc2 will examine the influence of climate change on the risk assessment of potential freshwater fish invaders. The PhD student will develop temperature-dependent recruitment models for Asian carps and other invasive species to estimate the timing of key life-history processes current and future climates.

Candidates should have a sound knowledge of fish and invasion or conservation biology and require strong written and oral communication skills, quantitative skills, and other skills relevant to the specific projects (e.g. lab skills for MSc1, modeling skills for PhD).

The students will be enrolled in the graduate Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology or Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences and be based at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Students will also have access to the expertise, facilities, and resources of the Drake lab at the Great Lakes Laboratory for Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences in Burlington, Ontario.

Interested students should send a letter of intent, resume, unofficial transcripts, and a writing sample to Nick Mandrak by January 31, 2018.

Nick Mandrak
Department of Biological Sciences
University of Toronto Scarborough
nicholas.mandrak@utoronto.ca

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Graduate student project on Broad-banded Forestsnail ecology

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

Supervisor: Dennis Murray (Lab webpage: http://www.dennismurray.ca)

The Integrative Wildlife Conservation (Murray) lab at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, is offering a project (PhD or MSc) on Broad-banded Forestsnail ecology. The only known extant populations of Broad-banded Forestsnails in Canada are on Pelee Island and at Point Pelee National Park, and baseline biological and ecological data are currently deficient. This project will fill major knowledge gaps on the Broad-banded Forestsnail, including population sizes, demographics, life-history traits, using capture-mark-recapture methods across annual surveys. The project will also characterize habitat requirements, model habitat availability across southern Ontario, assess the threats posed by predation, and perform a comprehensive population viability analysis to predict the likelihood of species persistence in Ontario. Students 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 PhD candidates will have an MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or a related field, and demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications. All applicants (MSc or PhD) must have strong field skills and/or modelling experience, and an interest in working collaboratively as part of a larger group. The 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, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray (dennislmurray@gmail.com). Application deadline is Feb 16th, but review of applications will begin immediately and continue until suitable candidates are found. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

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PhD project on the design and analysis of long-term ecological monitoring studies

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

Supervisor: Dennis Murray (Lab webpage: http://www.dennismurray.ca)

We are seeking a PhD student to assess the statistical limitations and biological inference of contemporary long-term ecological monitoring study designs and datasets, to help reveal the extent that existing approaches may be limited in guiding wildlife conservation programs or documenting broader patterns of environmental change. Currently, few robust long-term datasets of wildlife abundance exist, and there is the need to evaluate both the optimal design of long-term monitoring studies and the reliability of surrogate datasets (e.g., harvest statistics, habitat loss timeseries) in population analysis. Indeed, our previous work on carnivores and waterfowl (e.g., Murray et al. 2010, Ecology 91: 571-581; Murray et al. 2008 J. Wildl. Manage. 72: 1463-1472) revealed shortcomings that call into question the broader utility of existing approaches in population analysis and management. Through timeseries analysis, statistical power analysis, and simulation modeling, the project will address questions such as: 1) population timeseries attributes that are needed to reliably detect a numerical decline or increase; 2) the most robust statistical methods for assessing cyclicity and attenuation in fluctuating animal populations; 3) optimal design of wildlife surveys in heterogenous and changing landscapes; and 4) forecasting population viability using limited or biased data. The student will have the opportunity to develop specific research questions within the scope of the larger project, and our lab-based model system (i.e., Chlamydomonas, see Borlestean et al. 2015 Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00037) is available to test specific model predictions in an empirical context.

The funding package includes a competitive stipend, foreign tuition waiver (if the student is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident) as well as coverage of all research/travel expenses. The successful candidate will have an MSc degree in Ecology, Mathematics, Statistics, or related field, evidence of peer-reviewed publications, and very strong quantitative skills. The 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 (dennislmurray@gmail.com). Application deadline is Feb 16th, but review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

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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 (dennislmurray@gmail.com). Application deadline is Feb 16th, but review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

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Graduate student project on amphibian ecology

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

Supervisor: Dennis Murray (Lab webpage: http://www.dennismurray.ca)

We have a project available for a graduate student (PhD or MSc) to assess responses of amphibians to environmental stressors (e.g., pathogens, contaminants, food limitation, predation risk), exploring the heritability and plasticity of traits within and across generations and life stages. Our recent investigations in this area highlight the opportunity to test fundamental questions in stress ecology, evolutionary biology, and conservation biology via experimental, field and molecular techniques. The 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 PhD candidates will have an MSc in Biology, Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, and demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications. All applicants must have strong quantitative, laboratory and/or field skills, and an interest in working collaboratively as part of a larger group. The 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 (dennislmurray@gmail.com) Application deadline is Feb 16th, but review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

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PhD project on boreal forest responses to climate change

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

Supervisor: Dennis Murray (Lab webpage: http://www.dennismurray.ca)

The Integrative Wildlife Conservation (Murray) lab at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, is offering a PhD project to assess responses to climate change among native species in Canada’s boreal forest. The boreal forest comprises Canada’s largest biome but its state is rapidly deteriorating, including due to climate change. Our recent findings (Row et al. 2012 Glob. Chan. Biol doi:10.1111/gcb.12526; Murray et al. 2017 PLoS (ONE) 12(5) e0176706) forecast dire consequences to the boreal forest especially in the boundary region between Ontario-Quebec where disjunct east-west populations of native plants, birds, and mammals, and extensive loss of native biodiversity, likely will arise. Through field sampling, species distribution modeling, population viability analysis, and/or landscape genetics and adaptive genomics, the PhD student will determine: 1) the current and potential future extent of change in boreal species in the Ontario-Quebec region relative to less-impacted areas; 2) how boreal breakdown may affect population processes and viability of native species in the region; 3) whether invasives are colonizing the region disproportionately quickly compared to other regions; and 4) if native or invasive species in the region demonstrate genome-level evidence of stress or adaptation to environmental change. 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, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references, to: Dennis Murray (dennislmurray@gmail.com). Application deadline is Feb 16th, but review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

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MSc or PhD project on the design optimization for private protected areas

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

Supervisor: Dennis Murray (Lab webpage: http://www.dennismurray.ca)

We are seeking an MSc student to develop a robust and universal strategy for selecting private land parcels for conservation. Using a variety of GIS tools, we will develop models for quantifying the conservation value of individual land parcels based on natural characteristics, anthropogenic effects, zoning, and connectivity, and assess their application using the highly fragmented southern Ontario landscape as test case. The models will be further tested across a range of restrictions to ultimately provide a set of general guidelines to assist NGOs in optimizing their choice of land parcels for protection. Ultimately, we aim to optimize procedures for designing protected areas networks across southern Ontario and beyond. If the position is filled by a PhD candidate, there will be additional opportunity to tailor 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 as coverage of all research/travel expenses. The successful candidate will have a BSc or MSc degree in Biology, Ecology, Geography, or related field, with GIS experience and an understanding of basic principles in design of protected areas. PhD candidates must demonstrate evidence of peer-reviewed publication. The 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 (dennislmurray@gmail.com). Application deadline is Feb 16th, but review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is found. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

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MSc project on Ambystoma salamander kin selection and aggression

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

Supervisor: Dennis Murray (Lab webpage: http://www.dennismurray.ca)

The Integrative Wildlife Conservation (Murray) lab at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, is seeking an MSc student to investigate kin selection in unisexual Ambystoma salamanders. This system provides unprecedented means to test kin selection theory because relatedness can range up to 100% (even among larvae born from different mothers), and there are well characterized means to experimentally manipulate the costs and benefits of kin-directed aggression. Specifically, the student will design and implement lab experiments using salamander larvae and may evaluate one of the following questions: 1) How do larvae respond to their ploidy-elevated kin?, 2) To what extent is conspecific aggression influenced by food availability and conspecific density?, 3) Does predator exposure modulate conspecific aggression among kin and non-kin? 4) How does relatedness affect cannibalistic behaviour of larvae? Students will have the opportunity to develop specific research questions within the scope of the larger project.

The funding package includes a competitive stipend, as well coverage of all research expenses. Successful applicants will have a BSc in Biology, or a related field, and demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications. Applicants should have some statistical training and an interest in working collaboratively as part of a larger group. The 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, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray (dennislmurray@gmail.com). Application deadline is Feb 16th, but review of applications will begin immediately and continue until suitable candidates are found. Applicants are strongly encouraged to apply early.

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