M.Sc. or Ph.D position in fungal functional diversity

Ectomycorrhizal (ECM) fungi operate crucial functions in terrestrial ecosystems, contributing to nutrient cycling, soil C storage and altering plant net primary productivity. Yet, we still lack a sound understanding of their functional diversity, and how this diversity is distributed across taxonomic and spatial scales in natural landscapes. The aims of the currently available project are to (1) better appreciate intraspecific trait diversity in ECM fungi, (2) determine how the abiotic environment filters ECM fungal traits and (3) look at plant ECM fungal trait selection. As such, this project will involve a rich mixture of practice and theory in community assembly, ecological niches, evolution of cooperation and partner selection. The project will be held at Université de Montréal, in the Station de Biologie des Laurentides. This field station is extremely well suited for this project, with a heterogeneous and precisely mapped landscape of various ECM host plants, which offer a great opportunity to look at ECM community filtering. We are looking for a motivated student with (1) excellent academic record, (2) demonstrated potential for autonomy and (3) sound understanding of mycorrhizal symbioses and community ecology. The student should begin by January 2019, or May 2019 at the latest. Interested candidates should send their CV (with references) and a motivation letter to pierre-luc.chagnon@umontreal.ca<mailto:pierre-luc.chagnon@umontreal.ca>.


Ph.D. Assistantship studying movement ecology of reintroduced bison in Banff National Park

The Merkle Research Group in collaboration with Banff National Park is looking for a highly motivated, creative, and quantitative Ph.D. student to lead a field-based project studying the movements of reintroduced bison in Banff National Park. Although the successful applicant will be admitted through the Program in Ecology at the University of Wyoming and will be based in Laramie, Wyoming (USA), all field work will be conducted in Banff National Park (Canada).

The goals of the research project will be to make fundamental contributions to the field of movement ecology while also providing reliable knowledge to manage and conserve bison. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to shape the specific research questions within the following topics: 1) home range formation by bison in a novel environment; 2) the influence of prescribed burns, hazing, and containment fencing on bison movement; and iii) the influence of social status and sociality on space use of bison.

Candidates must have a B.S. and preferably a M.S. degree in Ecology, Biology, Wildlife, or related fields. Applicants must have an excellent undergraduate GPA and competitive GRE scores. Applicants must also have a demonstrated ability to work independently and with a team in harsh field conditions. Field work will require backpacking and hiking off trail in stochastic field conditions at high elevations in sometimes extremely steep terrain. Applicants with experience managing and analyzing large datasets (including remote sensing data) in program R or Python, and publishing research will be favored. Successful applicants will be expected to participate in a team environment, work closely with a large field crew, present results at professional conferences, and publish results in a timely manner in peer-reviewed scientific outlets.

A competitive graduate assistantship will be provided, which includes annual stipend, tuition, and benefits. To apply, please email a SINGLE PDF file that includes 1) a cover letter outlining field and quantitative experience and interest in studying animal movement, 2) a CV, 3) unofficial GRE score sheet, 4) contact information for three references, and 5) transcripts to Jerod Merkle (jmerkle@uwyo.edu) and Jesse Whittington (jesse.whittington@canada.ca). Review of applicants will begin 25 February 2019. The successful applicant will start in autumn 2019.


Graduate Opportunity (PhD) Habitat and Foraging Ecology of Moose across Disturbed Landscapes

We are recruiting a PhD student to investigate the habitat and foraging ecology of moose across central British Columbia, Canada. The work will focus on the response of moose to broad-scale and rapid salvage harvest of lodgepole pine. The study will be conducted in the John Prince Research Forest (http://www.jprf.ca/research/post/moose-habitat-selection-movement-ecology-and-survival) where there has been stable levels of forest harvest and the surrounding landscape that has been the focus of salvage harvest.

There is considerable flexibility in research question and design, but we anticipate methods that potentially employ field-based analyses of recently deployed high-frequency GPS collars, 4 years of broader-scale GPScollar data, and 3 years of camera-trap data. The study area has Lidar derived forest/cover attributes and there is an effort to monitor wolves. We expect the dissertation to have an applied focus, with application of findings to the development or improvement of forest management practices that enhance moose populations.

The qualified student will attend classes at the Prince George campus of the University of Northern BC. UNBC is a small, but dynamic research intensive university (www.unbc.ca). The Prince George area offers abundant outdoor recreation activities. Please see our website for more information on the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Graduate Program including degree requirements and expectations (www.unbc.ca/nres/). Research activities will be conducted at the John Prince Research Forest.

Qualifications: This is a challenging, but rewarding project requiring a range of interests and aptitudes. Preferably, the successful applicant will have a degree in biology or ecology. The student should be willing to work in a collaborative environment with multiple research partners. Demonstration of field-based competencies (e.g., GPS operation, compassing, backcountry safety/skills) is an asset as well as a desire to get dirty and potentially work long hours. Also, the student should have a keen interest in quantitative ecology, including the development of species distribution models and the analysis of camera-trap data. The successful student should be prepared to spend a portion of the summer working at the study site near Fort St. James, British Columbia with a program start date of September 2019. We offer a competitive stipend ($22,000/year for 3 years) and funding to support field and lab activities.

For further information please contact Dr. Chris Johnson, (johnsoch@unbc.ca; 1-250-960-5357; http://web.unbc.ca/~johnsoch).


PhD–Plant phenology and climate change in the high Arctic (University of Guelph).

Full funding support is available for four years for a PhD position in the lab of Dr. Andrew MacDougall – University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. I seek a highly-motivated PhD candidate with a theoretical or empirical background at the MSc or undergraduate level, ideally with a background in plant ecology or plant evolution. The research will explore long-term responses in plant performance (leafing, flowering, senescence) to climate change in the high arctic mountains of northern Scandinavia. The work will be based off a globally unprecedented century-long data set initiated in 1917, tracking seasonal and annual variations in the timing and extent of plant performance for 140+ vascular plant species. The student is expected to generate their own research projects, based on these data and their own interests. The projects can involve field work and/or big data analysis, with ecological and/or evolutionary emphases. The student will be based out of the Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph. The project is coordinated from the Abisko Scientific Research Station (Abisko, Sweden), in collaboration with Umeå University, Queens College -Belfast, and Imperial College – London. The student is encouraged to collaborate with researchers at one or more of these institutions, depending on the research emphases they chose to follow. Please e-mail a brief statement of research interest, your CV, an unofficial transcript, and the names of two academic referees to asm@uoguelph.ca. The position starts fall 2019, or even summer 2019. Preference will be given to Canadian applicants, but the position is open to any suitable candidate.

Department of Integrative Biology https://www.uoguelph.ca/ib/
University of Guelph https://www.uoguelph.ca/
Abisko Scientific Research Station https://polar.se/en/research-in-abisko/
Umeå University http://www.emg.umu.se/english/
Queens College Belfast https://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/SchoolofBiologicalSciences/
Imperial College London http://www.imperial.ac.uk/life-sciences/research/research-themes/ecosystems-and-the-environment/




The Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology (EEB) at the University of Toronto is currently recruiting graduate students to begin in May 2019, Sept. 2019, or Jan. 2020. We will be accepting domestic and international PhD students, and domestic MSc students. PhD students starting with a BSc have guaranteed funding for 5 years, including a tuition waiver.

Our graduate students conduct research in both field and lab settings on a variety of organisms, and using a variety of approaches including genomics, bioinformatics, experimentation, modelling and theory. Our department has outstanding faculty with research strengths in several areas including:

  • Evolutionary genetics
  • Population, community, and landscape ecology, including global change ecology
  • Mating systems and life history evolution
  • Conservation and biodiversity
  • Paleobiology
  • Disease ecology and evolution

Interested students should consult the full list of EEB faculty and research topics to identify a prospective supervisor(s):

Application Instructions: Prospective applicants should first contact one or more potential faculty advisors (or co-advisors) and consult the additional application details about EEB admissions on the departmental website:

If one or more professors indicate that they may be willing to support them and their research, applicants should complete the School of Graduate Studies’ online application.

EEB’s graduate students actively engage in all aspects of our community of scholars, including reading/discussion groups, seminars, professional development workshops (e.g., R/Python coding, writing and scientific communication, academic soft skills, career options) and social events (e.g., Darwin Day celebrations, Atwood Colloquium, New Student Welcome and retreat to our field station at the Koffler Scientific Reserve, celebratory Grad Student Appreciation dinner).

The University of Toronto is a leading academic institution in Canada and the world, and our department has with over 60 faculty members, located on three campuses, specializing in ecology and evolution. EEB enjoys strong links with the Royal Ontario Museum, the Centre for Global Change Science, and the School of the Environment. The EEB-affiliated Koffler Scientific Reserve field station is dedicated to ecological and evolutionary research (www.ksr.utoronto.ca). EEB also partners with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources for access to lab facilities in Algonquin Provincial Park (www.harkness.ca) and to long-term data sets. Genomics is supported by several high-performance computing resources including SciNet (www.scinethpc.ca), bioinformaticians, as well as staff in the Centre for the Analysis of Genome Evolution and Function.

Toronto is a vibrant and cosmopolitan city, one of the most desirable in the world in which to live and study.

The University of Toronto is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from racialized persons / persons of colour, women, Indigenous /Aboriginal People of North America, persons with disabilities, LGBTQ persons, and others who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas.



Peter M. Kotanen
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Toronto Mississauga

 I am looking for new Ph.D. and M.Sc. students to start work in 2019. My lab studies the ecology of plants and their natural enemies (herbivores and pathogens) in Ontario and elsewhere. Recent work has centred on the effects of insects and soil pathogens on non-native species, and whether damage depends on latitude, population isolation, and other factors. I’m also planning new projects studying factors setting northern range limits of invaders, and investigating herbivore tolerance of invasive species. Information on our research can be found at my home page: www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota.

We are a thriving department at a leading research institution, with excellent resources and many opportunities for interaction and collaboration. All graduate students are guaranteed a stable minimum income, currently $26,750 from a variety of sources, which provides for tuition (ca. $8500) and living expenses ($18,250). Additional support is available for research and conference travel. Information on application procedures and our tri-campus graduate program can be found at our grad student website, http://www.eeb.utoronto.ca/grad.htm. This year, we are inviting applications for Canadian M.Sc. and Ph.D. candidates and a limited number of foreign Ph.D. positions. Application are now open, and we will begin to review them in January 2019 for start dates in the summer or fall of 2019. Interested students should first contact me via e-mail: peter.kotanen@utoronto.ca.

Some recent publications: 

  • Nunes & Kotanen (2018) Does local isolation allow an invasive thistle to escape enemy pressure? Oecologia 188: 139-147.
  • Nunes & Kotanen (2018) Comparative impacts of aboveground and belowground enemies on an invasive thistle. Ecology and Evolution 8: 1430-1440.
  • Fitzpatrick, Gehant, Kotanen, & Johnson (2017) Phylogenetic relatedness, phenotypic similarity, and plant-soil feedbacks. Journal of Ecology 105: 786-800.
  • Anstett, Nunes, Baskett, & Kotanen (2016) Sources of controversy surrounding latitudinal patterns in herbivory and defence. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 10: 789-802.
  • Kambo & Kotanen (2014) Latitudinal trends in herbivory and performance of an invasive species, common burdock (Arctium minus). Biological Invasions 16: 101-112.

Peter M. Kotanen
Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Toronto Mississauga
3359 Mississauga Road
Mississauga, ON, L5L 1C6 CANADA
e-mail: peter.kotanen@utoronto.ca

[This notice may be downloaded at http://www.utm.utoronto.ca/~w3pkota/students_wanted_2018.pdf]


Graduate position – Ecology and Evolution of Host-parasite Interactions

A graduate research position (PhD) is available in Dr. Lien Luong’s research group (https://grad.biology.ualberta.ca/luong/) at the University of Alberta. Students interested in the ecology and evolution of infectious diseases and/or parasite-host interactions are encouraged to apply.

Levels of parasitism vary continuously in nature, with some species shifting along a continuum from benign to pathogenic over ecological and evolutionary time scale. One of our aims is to investigate the ecology and evolution of parasites that express variation in host exploitation strategies, a form of phenotypic plasticity. Facultative parasites present a unique and interesting opportunity for addressing these questions because they regularly shift from free-living to parasitic lifestyles depending on the environmental conditions. The facultative ectoparasitic mite, Macrocheles subbadius feeds and reproduces on highly ephemeral habitats. Mites become parasitic under certain circumstances by attaching to and feeding on Drosophila fruit fly hosts. Our research group also utilizes insect respirometry to investigate the physiological ecology of exposure to and infection by mites and a nematode parasite.

The Department of Biological Sciences at U of A is one of the largest and most scientifically diverse departments of its kind in Canada. We offer research-orientated, thesis-based graduate programs at both the MSc and PhD levels. Study programs are tailored individually to graduate student needs and emphasize interdisciplinary thinking. All students accepted into our MSc program have guaranteed funding for at least 2.3 years and 5 yrs for the PhD program. Teaching training is provided and is mandatory for all students on graduate teaching assistantships. With ~200 graduate students, >65 full-time faculty, excellent support facilities and ample research funding, a vibrant and exciting learning environment is provided. For more information about applying to the graduate program: http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/programs/graduate/prospective/

To apply, please send a brief explanation of your research experience and interests and a copy of your curriculum vitae to lluong@ualberta.ca. For more information, please contact Dr. Lien Luong (lluong@ualberta.ca).


Graduate Students in Flying Squirrel – Adaptive Genomics

A collaborative research program on inter- and intra-specific characterization of adaptive genes to assess adaptive potential under changing environmental and climate models, disease-spectra, and introgression is seeking PhD students with strong quantitative skills. This project is a partnership between academic and provincial government agencies and builds on a multi-year dataset. Students with interest or experience in conservation genomics, molecular ecology, landscape ecology/genetics and/or bioinformatics will be considered.  Specific projects range from assessing the adaptive differences and hybridization between northern and southern flying squirrels, to characterizing the spatial genetic structure and environmental variables influencing populations within these species. Projects will build on neutral genetic markers and existing transcriptome and whole genomes to expand into genome-wide surveys of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) analyses, functional genes and mitogenomics for larger-scale population genomic profiling. Applicants should submit a CV, a statement of research interests, and the names and contact information for three references.

Please submit applications to:

Dr. Paul J. Wilson
Professor of Forensic Science and Conservation Genomics, Biology Department
Trent University DNA Building
2140 East Bank Drive
Peterborough, ON, K9L 0G2
Website: http://wilsoncrcresearch.ca/


Dr. Jeff Bowman
Research Scientist
Wildlife Research & Monitoring Section
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources & Forestry
Trent University DNA Building
2140 East Bank Drive
Peterborough, ON, K9L 0G2


PhD funding opportunities in Epidemiology and Geo-informatics

Advancing the epidemiological context of emerging infectious disease threats detected by the Global Public Health Intelligence Network (GPHIN)

(Expected start date: January 2019, may be earlier) 

The Public Health Risk Sciences Division, National Microbiology Laboratory of the Public Health Agency of Canada is offering funding for two three-year PhD positions for PhD candidates enrolled (or expecting to enrol) at universities in Québec or Ontario 

Funding background and project scope: The Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has been awarded funding from the Canadian Safety and Security Program (CSSP) to begin immediately. The project is focused on developing a suite of advanced analytical tools and incorporating them into GPHIN to enhance its current functionality as a health intelligence surveillance system for Canada and the international community. GPHIN was set up as a global network to detect, identify, assess, prevent and mitigate emerging human health threats. It is the world’s first web-based all-hazard, 24/7 event-based surveillance system using natural language processing and machine learning techniques to scan the internet for open source data. GPHIN successfully provided advanced warning and prospective monitoring of SARS in 2003, H1N1 in 2009, MERS-CoV in 2012-13 and Ebola in 2014-15. The project will focus on enhancing current features and incorporating additional analytical tools into GPHIN.

We require two motivated doctoral researchers with interest and experience in epidemiology, biostatistics and geoanalytics to join a multi-disciplinary team. Our team offers a rich and stimulating work environment. PHAC is the lead organisation with partnership from the Natural Resources Canada, McGill University, Université du Québec à Montréal, and the Canadian Cooperative Wildlife Health Centre. 

PhD student 1 (to be based in either Toronto or Guelph, Ontario)

This student will focus on: (i) exploring mathematical models capable of estimating and forecasting the intensity of a range of infectious diseases at the start of an outbreak or event; (ii) developing and validating identified models using retrospective GPHIN data; (iii) exploring models capable of estimating the international spread (importation) of diseases; and (iv) developing and validating importation models using retrospective GPHIN data.


  • MSc in a relevant field including Epidemiology, Mathematics, Biostatistics or other Health Science fields (minimum GPA of 3.5)
  • Strong background in quantitative epidemiology; preference will be given to candidates with experience in infectious disease modelling

PhD student 2 (to be based in Quebec)

This student will focus on developing models to identify populations vulnerable to infectious disease threats. Project outcomes include developing tools that can be used by GPHIN to communicate the potential of detected threats to spread, globally and domestically. Statistical models will be developed to assess for associations between emerging threat event/case data and high-resolution data for the environment (climate, landcover, weather or meteorological conditions), human and vector/reservoir populations. Model outcomes will provide an ecologically-informed filter to validate GPHIN-detected events. Data visualisation tools will developed to dynamically communicate model outputs through the GPHIN epidemiological dashboard.


  • MSc in a relevant field include Geo-informatics, Geomatics, Statistics, Ecology, Epidemiology (minimum GPA of 3.5)
  • Strong background in biostatistics and GIS; preference will be given to candidates with experience in geomatic applications, Bayesian disease mapping and/or ecological niche modelling

Terms for both positions:

  • Experience and interest in the field of public health and surveillance systems
  • Proficiency in coding and model development (e.g. R, python)
  • Ability to take initiative, work independently and as part of a multi-disciplinary team
  • Strong analytical skills, good oral and written communication skills
  • Project management skills
  • Both PhD researchers will work with GPHIN and McGill researchers to incorporate models and outputs as a tool to be incorporated into the GPHIN development environment

Directors: Drs. Erin Rees and Victoria Ng, PHAC

Eligibility: These positions are enacted through the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP). The candidate must be enrolled in FSWEP to be eligible.

Funding & Salary: This position is funded for three years with a salary beginning at $25,000. Additional funds are available for training, software licenses and conference/meeting attendance. 

To apply:

Please send a cover letter (one page), CV, latest university transcript, and a list of two references (name and contact details) to: erin.rees@canada.ca and victoria.ng@canada.ca.

Closing date: Position open until filled.

For further details about this opportunity, please contact

Drs. Erin Rees (erin.rees@canada.ca) and Victoria Ng (victoria.ng@canada.ca)