MSc Opportunity, Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta

Underlying causes for low seed yields in lodgepole pine seed orchards in Alberta

We are seeking a qualified MSc student to lead a two-year study on the effects of grafting and microsite conditions on cone development and seed production in lodgepole pine (Pinus contorta var. latifolia) seed orchards.

Seed orchards play a critical role in providing high-quality seed for reforestation. However, some orchards fail to meet production targets by as much as 80%. The student will monitor the development of newly emerged cones in three lodgepole pine seed orchards near Grande Prairie, AB in spring (May-July) of 2019 and 2020. Two of these orchards consist of grafted trees and suffer high conelet abortion rates, while the third orchard consist of trees grown from seed and has consistently low abortion rates. The student will use root data generated from ground-penetrating radar to assess if grafting had a negative effect on root development and if that in turn may be linked to high conelet abortion. The student will also collect data on microsite conditions (water availability, soil compaction, canopy microclimate) to examine their role in conelet abortion. This project is part of a broader study that aims to understand the underlying drivers of conelet abortion and the student will be working as part of a team of researchers.

Qualifications: Preference will be given to prospective students that have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in forestry, plant genetics, ecology, or related field
  • An interest in forest genetics and ecophysiology
  • A valid class 5 driver’s licence (or equivalent), and eligibility to drive UofA vehicles
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Knowledge of experimental design and statistical programs would be an asset

Funding: This project is fully funded through an NSERC Collaborative Research and Development Grant in partnership with forest industry partners.

Start date: May 2019

ApplicationProspective students must apply through FGSR; however, those interested should first email Dr. Barb Thomas ( and cc Morgan Randall the following:

  • a letter of interest (1 page)
  • a CV describing qualifications and experience
  • unofficial transcripts
  • contact information for three references

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Informal inquiries to gain more information about the positions are also welcome.


PhD or Postdoctoral Fellowship: Impacts of Multiple Stressors on Nearshore Aquatic Ecosystems in the Great Lakes

We are recruiting a PhD student or Postdoctoral fellow to participate in a multidisciplinary study on the impacts of multiple environmental stressors (nutrient pollution, invasive species, and climate change) on the Laurentian Great Lakes with a focus on nearshore water quality and proliferation of nuisance benthic algae. The study will involve 1) analysis of long-term data from lake and stream surveys in the Toronto region of Lake Ontario and sites throughout the Great Lakes, 2) conducting multi-factor nearshore mesocosm experiments, and 3) statistical modeling to test theoretical and applied hypotheses on nearshore ecosystem structure and function in the Great Lakes.

Preference will be given to candidates with experience (or strong interest) in:

  • aquatic ecology and biogeochemistry,
  • algal and invertebrate physiology or ecology,
  • aquatic mesocosm experiments, and
  • multivariate statistical modeling

Candidates should submit the following as a pdf-file to

  1. Research statement (< 1 page) showing relevant experience and interest
  2. Curriculum vitae
  3. University transcripts (scanned into the pdf file)
  4. Names and contact information of two references
  5. One or two relevant peer-reviewed scientific publications

Funding is available for 4 years for PhD students or 2 years for PDFs. Applications will be considered until the position is filled. Start date: ASAP.

The study will be conducted in partnership with the following organizations, and the candidate may be able to hold the position at any of these locations (see links for more information):

  • Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Toronto, ON
  • Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks (MOECP), Environmental Monitoring and Reporting Branch, Etobicoke, ON
  • Canadian Centre for Inland Waters (CCIW), Environment and Climate Change Canada, Burlington, ON
  • Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER), University of Windsor, Windsor, ON

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Paul Weidman, Adjunct Assistant Professor
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER)
University of Windsor


Dr. Ken Drouillard, Professor
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER)
University of Windsor


MSc project on the anti-predator posture and colouration in Red-spotted newts

We are currently seeking an MSc student to evaluate variation in anti-predator defences within and across populations of Red-spotted newts (Notophthalmus viridescens viridescens). The project will involve pairing field studies that quantify variation in defensive colouration and behaviour in wild animals with field experiments that evaluate the efficacy of various strategies across predator guilds and habitat types. More broadly this work will test hypotheses which seek to identify proximate and ultimate explanations for standing variation in suites of defensive strategies both within and among populations.

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, experience conducting field work in remote locations, a strong work ethic, and interest in working collaboratively in a large and diverse research group. Additional desirable skills include amphibian field skills, and the ability to work independently. While not necessary, individuals that have experience with high performance liquid chromatography are encouraged to apply.

To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray ( 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 for additional information.



MSc project on snowshoe hare habitat ecology

We are initiating an MSc project on the spatial and habitat-related ecology of snowshoe hares near Kluane Lake, Yukon. Hares have been studied for >30 years on-site, and the project will assess hare habitat selection relative to landcover types, with emphasis on the spatial distribution of food and cover. Using GIS mapping and remote sensing products (LIDAR, NIRS and other technology), the project will assess how radio-collared hares select habitat through space and time. The work may also involve evaluating temporal shifts in landcover types, or modeling past or future landcover change based upon forest disease epidemics and/or climate change.

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, Geography or related field, demonstrated experience working with GIS, LIDAR, NIRS, or other remote sensing products, a strong work ethic, and interest in working collaboratively in a large and diverse research group. Additional desirable skills include animal handling and working in remote field conditions.

To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray ( 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 for additional information.





Les populations abondantes de grands herbivores constituent à la fois une ressource et une menace pour l’intégrité de certains écosystèmes. À l’île d’Anticosti, le cerf de Virginie compromet la régénération de la communauté forestière dominante, la sapinière à bouleau blanc. En réponse à ce constat, un plan général d’aménagement intégré des ressources du milieu forestier (PGAIR) de l’île d’Anticosti a été mis en place au début des années 2000. Il vise à restaurer l’habitat du cerf de Virginie afin de maintenir à long terme les activités de chasse sportive, principal moteur économique de l’île. La stratégie retenue pour atteindre cet objectif consiste en un réseau de blocs de coupes clôturés à l’intérieur desquels la densité de cerfs est réduite par la chasse sportive afin de favoriser la régénération naturelle du sapin baumier et des espèces compagnes. En absence de régénération naturelle, le plan prévoit la plantation de sapins produits en pépinière.

Nous recherchons deux étudiantes ou étudiants motivé(e)s à entreprendre des études de 2e cycle afin de contribuer à notre objectif de recherche de solutions durables pour la restauration de l’habitat du cerf à l’île d’Anticosti et d’orientation des efforts d’aménagement.

Projet 1: évaluation de la stratégie d’aménagement forêt-cerf à l’île d’Anticosti

Ce projet de maîtrise visera à 1) déterminer comment les cerfs se réapproprient l’habitat suite au retrait des clôtures et 2) comment l’utilisation de l’espace et des ressources affecte la régénération avancée des sapinières. Nous aborderons l’objectif 1 à l’aide de modèles spatialement explicites d’estimation de la distribution d’animaux non marqués alimentés en données par des grilles de capture virtuelle. Pour évaluer le succès de la stratégie d’aménagement au plan sylvicole, nous réaliserons des inventaires écoforestiers le long d’un gradient de temps retrait des clôtures.

Projet 2 : Succès des plantations de sapins baumiers sous de fortes pressions de broutement

Ce projet de maîtrise visera à 1) déterminer comment la densité de conifères en régénération influence la probabilité de broutement des tiges et leur croissance et 2) évaluer les effets à moyen terme du type de plants et des travaux sylvicoles sur la nutrition et la croissance du sapin en plantation. Nous tirerons profit de dispositifs de recherche qui ont été établis en plantation sur l’île d’Anticosti au cours des 10 dernières années que nous compléterons avec des manipulations de la densité de tiges afin d’évaluer l’effet de l’agrégation sur l’occurrence de broutement.

Date de début : Septembre 2019 (session d’automne 2019) ou Janvier 2020 (session d’hiver 2020)

Lieu et encadrement : Les candidates ou candidats retenu(e)s seront basé(e)s au département de biologie de l’Université Laval située à Québec, avec une session possible au Centre canadien sur la fibre de bois (Service canadien des forêts, Ressources naturelles Canada), également situé sur le campus de l’Université Laval pour le second projet. Les étudiant(e)s seront membres du Centre d’étude de la forêt. Le projet 1 sera supervisé par Jean-Pierre Tremblay et Steeve Côté (Université Laval) et le projet 2 par Jean-Pierre Tremblay et Nelson Thiffault (Service canadien des forêts).

Financement : Bourse de 15 000 $/an pour 2 ans pour chaque étudiante ou étudiant qui sera complétée par des tâches d’assistant(e) d’enseignement et les bourses de réussite de la Faculté des études supérieures et postdoctorales de l’Université Laval, pour atteindre environ 16 000 à 17 500 $/an.

Profil recherché

  • Un baccalauréat en biologie, aménagement et environnement forestiers ou dans un domaine connexe
  • Un très bon dossier académique
  • Une expérience de travail sur le terrain (ou l’intérêt)
  • La capacité à travailler en équipe
  • Une motivation manifeste

Pour postuler

Faire parvenir par courriel votre curriculum vitae, une lettre de motivation, vos relevés de notes et le nom de deux références à l’attention de Catherine Bajzak avant le 30 avril 2019.


Two PhD studentships in Aquatic Community Ecology

Biology, Concordia University, Fall 2019
Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Applications are invited for two fully funded studentships on research towards understanding and predicting the structure of aquatic ecological communities.

We are seeking students interested in understanding the broad-scale processes structuring aquatic ecological communities.  Because aquatic ecosystems are widely recognized for providing many features valued by humans, the proposed research also aims at generating scientific knowledge to improve conservation and management strategies. The research will be largely based on quantitative developments that will be validated using existing large-scale empirical datasets.  The specifics of the project will be determined jointly by the successful candidate, supervisors and collaborators (see below).

PhD studentship 1 – The mechanisms underlying the co-existence of lake-fish.   Although there is much need to establish the links between different dimensions of biodiversity (such as species richness, functional diversity, phylogenetic diversity) and ecosystem services such as fish biomass that are important to human societies, this knowledge is still quite sparse.  The goal of this studentship is to study the linkages between variation in species attributes (traits, phylogenies, physiology) and environmental characteristics of lakes, to understand and predict patterns of species co-occurrence and biomass distribution.

PhD studentship 2 – Predicting abundance and biomass from presence-absence species distributions. There is a long history in ecology on predicting abundance from presence-absence data. Species abundances are central to understanding the more complex processes underlying ecological communities. Moreover, being able to predict patterns of species abundance and biomass across landscapes is central to conservation and managing ecosystem services. The goal of this studentship is to generate improved models for predicting species abundances and biomass, and to understand the ecological principles that allow to understand the conditions in which predictions are improved.     

Collaborative Research – The positions will be part of a collaborative research involving Dylan Fraser (Concordia Univ. Research Chair in Population Biodiversity and Conservation), Eric Pedersen (Fisheries and Oceans Canada), Pedro R. Peres-Neto (Canada Research Chair in Spatial Ecology and Biodiversity), Nigel Lester and Brian Shuter (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry), Ken Minns (Fisheries and Oceans Canada & University of Toronto) and Donald Jackson (University of Toronto.  Students will be members of the Quebec Centre for Biodiversity Studies ( and be considered to become fellows of the NSERC-funded training program in Computational Biodiversity Science and Services.  

Requirements – Key requirements include a solid quantitative background, familiarity with programming using modern quantitative software (such as R, Python, or MATLAB), and strong understanding of community ecology or related fisheries and aquatic sciences pertinent to the research focus.

Application – If you are interested in graduate study within this exciting program please send a current CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for three academic/research references to Pedro Peres-Neto (  We are recruiting for students to begin in September 2019, but flexibility may be possible.


Sexual selection and sperm networks in a sexually dimorphic New Zealand insect. Deadline to apply: 30 April 2019.

A PhD position is available under the supervision of Dr. Clint Kelly at Université du Québec à Montréal ( beginning September 2019.

We are seeking a keen and curious student to study sexual selection and sperm (social) networks in the Wellington tree weta (Hemideina crassidens). The Wellington tree weta is a large sexually dimorphic insect native to New Zealand. Male H. crassidens express one of three alternative phenotypes that are related to mating behaviour. The candidate will investigate how ecological factors and alternative mating strategies interact to affect social network dynamics, sperm competition and, ultimately, fitness. Research will involve laboratory work in Montreal as well as fieldwork in New Zealand; therefore, the ability to communicate in English is a must.

The bright and highly motivated student will ideally hold an M.Sc. or equivalent in a relevant topic (e.g. entomology, animal physiology).

Funding is available to students through a variety of sources, including teaching assistantships (French speakers only as courses are taught in French), and research funds; however, students are expected to apply for external graduate scholarships from the Natural Sciences and engineering research Council of Canada (NSERC) and/or Fonds de recherche Nature et technologies (FRQNT).

The Kelly Lab is a member of the Groupe de recherche en écologie comportementale et animale (GRECA), which is a part of the large, research-active Département des Sciences Biologiques at UQAM ( Université du Québec à Montréal is a French-language university in the heart of Montreal that welcomes non-French-speaking PhD graduate students.

If interested, please send a brief description of your research interests, academic transcripts and a CV to by 30 April 2019.


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 ( 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 for additional information.


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 (

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 ( The position will be open until filled, with priority given to applications received before March 8, 2019.


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 ( and Dr. Subba Rao Chaganti ( 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