FUNDED PHD OR MSC POSITION IN BEHAVIOURAL AND COGNITIVE ECOLOGY AT THE UNIVERSITY OF OTTAWA

Funding is available for PhD or MSc students in Dr. Morand-Ferron’s lab, University Research Chair in Cognitive Ecology (http://mysite.science.uottawa.ca/jmorandf)

Research on cognitive processes (e.g. learning and memory) has historically targeted mechanistic questions via neurosciences and psychology, leaving evolutionary considerations mostly unexamined. As a consequence we still do not understand why cognitive abilities vary so drastically between or within species, or how they evolve in the wild1. Our research aims at quantifying individual variation in cognitive abilities, and investigating its causes (heritability, development, habitat) and consequences (life-history, fitness). 

The proposed model system is that of wild-caught field cricketsGryllus spp. Field crickets have been suggested to use spatial memory of landmarks around their burrow to navigate their environment. We have recently demonstrated that Gryllus texensis can learn the location of food in a maze2 and are now investigating causes and life-history correlates of the observed individual variation in maze performance. The student could pursue this line of research, or investigate other research avenues on individual variation in cognition and behaviour in field crickets. In particular, I am keen to recruit a student for a co-supervision with Dr Sue Bertram at Carleton University (https://suebertram.ca/) on the cognition behind alternative reproductive strategies in Gryllus texensis. 

Selected candidates will be guaranteed a paid position of 20 000$/year (4 years for PhD, 2 years for MSc). Canadian applicants with >80% CGPA in their last two years of studies automatically obtain a uOttawa scholarship covering tuition fees for the duration of their program. International PhD students pay tuition at the level of Canadian students (˜8000$/year). Ideal candidates would have research experience in behavioural ecology, animal cognition, and/or working with insects. The candidate should be excited to join a highly-collaborative research group. There is no deadline for the application, although Skype interviews will start early October and positions may be filled after this time. Start date: Sept 2020 or Jan 2021. 

To apply: Send a 1-page cover letter, resume, and latest unofficial transcript to jmf@uottawa.ca 

Feel free to share this ad. I look forward to reading your application letter.

Dr Julie Morand-Ferron

References:

1 MorandFerron et al. (2016). Studying the evolutionary ecology of cognition in the wild: a review of practical and conceptual challenges. Biological Reviews, 91, 367-389.

2 Doria et al. (2019). Spatial cognitive performance is linked to thigmotaxis in field crickets. Animal behaviour, 150, 15-25.

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Post-doctoral researcher and PhD student, University of Victoria

The Baum Lab (https://baumlab.weebly.com/) at the University of Victoria seeks to recruit a Post-doctoral researcher and a PhD student to investigate mechanisms of coral resilience to climate change. The projects will draw upon molecular, ecological, and oceanographic data collected over the past decade as part of the Baum Lab’s long-term field program on Kiritimati (Christmas Island) in the central equatorial Pacific Ocean. Experience in molecular and/or microbial ecology strongly desired. Interested postdoctoral candidates should also have excellent programming skills, advanced knowledge of bioinformatics and statistics, experience working with large data sets. Aspects of this research could also focus on coral genetics and/or stable isotopes, so interest and experience in these areas could also be beneficial. Experience in coral reef ecosystems beneficial but not required.

The new post-doc or student will join a productive and collegial lab, and will be able to interact with a strong group of ecologists and conservation biologists at UVic. She/he could also spend 1-2 semesters working with our international coral collaborators.

Post-doctoral candidates must have completed their PhD by Spring or Summer 2020, and have excellent academic and publication records. PhD candidates must have completed an MSc degree or a BSc Honours by Spring or Summer 2020. Relevant work or research experience is also considered an asset. Owing to funding requirements, admission to the lab for these positions requires an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PD-NP/PDF-BP_eng.asp) or an NSERC graduate scholarship (http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PG-CS/CGSD-BESCD_eng.asp). As such, interested candidates must be Canadian (or permanent residents of Canada), have excellent academic (and publication) records, and apply for these funding sources this fall. Postdoctoral applicants who receive an NSERC Fellowship will have their salary topped up by Baum Lab research funds. PhD applicants who receive an NSERC scholarship will have their stipends topped up by an additional internal UVic award.

If you meet the above criteria, please email Professor Julia Baum (baum@uvic.ca) as soon as possible because deadlines for fellowship and scholarship applications are coming up over the several weeks.

 

 

 

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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 PhD or MSc level to investigate the impacts of invasive fishes and invertebrates on freshwater food webs under the context of climate warming. This project examines two major environmental stressors acting on aquatic ecosystems and is highly relevant to risk assessment and aquatic conservation.

The new student will be able to interact with an exceptional group of ecologists, conservation biologists, and evolutionary biologists in the McGill Biology department. She/he could also have the opportunity to interact with government scientists (e.g. Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and an informal international research network whose members include some of the world’s leading invasion ecologists. Opportunities to do field work or experiments in a research lab overseas (e.g. the U.K., or South Africa) are possible through these collaborations. Furthermore, our students are able to take a unique graduate-level course on Invasion Ecology at McGill.

The candidate will have completed a BSc Honors or MSc degree by Spring 2020, and have some independent research experience and training in aquatic ecology. Owing to funding requirements, we are aiming this advertisement at Canadians (or permanent residents of Canada) who have excellent academic records and are likely to qualify for a major scholarship from NSERC (http://nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PG-CS/index_eng.asp) or Quebec FQRNT  (http://www.frqnt.gouv.qc.ca/en/bourses-et-subventions/). Successful applicants must meet the requirements of the graduate program of the McGill Department of Biology  (http://biology.mcgill.ca/grad/gradstudies.html) to enrol for September 2020. Those students who receive a major scholarship will have their stipends topped up by an additional internal award.

If you meet the above criteria, you are encouraged to contact Prof. Anthony Ricciardi (tony.ricciardi@mcgill.caas soon as possible because deadlines for scholarship applications are coming up over the several weeks.

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M.Sc. Position Available, Department of Biology, University of Victoria

Biodiversity of Phytoplankton from the North Pacific and Arctic Oceans: using molecular tools to understand biological oceanography

Department of Biology

University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada

We are looking for a highly motivated candidate for a 2-year M.Sc. research project in the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria (https://www.uvic.ca/science/biology/), commencing in January 2020 or as soon as possible thereafter. This position is part of an exciting project: “Oceans of Biodiversity” (https://www.foodfromthought.ca/oceans-of-biodiversity/), which aims to characterize the distribution and diversity of marine organisms through high-throughput DNA barcoding and other molecular genetic approaches.

The genetic diversity of marine phytoplankton is vastly under-characterized. This project will develop methods and undertake metabarcoding of mixed-species assemblages of phytoplankton from the subarctic North Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Arctic region (Bering and Chukchi Seas).  Through the use of state-of-the-art molecular sequencing techniques, microscopy and computation, the student will analyze samples collected during oceanographic cruises to provide detailed information of the composition of phytoplankton assemblages.  In parallel, the student will focus the attention to those diatom taxa responsible for harmful effects on fin- and shellfish fisheries and aquaculture, and on natural fish and avian populations through the production of domoic acid.

This project is ideal for a student with a strong background in cell and molecular biology and knowledge of marine biology, interested in the application of these techniques to environmental science. The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Ryan Gawryluk (Department of Biology) and Dr. Diana Varela (Department of Biology, and School of Earth and Ocean Sciences), and will have opportunities to interact with other researchers at the University of Victoria and across Canada through their participation in the “Oceans of Biodiversity” and “Food from Thought” projects.

Preference will be given to a student with an excellent academic standing (GPA > 7/9 in the UVic scale or 3.3/4), and appropriate background. Applications are open to international candidates as well as Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada.

Applicants should submit a resume highlighting their previous research experience, copies of university transcripts (undergraduate and graduate as appropriate – unofficial copies are adequate at this stage) and a brief statement of scientific and academic interests to both: Drs. Ryan Gawryluk (ryangawryluk@uvic.ca) and Diana Varela (dvarela@uvic.ca).

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Funded PhD Position in Forest Health at the University of Toronto

I am looking for an enthusiastic and creative graduate student to undertake a PhD in spatial ecology and forest health in Forestry at the U of T (forestry.utoronto.ca). Work in our lab aims to improve understanding of landscape-level disturbance and recovery processes in forest ecosystems to inform sustainable resource management.

I am specifically looking for students interested in studying the cumulative effects of forest disturbances on forest health. Possible projects include:

1)    Exploring how the spatial legacies of forest insect outbreaks affect fire activity

2)    Examining the cumulative effects of multiple disturbances on wildlife habitat quantity, quality, and connectivity

3)    Forecasting future disturbance interactions under climate and land-use change using spatially explicit simulation models

The successful applicant should have an MSc, a strong background in ecology, an interest in forestry and forest conservation, and experience with quantitative analysis and statistics (e.g., R).

Funding is available at a level of $18,000/year for 4 years. Please note that this funding opportunity is available only to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The targeted start date is January 2020.

To apply, please send a short letter of motivation and a copy of your CV to: patrick.james@utoronto.ca.

More information on the lab can be found here : www.jameslab.ca

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Grad student positions in Marine Mammal Ecology and Ecotoxicology Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University. Start date: January or until filled.

The Ecological Change and Environmental Stressors Lab seeks highly motivated applicants for Master’s and PhD positions. Our group works within the fields of marine ecology and ecotoxicology, focusing on the trophic ecology and food webs of Arctic marine mammals. We use ecological tracers, including stable isotopes and fatty acids, to assess trophic relationships, habitat use, and feeding habits. This work addresses applied questions regarding the influence of rapid warming and sea ice loss on the feeding and food web relationships of native and northward range-shifting species within Arctic marine ecosystems. A key aspect involves investigating how ecological changes interact with other anthropogenic stressors facing wildlife, particularly contaminants such as mercury and persistent organic pollutants. Students will develop projects combining field, lab, and data analysis approaches, and will collaborate with Canadian and international academic, government, and Inuit community partners. Projects entail potential for Arctic fieldwork and opportunities to present at national and international conferences.

We seek highly motivated students holding a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree for PhD candidates) or equivalent from an accredited university in natural resources, ecology, environmental chemistry, environmental science, toxicology or a closely related field, preferably with experience in one or more of the following:

  • Laboratory analysis of stable isotopes, fatty acids, or contaminants in animal tissues or other matrices
  • Analytical instrumentation (e.g., GC, HPLC, MS)
  • Field sampling and/or identification
  • Statistical analysis of biological or environmental data (e.g., in R)

Potential students will have to apply to the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill, which has strict admission standards (min GPA of 3.0/4.0, or 3.2/4.0 in the last two years). Transcripts, letters of support, CV, and a strong personal statement are part of the application. Deadlines for winter term (Jan 2020 start date) are Oct. 15th for Canadian applicants (Aug. 31st for international applicants) or, for fall term (Sept. 2020 start date), are May 31st for Canadian applicants (Mar. 15th for international applicants).

McGill University is Canada’s premiere university for research excellence and teaching, is one of the top 50 universities worldwide, and was recently named the International Sustainability Institution of the Year. The Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is located at McGill’s Macdonald Campus, just 30 km from vibrant downtown Montreal, providing students with both urban culture and recreational opportunities. Graduate students at Mac campus are ¼ of the student body and the campus houses 8 graduate programs and 100+ faculty members.

McGill University is committed to diversity and equity and welcomes applications from: women, Aboriginal persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, visible minorities, and others who may contribute to diversification.

For more information on the Ecological Change and Environmental Stressors Lab, the Department of Natural Resource Sciences, and McGill University, please visit: http://mckinneylab.weebly.com ; http://mcgill.cahttp://mcgill.ca/nrs

Annual student stipends will be provided, with opportunities for supplementation through applications for scholarships and teaching assistantships.

Please send a letter indicating your research experience and goals, a CV, and unofficial transcripts to Melissa McKinney, Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair, at melissa.mckinney@mcgill.ca.

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