Master of Science in Biology position – University of British Columbia Okanagan

Investigating the roles of ecology, phenology, and insect genotype in predicting host-range of candidate biocontrol agents for an invasive fruit-feeding fly

We are seeking an MSc student to investigate the ecology of endemic vinegar flies (Diptera: Drosophilidae) present in southwestern British Columbia. This project will focus particularly on their susceptibility to attack by two foreign parasitoid wasps (Hymenoptera: Figitidae) being considered as candidate classical biological control agents for the invasive Spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii, SWD). SWD is a serious pest of soft fruit (i.e. cherries) and berries, first detected in BC in 2009 and now widespread in Coastal and Interior fruit growing areas of B.C. Effective control currently requires the use of insecticides. A successful biological control program would improve the sustainability of production of soft fruits and berries by reducing insecticide use. A necessary first step is to evaluate potential risks and benefits of the proposed introduction of these two parasitoids by determining the susceptibility of native Drosophilids to attack.

The successful candidate will carry out basic and applied research on the distribution, phenology and ecology of native non-target Drosophilids in the Okanagan Valley, establish laboratory lines of select species, and evaluate the roles of ecology, phenology, and fly genotype on likelihood of attack by the two parasitoid wasps. Research will be conducted in field, laboratory and quarantine facilities. The successful candidate will join a team of researchers studying invasion ecology in agro-ecosystems and gain expertise in field sampling and ecology, insect identification, insect rearing, statistical analysis and molecular biology.

Starting Date: January 1st, 2020. Applications will be accepted until a suitable candidate is found but those received by June 15th 2019 will be given priority.

Locations: The student will be enrolled at the University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus (Kelowna, BC) under the primary academic supervision of Dr. Bob Lalonde. Experimental work will be carried out under the supervision of Dr. Chandra Moffat and Dr. Paul Abram with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, at the Summerland Research and Development Centre located in Summerland, British Columbia.

Qualifications: Candidates should have a BSc in biology, entomology, plant science, ecology, or a related discipline. Candidates may need to re-locate between Kelowna and Summerland during the course of the project depending on selected coursework. Applicants must meet the admission requirements of UBC Okanagan (https://biol.ok.ubc.ca/graduate/biology.html), be Canadian Citizens, and have a valid drivers licence.

Stipend: Guarantee of $17,500 per year for 2 years if academic requirements are met; applicants are encouraged to apply for other scholarships (e.g. NSERC).

To apply: Interested applicants should send a cover letter outlining their research interests, a current CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for 2 academic references to Dr. Bob Lalonde, robert.lalonde@ubc.ca, cc Dr. Chandra Moffat, chandra.moffat@canada.ca

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Projet de doctorat: Impact cumulatif des pressions anthropiques sur les populations d’oiseaux de rivage nichant en Arctique

L’équipe de la Chaire K.-C.-Irving en sciences de l’environnement et développement durable de l’Université de Moncton cherche un.e étudiant.e pour un projet de doctorat qui commencera en septembre 2019 ou janvier 2020.

Le projet de recherche vise à modéliser l’impact cumulatif de différentes pressions d’origine anthropique (p. ex. la surabondance d’oies des neiges supportées par les champs agricoles en milieux tempérés et les changements climatiques) sur la reproduction et la distribution de différentes espèces d’oiseaux de rivage nichant en Arctique. Certains objectifs de ce projet s’inscrivent dans les travaux collaboratifs menés par l’Interactions Working Group, un regroupement de plusieurs chercheur.e.s implémentant les mêmes protocoles dans plus de 14 sites distribués à une échelle circumpolaire (Canada, Alaska, Groenland, Norvège, Suède et Russie). L’étudiant.e fera partie d’une équipe dynamique de chercheur.e.s et d’étudiant.e.s et aura l’opportunité de travailler sur différents protocoles de terrain (p. ex. suivi des populations nicheuses de limicoles, captures de limicoles et de lemmings).

Ce projet se déroulera sous la supervision de Marie-Andrée Giroux à l’Université de Moncton. Une bourse de doctorat est disponible pour 4 ans, à laquelle s’ajoute une bourse de l’Université de Moncton défrayant approximativement la valeur des frais de scolarité facturés aux étudiant.e.s canadien.nes (les étudiants étrangers peuvent aussi bénéficier de cette bourse). L’étudiant.e devra également déposer des demandes de financement aux organismes subventionnaires (ex. CRSNG, FINB).

Compétences requises :

  • Avoir obtenu une maîtrise avec thèse en biologie, environnement ou discipline connexe (minimum d’environ 70% de crédits alloués à la thèse)
  • Avoir un esprit d’équipe et d’initiative
  • Posséder de bonnes capacités de rédaction
  • Posséder de bonnes aptitudes pour les analyses statistiques et/ou la modélisation mathématique
  • Posséder de l’expérience de terrain
  • Avoir un bon dossier académique

Comment et quand postuler?
Merci de postuler en envoyant les documents suivants d’ici le 20 juin 2019 à Marie-Andrée Giroux (marie-andree.giroux@umoncton.ca): CV, lettre de motivation, copie de tous les relevés de notes universitaires (incluant 1er cycle), noms et coordonnées de 3 référents.

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PhD position in wildlife parasitology and evolutionary ecology at the University of Calgary

I am seeking a motivated graduate student interested in evolutionary ecology of host-parasite interactions, quantitative genetics and wildlife biology to join my group at the University of Calgary. Research in my laboratory uses molecular and evolutionary ecology approaches to improve our understanding of the processes modulating variation in fitness-related traits and adaptive evolution in free-living wildlife populations.

I am currently recruiting a PhD student to study the genetic basis and fitness consequences of variation in complex gastro-intestinal parasitic nematode infections in natural environments using the Sable Island horse long-term population study as a model. The project, conducted in collaboration with Phulip McLoughlin (U of Saskatchewan), John Gilleard (U. of Calgary), and Alastair Wilson (U. of Exeter), will involve characterising complex strongyle infections in >500 horses over multiple years using DNA metabarcoding, and applying pedigree-based multivariate quantitative genetics and selection analyses to study the evolution of resistance to mixed infections. Interactions between nematode infections and the bacterial microbiome will also be investigated. For additional information about the study system see:

Debeffe et al. 2016. Negative covariance between parasite load and body condition in a population of feral horses. Parasitology 143:983-997.

Gold et al. 2019. Quantitative genetics of gastrointestinal strongyle burden and associated body condition in feral horses. International Journal for Parasitology: Parasites and Wildlife 9:104-111.

Ideal candidates will have demonstrated skills or interest in parasitology, molecular ecology, quantitative genetics, wildlife biology or evolutionary ecology. The student will be based at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine or the Department of Biological Sciences, and receive a minimum stipend of $CA23,000/year. Start date is flexible but would ideally be between September 2019 and September 2020.

More information about the lab is available at https://sites.google.com/site/jocelynpoissant/home. Interested students should send a brief email outlining research interests, along with a CV and unofficial copies of transcripts to jocelyn.poissant@ucalgary.ca. I also welcome inquiries regarding other potential projects in the laboratory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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PhD (or MSc) POSITION IN ECOLOGY (REINDEER/CARIBOU) (MATING SYSTEMS – FEMALE CHOICE – MALE VOCALIZATIONS)

1 PhD (or MSc) research position is available in my lab starting September 2019.

The aim of the project is to test some of the key predictions of mating systems theory. This research will involve using a long-term individual-based data (breeding phenology and rutting behaviour data from 1996 to 2017). This project also involves manipulative experiments and observational fieldwork in northern Finland (playback experiment, phenology of the vocalization during the rut, etc).

Suitable candidates will have an MSc (or BSc) in Biology or a similarly recognized degree. The ideal candidate must have: Very strong quantitative skills (statistics) – Experience in field research settings – Be determined to complete a PhD degree – Have a good academic background (good GPA). The candidate should be ready to work in remote areas and to work in team.

I am particularly interested in candidate with some experience or background in Vocalizations/Acoustics (or willing to learn rapidly).

Financial support is available for three years (PhD) or 2 years (MSc), but if eligible, candidates will be encouraged to apply for external grant (FQRNT and NSERC). Students with a successful scholarship will receive a bonus on top of their scholarship.

If interested, send me by email (robert.weladji@concordia.ca) before May 30, 2019: a copy of your CV, transcript and a short statement of purpose, as well as the name and email addresses of 2 references.

Robert Weladji
Department of biology
Concordia University

robert.weladji@concordia.ca
www.robertweladji.com

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