PhD or MSc project on the role of pathogens and predators on larval amphibians

The Integrative Wildlife Conservation lab at Trent University is initiating an MSc or PhD project to assess the lethal and sublethal effects of pathogens and predators on larval amphibians. Our team has conducted extensive work on tadpole-predator interactions, and we recently extended our efforts to tadpole-pathogen interactions. Currently, we are interested in documenting how pathogens such as ranavirus or chytrid fungus, which are strongly implicated in amphibian population declines worldwide, may impact larval amphibian behaviour and physiology both directly as well as through interactions with other stressors, like predation risk. Through controlled experiments and extensive behavioural/physiological assessment, the project will document the potentially complex role of these important pathogens on amphibians. For a PhD degree, the experiments will be expanded to include more stressors, multiple amphibian species or pathogen strains, epigenetics, or other extensions in areas that are of interest to the candidate.

The successful candidate will have a BSc/MSc in Biology, Ecology, or a related field, strong quantitative and writing skills, experience with conducting experiments/and or working with amphibians, and an interest in working collaboratively within a large and diverse research group. PhD candidates must have demonstrated success in publishing their work in the peer-reviewed literature. For additional details, see www.dennismurray.ca and www.thomashossie.ca.

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray (murraylabapplicants@gmail.com).

The position will start in May 2020.

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PhD Position in the field of Conservation of Ecosystem Services and Landscape Planning, Département de phytologie, Université Laval, Québec, Canada

Start Date: January, May or September 2020

Salary: $20,000/year + possibility to get $16,000 for the entire duration of studies from academic support funds if objectives are completed on time
Duration: 4 years
Location: Based at Laval University, Québec city
Supervisors: Dr Monique Poulin (ULaval), Dr. Stephanie Pellerin (Univ. of Montreal), Dr. Jerome Cimon-Morin (Ministry of Forests, Fauna and Parks, Qc).

Goal:
We are seeking an exceptional PhD candidate to conduct research on conservation of ecosystem services (ES) and landscape planning. The project will be conducted in peatlands and forests of the Côte-Nord region, that will be used as model systems to develop our knowledge on best management strategies for achieving sustainability in Québec’s human-dominated landscapes. We will address the general question of how to set conservation and restoration priorities without impeding economic development.

Research context:

The Côte-Nord region is dominated by forests and wetlands, while forestry and peat extraction are main economic pillars.The peat industry is dependent on good-quality peat, which has proved to be virtually irreplaceable as a growing substrate for horticultural products. This industry has developed basic criteria for selecting harvesting sites in accordance with socio-environmental concerns such as social acceptability and rarity of specific habitats, but lacks tools to integrate multiple ecosystem services. This industry is also in need of reliable methods to consider trade-offs between conservation and development to ensure the lowest possible environmental footprint regionally. The forest industry is dependent on actual wood stock as well as on the capacity of forests to regenerate after harvesting. Natural forests play crucial roles in climate regulation by stocking carbon through live biomass, but also contribute to reducing surface albedo and thus to increasing temperatures by absorbing a large part of sun radiance. Studying trade-offs between carbon stocking and reduced albedo after tree plantations would help decision making within this industry, particularly for northern forests.

Approach:

We will first compare two modelling approaches to prioritize conservation sites: the hot spot approach, based on spatial concordance of ES, and the Systematic Conservation Planning approach, which focuses rather on site complementarity. We will estimate costs (area and number of sites selected in conservation networks and associated losses of resources extraction potential) and benefits (conservation targets achieved) for both approaches. Second, we will assess the cost/benefits ratios of plantations after tree harvesting. Plantation scenarios will be assessed for evergreen coniferous  (Picea glauca), deciduous coniferous (Larix laricina), and deciduous broad leaf species (Betula alleghaniensis), notably in regard to their effect on albedo and thereby on climate regulation. Third, we will evaluate the cost of postponing ES conservation planning under different scenarios of future industrial development. Site selection procedures and landscape planning will be performed using programs such as Marxan, Woodstock and Landis.

Profile:

Applicants must have completed a Master in the field of Ecology, Biology, Geography, Natural Resources, or a related field and have good knowledge or interest in biological conservation, notably on aspects related to ecosystem services and systematic conservation planning. Experience with scientific publications would be a great advantage. Speaking and reading French will be considered as a great asset as the candidate will integrate a French speaking team. At least he (she) should be ready to learn the basics of French. He (or she) should have good data management, GIS, and scientific writing skills. The candidate should have strong aptitudes for collaboration with other team members and partners.

ResNet

The project is part of a pan-Canadian network called ResNet, supported by the NSERC strategic network program. This network involves 26 researchers, 11 universities, 30 collaborators and 17 partner organizations to address important questions about the management and future of Canada’s working landscapes and the critical ecosystem services they provide. The candidate will interact with these people through workshops and meetings.

To apply, please send a cover letter describing your research background, interests, and qualifications; plus a curriculum vitae and contact information for at least three references to monique.poulin@fsaa.ulaval.ca.

Application deadline: Open until filled. Only short-listed candidates will be notified.

Monique Poulin
Professeure titulaire
Département de Phytologie
monique.poulin@fsaa.ulaval.ca

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MSc position is as follows: MSc in Strain diversity and infection phenotype of the Lyme disease pathogen Department of Veterinary Microbiology, WCVM, University of Saskatchewan

Position: One MSc position is available in an NSERC-funded research lab at the University of Saskatchewan to investigate how strain diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi, the tick-borne pathogen that causes Lyme disease (LD), influences the infection phenotype in the rodent host. We will use experimental infections with a lab LD system (mice, ticks) and different strains of B. burgdorferi to study the relationship among pathogen life history traits such as pathology, pathogen tissue burden, and transmission. The MSc student will work closely with a PhD student who is working on a complementary project.

Location: The University of Saskatchewan is one of the 15 top research universities in Canada. The WCVM is the premiere veterinary school in Western Canada and has state-of-the-art facilities. The Faculty in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology are biologists and veterinarians who study pathogens and parasites across a wide range of biological disciplines (molecular biology, physiology, and ecology). The Voordouw Tick & Lyme Lab has research funding from NSERC and the SHRF.

Job requirements: The position requires an independent, highly motivated, enthusiastic, and scientifically curious individual with an interest in the following fields: infectious diseases, microbiology, immunology, ecology, or evolutionary biology. The candidate will learn a diversity of skills including molecular techniques (qPCR, ELISA, Western Blots), working with rodents, statistical data analysis, and writing scientific papers. The applicant must have a BSc in biology (or a relevant discipline). The candidate is expected to apply for internal scholarships.

Start date: The position is available as early as May 2020. The salary is set by the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and the University of Saskatchewan College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Application requirements: Please submit: (1) a 1-2-page cover letter indicating your research interests and why you are interested in the position, (2) your CV (including a list of publications), (3) University transcripts, and (4) two letters of reference. Submit your complete application package via email to: maarten.voordouw@usask.ca. The application deadline is 31 December 2019 (or until the position is filled).

Professor Maarten J. Voordouw
Department of Veterinary Microbiology, WCVM, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
Visit our website: https://researchers.usask.ca/maarten-voordouw/

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PhD in Ecology of mixed strain infections in the Lyme disease pathogen, Department of Veterinary Microbiology, WCVM, University of Saskatchewan

Position: One PhD position is available in an NSERC-funded research lab at the University of Saskatchewan to investigate the ecological factors that maintain the strain diversity of Borrelia burgdorferi, the tick-borne pathogen that causes Lyme disease (LD). We will use experimental infections with a lab LD system (mice, ticks) to determine how interactions between different B. burgdorferi strains inside the vertebrate host and the tick vector influence the transmission and fitness of this multi-strain tick-borne pathogen.

Location: The University of Saskatchewan is one of the 15 top research universities in Canada. The WCVM is the premiere veterinary school in Western Canada and has state-of-the-art facilities. The faculty in the Department of Veterinary Microbiology are biologists and veterinarians who study pathogens and parasites across a wide range of biological disciplines (molecular biology, physiology, and ecology). The Voordouw Tick & Lyme Lab has research funding from NSERC and the SHRF.

Job requirements: The position requires an independent, highly motivated, enthusiastic, and scientifically curious individual with a strong background in any of the following fields: infectious diseases, microbiology, immunology, ecology, or evolutionary biology. Molecular techniques (qPCR, ELISA, Western Blots), experience working with rodents, statistical data analysis skills and writing skills are useful. The applicant must have a Master’s degree. Successful students are expected to be competitive and apply for a diversity of internal scholarships.

Start date: The position is available as early as May 2020. The salary is set by the Department of Veterinary Microbiology and the University of Saskatchewan College of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Application requirements: Please submit: (1) a 1-2-page cover letter indicating your research interests and why you are interested in the position, (2) your CV (including a list of publications), (3) University transcripts, and (4) two letters of reference. Submit your complete application package via email to: maarten.voordouw@usask.ca. The application deadline is 31 December 2019 (or until the position is filled).

Professor Maarten J. Voordouw
Department of Veterinary Microbiology
WCVM, University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Visit our website: https://researchers.usask.ca/maarten-voordouw/

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Fully funded MSc in Geography: Marine Habitat Mapping in Coastal Labrador.

We seek an M.Sc. student for a marine habitat mapping project in coastal Labrador, beginning in May, 2020.  This project will work with both new multibeam sonar data as well as previously existing data from the Canadian Hydrographic Service and from previous ArcticNet mapping studies in coastal bays of central and northern Labrador. Three research questions will lie at the centre of this project. 1) What benthic habitats do two focal fish species, Arctic charr and rock cod, occupy? 2) What high biodiversity and/or sensitive habitats are found in nearshore waters of Nunatsiavut and Northern Labrador, and where do these occur? 3) How similar or different are the benthic habitats and species found in coastal bays of Nunatsiavut vs. those in adjacent biogeographic regions. This project will be in cooperation with the government of Nunatsiavut and Fisheries & Oceans Canada.  Required skills include a quantitative background in geomorphology, ecology or marine biology and familiarity with a programming language (e.g. R), previous experience acquiring or processing acoustic or video data will be considered a strong asset.

For more information, please contact Evan Edinger (eedinger@mun.ca) or Katleen Robert (Katleen.robert@mi.mun.ca) with a CV and a cover letter stating your main research interests.

Closing date: January 15, 2020

Prospective start date: May 2020

Please visit: https://www.mi.mun.ca/graduateopportunities/

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Ph.D. or M.Sc. opportunity, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.

Dr. Jane Waterman is looking for graduate students to study questions related to the behaviour, ecology and physiology of African ground squirrels. This research focuses on testing hypotheses about the evolution of social behaviour using a combination of behavioral, physiological and molecular techniques, including access to our longterm database of trapping, genetic and behavioural data. Possible projects include the influence of parasites on survival and reproduction, male alloparental care and associated hormones, dispersal and a genomic perspective on adaptive behaviours. The social systems of this African species is unique because males form amicable all-male social groups that persist throughout the year and females live in kin groups with cooperative breeding. The project in Africa requires students to spend time at a field site in South Africa. Experience with laboratory techniques and field work would be an advantage. More information can be found at (https://www.watermanlab.com/). Completion of an MSc degree is preferred for the PhD, but students with a BSc degree and a strong academic record will also be considered. Interested applicants should email a CV, unofficial transcripts, and a biref statement of research interests to Dr. Jane Waterman (jane.waterman@umanitoba.ca). Starting date: Spring-Fall 2020.

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Ph.D. or M.Sc. opportunity, Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB.

Dr. Jane Waterman is looking for graduate students to study questions related to the behaviour, ecology and physiology of African ground squirrels. This research focuses on testing hypotheses about the evolution of social behaviour using a combination of behavioral, physiological and molecular techniques, including access to our longterm database of trapping, genetic and behavioural data. Possible projects include the influence of parasites on survival and reproduction, male alloparental care and associated hormones, dispersal and a genomic perspective on adaptive behaviours. The social systems of this African species is unique because males form amicable all-male social groups that persist throughout the year and females live in kin groups with cooperative breeding. The project in Africa requires students to spend time at a field site in South Africa. Experience with laboratory techniques and field work would be an advantage. More information can be found at (https://www.watermanlab.com/). Completion of an MSc degree is preferred for the PhD, but students with a BSc degree and a strong academic record will also be considered. Interested applicants should email a CV, unofficial transcripts, and a biref statement of research interests to Dr. Jane Waterman (jane.waterman@umanitoba.ca). Starting date: Spring-Fall 2020.

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PhD position on cross-ecosystem spatial dynamics, Université de Montréal, Canada

Starting Date: Between Spring and Fall 2020

This project is offered in co-supervision between the Université de Montréal’s Meta-Ecology lab (led by Eric Harvey) and the aquatic ecology lab (Beatrix Beisner, UQAM).

We are looking for a doctoral student to conduct experimental research (in aquatic mesocosms) on the dynamics of the coupling between ecosystems. We want to better understand how variations in frequency / magnitude and quantity / quality of resource flows influence the structure of biotic communities and the functioning of the ecosystems that receive these pulses of nutrients.

Several anthropogenic disturbances can potentially influence the dynamics of resource flows between ecosystems (climate change, agriculture, forest management). This project will therefore eventually anticipate some of these changes and help to better understand how a very localized disturbance can potentially have ramifications and cascading impacts across a whole landscape.

It should be noted that several projects are possible depending on the specific interests of the candidate. The student will be part of the GRIL (Groupe Interuniversitaire en Limnologie), a group of researchers in freshwater ecology. As a GRIL student member, the candidate will have access to several training opportunities, the expertise of 53 researchers and 175 colleagues as well as an annual symposium.

Qualifications: Candidates should have a MSc in biology or related discipline. Existing zooplankton, macro invertebrates or protist identification and counting skills are an advantage, but more generally curiosity and willingness to learn is most important.

Stipend: Salary of $18 000 to $21 000 per year for 3 years; applicants should also plan to apply for other scholarships (e.g., NSERC and FRQNT).

To apply: Interested applicants should send their CV and a cover letter outlining their research interests to eric.harvey@umontreal.ca

To learn more about the philosophy of the lab, please visit our website: http://www.metecolab.orgPhD position on cross-ecosystem spatial dynamics, Université de Montréal, Canada

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Graduate Research Opportunity, Aquatic Carbon Biogeochemistry in Boreal Aquatic Ecosystems

Start date: Summer – Winter / Spring 2020

Location: Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Several graduate assistantships are available to carry out Master’s or Ph.D. theses in the Aquatic Ecology Group of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM). The projects will be associated to the NSERC-funded Chair in Carbon Biogeochemistry in Boreal Aquatic Systems (CarBBAS). The research projects may focus on a wide range of issues related to C biogeochemistry and greenhouse gas dynamics in northern aquatic ecosystems, including lake and river organic carbon dynamics and processing, greenhouse gas dynamics, and ecosystem metabolism; links between aquatic and terrestrial C biogeochemistry and ecosystem function; the role of aquatic ecosystems on regional carbon budgets; greenhouse gas dynamics in hydroelectric reservoirs and the C footprint of hydroelectric power generation. The projects will likely involve a combination of approaches, including in situ point and continuous gas, chemical and physical measurements, optical, isotopic and chemical characterization of organic matter, a wide range of process measurements, GIS and landscape modeling measurements, and molecular microbial techniques. The research favors an integrative, network scale perspective of inland waters across the boreal biome of Québec, but comparative work in temperate and subarctic systems in Québec and elsewhere will also be carried out. The candidate will join the highly dynamic, diverse and multidisciplinary team of the NSERC-funded Industrial Research Chair in Carbon Biogeochemistry in Boreal Aquatic Systems (http://www.carbbas.uqam.ca/), which in turn is part of a aquatic group in the Département des sciences biologiques of the UQAM, with collective expertise in nutrient and C biogeochemistry, ecosystem and landscape modeling, population, community and ecosystem ecology, genomics and molecular ecology. The UQÀM is a francophone university, but English is the working language in the group, our students can choose to take courses in our sister universities and can submit their theses in English. Interested students should send a letter of introduction, academic resume, and the names of two references, to Paul del Giorgio (del_giorgio.paul@uqam.ca, 514-7957983). E-mail enquiries and applications are welcome. Starting date: Winter-Spring 2020.

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PhD: Evaluation of the factors affecting tree vulnerability in a context of assisted migration: an approach by key functional traits

Due to climate change, it is anticipated that current tree populations will be exposed to very different environmental conditions from the current conditions. Assisted migration is a potential management strategy, but the planted trees are confronted with more rigorous conditions, especially during their early establishment phase. We have established an experiment in the Quebec mixed forest to better understand vulnerability of trees planted for assisted migration. Nine thousand seedlings of 9 different species and 3 provenances representing current climate, that of 2050 and of 2080, were planted and subject to treatments testing different abiotic and biotic constraints : microclimate, herbivory (exclosures) and vegetation competition. We are seeking a PhD candidate interested in working on this unique site with a team of researchers from Quebec and the United States (USDA). The project includes three dimensions : 1) monitoring of phenological traits; 2) herbivory : evaluation of the risk of predation as a function of species and provenance and 3) functional traits : measure of key traits and their plasticity across species and provenances. The project is supervised by a multi-disciplinary team: Jean-Pierre Tremblay (Jean-Pierre.Tremblay@bio.ulaval.ca) and Alison Munson from Université Laval, and Patricia Raymond from the Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.

We are offering a fellowship of 21000 $/yr for three years. The candidate should have a Masters or MSc in biology or forest sciences (or be completing a degree). We are looking for qualities of autonomy, curiosity, science communication skills (written and oral). Please send your CV, your recent marks, a letter of motivation and a list of 2-3 references who can be contacted, for November 15th, 2019.

Pour en savoir plus : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iTHoc2ZST4

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