MSc. student position in Rare Plant Conservation Genetics at Memorial University of Newfoundland-Canada

We are seeking a motivated MSc student to conduct research on the conservation genetics of endangered plant species of Newfoundland in Canada. Two species of Braya (Brassicaceae) and one species of Salix (Salicaceae) are endemic to the Limestone Barrens of Newfoundland (www.limestonebarrens.ca for more information), and are endangered under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. We aim to elucidate the intraspecific genetic variation and population genetic structure for the conservation and management of these endangered species including the establishment of a genetically diverse seed bank, and the identification of stock for future reintroductions. We propose to use Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS), a cost-effective next generation sequencing method that permits the retrieval of millions of short DNA markers, and which we have successfully used in other plant projects at MUN Biology (Podocarpus, Vaccinium, Parajubaea). Other research questions of interest to the student are welcome within the framework of Conservation Biology or Genetics. The MSc student will work under the mentorship of three professors: Dr. Julissa Roncal (plant evolutionary biologist), Dr. Luise Hermanutz (conservation ecologist) and Dr. Lourdes Pena-Castillo (bioinformatician).

Student’s qualifications:

  • A BS degree with Honours in a related discipline (e.g. biology, botany, conservation, ecology, molecular biology, bioinformatics)
  • Experience in organismic botany, ecology, conservation science, phylogenetic and/or population genetics analyses, and bioinformatic analysis of high-throughput sequencing data is highly desirable.
  • Excellent writing, analytical, organization and communication skills. Attention to detail.
  • Written and oral proficiency in English is mandatory for international students. TOEFL test required for admission to the university, but not the GRE tests

Position characteristics:

Project start date is September 2019. The MSc program comprises two years with an annual stipend of $19,000. The student is expected to teach on average 10 hr/wk during the fall and winter semesters but not in the spring. The department of Biology at Memorial University has 29 faculty members and over 100 graduate students. Memorial University is Atlantic Canada’s largest university offering a multicultural environment. Screening will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Note this position is subject to funding.

How to apply: Interested applicants should send their CV, a one-page statement of research interests and career goals, transcripts, and contact information of 3 references (who have agreed to be contacted) in a single pdf or word file to Dr. Julissa Roncal at Email: jroncal@mun.ca. For more information on the research group visit: http://www.mun.ca/biology/jroncal/

For instructions on how to apply to Memorial’s graduate program visit: http://www.mun.ca/become/graduate/apply/index.php

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PhD: Securing ecosystem services by diversifying cropping systems. 

Description: We seek a PhD student (or highly motivated MSc) to characterize the agronomic and ecological attributes of a wide variety of crops for their potential use in diversifying arable cropping systems to promote soil health and other ecosystem services including sustainable yields.

The main objectives of the project is to screen a wide variety of crops for their ecological and agricultural attributes with the intention to build a knowledgebase for the various cover crops that may be implemented in Atlantic Canada to (1) protect and restore soil health in intensive production systems and (2) promote ecosystem services provided by arable lands (i.e. plant beneficial mycorrhizae, plant pollination, biodiversity and yield). The candidate will be involved in leading fieldwork for data collection on plant above and belowground traits as well as soil sampling and processing for characterizing soil biodiversity using next generation sequencing. These data will be used to make informed predictions for their incorporation into diversifying cropping systems (i.e. use in rotation or in diverse mixtures). The candidate will be involved in developing the study design; conducting field sampling activities; managing, analyzing and synthesizing data; communicating with government and industry partners; and disseminating results through peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

The successful candidate will join a dynamic and multidisciplinary team of researchers at the Fredericton Research and Development and Center (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada) on a 4-year, program in the Department of Biology at the University of New Brunswick. 

Start date: 1 Sept 2019 (latest) 

Type: The project is for a fully funded four year program. The candidate will be encouraged to apply for scholarships and teaching assistantships. 

Supervisors:
Dr. Cameron Wagg (AAFC, Fredericton)
Prof. Amy Parachnowitsch (UNB, Department of Biology) 

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

  • A degree in Plant and/or Soil Ecology, Agronomy, or related fields
  • An interest in incorporating ecological theory and concepts into agricultural practices
  • A valid driver’s license (or equivalent)
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Knowledge of experimental design and statistical programs (R) would be an asset

Application: Those interested should first email Dr. Cameron Wagg (cameron.wagg@canada.ca and cc Prof. Amy Parachnowitsch (aparachn@unb.ca) 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.

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Funded PhD Position in Cougar Ecology, The University of British Columbia – Okanagan Campus [Kelowna, BC, Canada]

Project description: We are recruiting a PhD student for research on the ecology of cougars in southern British Columbia. Cougars are one of the most important large carnivores in this region – interacting with deer, bighorn sheep, and other prey. However, landscape change – from wildfires, forestry, and urbanization – may be altering where and how cougars hunt these prey. These changes may also affect human-wildlife conflict.

The PhD student will examine the links between landscape change and predator-prey interactions using data from GPS-collared cougars. There is ongoing research in this area, incuding several dozen bighorn sheep and mule deer fitted with GPS collars, and arrays of remote cameras. This combination of research projects provides a rare and powerful opportunity to directly measure the spatial and temporal dynamics of species interactions. The student will be expected to tackle theoretical and applied questions related to cougar ecology – making advances in both fundamental research and the science-policy interface.

Minimal qualifications: Completion of a MSc is strongly preferred, as are applicants with publications or manuscripts in review. Applicants must have experience working on field research projects, knowledge of GIS, statistics (e.g., R), and a demonstrated interest in one or more of the following topics: 1) movement ecology; 2) predator-prey ecology; 3) the ecology of human-wildlife conflict. The student must be willing to work in a highly collaborative environment that includes: 1) co-supervision by two (nice) PIs; 2) government biologists; 3) other graduate students working on related research projects 4) people from First Nations, eNGOS, and consumptive and non-consumptive wildlife user groups.

Setting: The student will form a nexus between the research labs Drs. Adam T. Ford  (http://atford.weebly.com/) and Karen Hodges (https://biol.ok.ubc.ca/faculty/hodges.html) from the Department of Biology, UBC Okanagan, Kelowna, BC, who will co-supervise the student. The PhD Student will have the opportunity to engage with faculty members of, and facilities managed by, the Kelowna-based BRAES Institute (http://braes.ok.ubc.ca/) and the Vancouver-based Biodiversity Research Center (https://biodiversity.ubc.ca/).

Timeline: The ideal start date would be January 2020, but is negotiable. The formal application deadline for January 2020 admission at UBC Okanagan is June 1, 2019, but candidates will not be considered unless they have been in contact with us first and encouraged by us to complete the formal application.

Application instructions: Please email both adam.ford@ubc.ca AND karen.hodges@ubc.ca a single PDF [formatted as: LASTNAME_FIRSTNAME.pdf] that includes: (1) 1-2 page cover letter indicating i) past experiences in field ecology and research, ii) your reasons for wishing to pursue a PhD, and iii) your anticipated fit with the PIs and their labs; (2) a current CV; (3) copies of undergraduate and graduate transcripts [unofficial is fine]; (4) contact information for 3 references. For the email, please use the subject header “Cougar PhD Application”.

For full consideration, please submit this package no later than May 7,2019. We reserve the right to consider applications submitted after this time.  We will ask only our top candidate(s) to complete the formal UBC Okanagan application, since that entails additional time and expense.

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MSc or PhD position available, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph, ON, Canada

Project title: Structural and functional connectivity of multi-purpose landscapes of Southern Ontario

Advisors: Dr. Madhur Anand and Dr. Genevieve Ali

Project description: This project aims to describe and quantify the ecological and hydrological connectivity of Southern Ontario landscapes, where a variety of land uses and natural areas coexist in a mosaic pattern. The student will focus on different ways of assessing structural and functional connectivity (e.g. ecological, hydrological and chemical connectivity) for a variety of landscape objectives (e.g. agricultural production, biodiversity conservation, provision of ecosystem services, resilience) and at multiple scales. The student will also analyze trade-offs between landscape objectives, and develop and compare optimization scenarios that ultimately contribute to the environmental and socio-economic sustainability of Southern Ontario ecosystems.

Qualifications: BSc (if applying for a MSc) or MSc degree (if applying for a PhD); areas of expertise: environmental sciences, ecology, sustainability, geography, rural planning, or similar; strong academic record (required); excellent skills in Geographical Information Systems (required); sound knowledge in quantitative analysis and statistics (required); ability to work both independently and in an interdisciplinary fashion; competence to handle multiple datasets and sources; previous scientific publications (strongly preferred).

Start date: September 2019

Funding: available for 2 yrs (MSc) or 3 yrs (for PhD) as per University of Guelph guidelines. Grant source: CFREF Food from Thought to Dr. Madhur Anand.

To apply: Send CV, letter of interest, (unofficial) undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and the contact information for two references to Dr. Madhur Anand (manand@uoguelph.ca) and Dr. Genevieve Ali (gali@uoguelph.ca).

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MSc Opportunity – Forest Genetics, Start date: Immediate

Barb Thomas Lab

I am seeking a highly motivated MSc student to join my research group. As part of your graduate thesis research, you will lead a greenhouse study on the effects of drought stress on the sex performance of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides). Provenance and sex performance of seedlings will be compared through ecophysiological assessments, growth, biomass allocation and water use efficiency.

Prospective students must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in forestry or the natural sciences with a focus on forestry, ecology, genetics, plant biology or related field. The ideal candidate will have experience with field and greenhouse work, high attention to detail and strong computing skills including the use of statistical software packages. This project is part of a series of studies focused on understanding the underlying mechanisms driving differences in clonal performance in aspen.

This opportunity is open to domestic and international students, but preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. This project is partially funded through an NSERC Discovery Grant and additional scholarship funds and/or teaching will be required. Scholarships are available for Canadian students with a GPA of 3.7 or greater.

The research project will start in the summer or fall of 2019. Please submit an updated CV and letter of interest in conducting graduate research in forest genetics to Dr. Barb Thomas (bthomas@ualberta.ca) and Morgan Randall (mrandall@ualberta.ca). Informal inquiries to gain more information about the position are also welcome. Review of applications will begin as soon as they are received and continue until the position is filled.

To learn more about the research in our lab, please visit our website at: https://people.ales.ualberta.ca/barbthomas/

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MSc Opportunity – Forest Genetics, Start Date: January 2020

Barb Thomas Lab

I am seeking a highly motivated MSc student to join my research group in tree improvement. As part of your graduate thesis research, you will examine underlying causes for low seed yields in lodgepole pine seed orchards intended to provide genetically improved seed for reforestation in the upper and lower foothills of Alberta, Canada.

Prospective students must have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in forestry or the natural sciences with a focus on ecology, plant biology or related field. The project will require both field data collection and lab work such as dissection of reproductive organs under a stereoscope. The ideal candidate will have experience with field and lab work, high attention to detail, strong computing skills including the use of statistical software packages. This project is part of a larger project with Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Simon Bockstette.

This opportunity is open to domestic and international students, but preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. The position will be fully funded through an NSERC/Industry funded Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) grant, but prospective students are encouraged to apply for scholarships. Scholarships are available for Canadian students with a GPA of 3.7 or greater.

The position is available starting January  2020. Please submit an updated CV and letter of interest in conducting graduate research in forest genetics to Dr. Barb Thomas (bthomas@ualberta.ca) and Morgan Randall (mrandall@ualberta.ca). Informal inquiries to gain more information about the position are also welcome. Review of applications will begin as soon as they are received and continue until the position is filled.

To learn more about the research in our lab, please visit our website at: https://people.ales.ualberta.ca/barbthomas/

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Ph.D. Assistantship in Arctic Estuarine Ecology

A Ph.D. research assistantship is available (beginning summer/fall 2019) in Ken Dunton’s lab at the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute (https://utmsi.utexas.edu/). This position is part of an interdisciplinary program funded by the National Science Foundation to study the benthic ecology of Beaufort Sea lagoons within a newly established LTER located on Alaska’s northern Arctic coast. The student’s research would focus on the resilience of Arctic estuarine benthic communities, with emphasis on how intertidal and subtidal communities respond to extremes in ice, salinity, and hypoxia. This includes studies that examine seasonal and spatial patterns in invertebrate population structure to address mechanisms of persistence, migration, recovery, and trophic linkages with key consumers.  We seek applicants with a background in estuarine and/or marine science with a degree in biology, ecology, environmental science, or closely related fields. The student is expected to develop an integrative field and experimental project that incorporates fundamentally new and innovative approaches to questions of disturbance and resilience in benthic populations. Applicants should have a strong academic background, show evidence of independent work in the field and/or lab, and demonstrate a capacity to contribute to a collaborative research environment. For more information, please email a statement of interest/background and a copy of your CV to Ken Dunton (ken.dunton@utexas.edu).

Links:
Dunton Lab: www.utmsi.utexas.edu/staff/dunton
BLE-LTER website: https://ble.lternet.edu/
UTMSI graduate program:
https://utmsi.utexas.edu/academics/graduate/admission-information

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PhD opportunity in Ecology: Evaluating disturbance-mediated vegetation change and climate-change refugia potential in boreal forests

Organizations:
Dept. of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta (http://www.rr.ualberta.ca/)
Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta (https://www.ualberta.ca/biological-sciences)
Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre (https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/forests/research-centres/nofc/13485)
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (https://www.abmi.ca)

Position: Ph.D., University of Alberta (Renewable Resources or Biological Sciences Department)

Stipend: $26,500/yr

Apply by: 15 April 2019 (or until position is filled)

Start date: 1 May 2019 (preferable) to 1 Sept 2019 (latest)

Type: Study scope pre-determined. 3 years fully grant-funded. (NSERC Research funding will cover research expenses as well as three years of a Ph.D. student stipend. It is assumed that the student will be able to obtain a student scholarship or teaching assistantship to cover the fourth year.)

Description:
 The successful candidate will join a dynamic team of researchers on a 3-year, fully funded program studying the resilience of boreal forest landscapes to combined influences of drought and wildfire. This project will involve an analysis of field-collected and remotely sensed vegetation and soil data to evaluate (1) how drought (climate change risk) alters post-fire disturbance recovery dynamics and overall forest ecosystem function, and (2) which landscape factors are associated with enhanced forest resilience.

Fieldwork for this project will include summer vegetation and soil sampling, based out of remote field camps in northern Alberta. The PhD student will be involved in developing the study design; conducting field sampling activities; managing, analyzing and synthesizing data; communicating with government and industry partners; and disseminating results through peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

The four-year degree program will consist of coursework and a thesis containing three to four chapters intended for publication in peer-reviewed journals. Results will inform conservation and management priorities in a changing climate.

Supervisors:
Dr. Scott Nielsen (http://ace-lab.org/3G/scott.php)
Dr. Kevin Devito (https://devitogroup.squarespace.com)
Dr. Erin Bayne (https://www.ualberta.ca/science/about-us/contact-us/faculty-directory/erin-bayne)

Qualifications: M.Sc. in ecology or related field (e.g. biology, natural resources, geography, or forestry); min. 3.0 GPA for past 2 years of study, or equivalent.

Required: GIS and statistical skills; remote outdoor/field experience; initiative; dependability; ability to work in a team setting.

Assets: Familiarity with boreal forest ecosystems (plants and landforms) and responses to climate change; valid driver’s license; experience with all-terrain vehicles

Instructions: Please submit a cover letter describing your research interests, experience, and qualifications for this position, as well as a curriculum vitae, and contact information for three professional references to Dr. Scott Nielsen at scottn@ualberta.ca and Dr. Diana Stralberg at diana.stralberg@ualberta.ca. We thank all applicants for their interest; only selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.

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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 (bthomas@ualberta.ca and cc Morgan Randall mrandall@ualberta.ca) 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.

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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 paul.weidman@uwindsor.ca:

  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
Email: paul.weidman@uwindsor.ca
Web: http://www1.uwindsor.ca/glier/paul-weidman-0

&

Dr. Ken Drouillard, Professor
Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research (GLIER)
University of Windsor
Email: kgd@uwindsor.ca
Web: http://www1.uwindsor.ca/glier/ken-drouillard

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