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 ( and Morgan Randall ( 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:


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 ( 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 (

Dunton Lab:
BLE-LTER website:
UTMSI graduate program:


Spatial dynamics of narwhal in a rapidly changing environment – Post Doctoral Fellowship Position

University of Windsor, University of Manitoba, Department of Fisheries and Oceans and World Wildlife Fund – Canada.

We are seeking a highly motivated Post-Doctoral Research Fellow to join a dynamic Arctic research team including academic, government and non-governmental partners. The PDF will be responsible for synthesizing and analysing various types of satellite telemetry data (horizontal and vertical) obtained from instrumented narwhal (Monodon monoceros) across the Canadian Arctic. Through the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, long term marine mammal monitoring programme, narwhal have been equipped with telemetry devices at multiple locations over the past three decades (1989 to present). This monitoring includes recent intense tagging efforts as part of the Ecosystem Approach to Tremblay Sound program (2017-present; Eclipse Sound near the community of Pond Inlet/Mittimatalik). These tagging campaigns now provide a unique long-term telemetry data set to address key management and conservation questions for this iconic and culturally important endemic Arctic species.

The broad objectives of this project are to characterize the type, size and location of core habitat (winter and summering grounds), define migration routes and determine the drivers of narwhal residency/movement behavior. The project specifically aims to take advantage of this long term data series to examine (i) inter-individual variation in movement behaviours from single tagging locations within and among years and (ii) inter annual variation in timing of residency and migrations to assess the degree of change that has occurred/is occurring. These outcomes will allow predictions on how ongoing climate shifts will impact narwhal movement and behavior to assist management. The project will also use data rich GPS fastloc data to examine fine scale movements and habitat use of narwhal in a region where shipping is rapidly increasing with unknown consequences for narwhal behaviour and life history dynamics.  The tasks of the successful candidate will initially include organization, cleansing and standardisation of data and an evaluation to ascertain data integrity to address identified questions. Following this first phase, the PDF will lead on addressing core questions agreed by all partners.

The position is initially funded for one year with the possibility of renewal based on performance and budget. The successful candidate will be based in Winnipeg, Manitoba, or Windsor, Ontario, Canada.

To apply, the candidate will possess a PhD in the area of ecology and will have a strong quantitative background including programming skills (using software such as R, Python, or MATLAB), familiarity with database management, and previous experience of telemetry data. The successful candidate will be expected to operate independently and as part of a broader interdisciplinary team, communicate with diverse stakeholders and be willing to share their expertise and enthusiasm among team members. The PDF will present findings at National/International Meetings and prepare manuscripts for publication.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter stating their work/academic experience to date, research interests and how these meet the stated selection criteria,  a complete curriculum vitae and contact information for two academic/research references. Please submit your application package to Marianne Marcoux ( and Nigel Hussey (


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

Dept. of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta (
Dept. of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta (
Canadian Forest Service, Northern Forestry Centre (
Alberta Biodiversity Monitoring Institute (

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.)

 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.

Dr. Scott Nielsen (
Dr. Kevin Devito (
Dr. 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 and Dr. Diana Stralberg at We thank all applicants for their interest; only selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.


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


Postdoctoral Research Associate in Peatland Ecosystem Modeling at the University of Western Ontario

A Postdoctoral Research Associate position, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry – Ontario Forest Research Institute (OMNRF – OFRI), is available immediately for a collaborative project investigating carbon dynamics in the face of disturbance and climate change in forested peatlands of Canada’s boreal zone.  The successful candidate will use quantitative modeling approaches to calibrate and incorporate soil and decomposition data into established peatland carbon models (CaMP, DNDC) using data from two experimental peatland sites.

This position is part of the BRACE (Biological Response to A Changing Environment) project, a large-scale, field-based initiative in conjunction with the OMNRF – OFRI, and the Canadian Forest Service – Great Lakes Forestry Centre.  A considerable dataset spanning multiple years has already been developed for this project.  Successful candidates will be based in the Department of Biology at the University of Western Ontario, in the laboratories of Dr. Zoë Lindo and Dr. Brian Branfireun, will be co-supervised by Dr. Jim McLaughlin and collaborate with Dr. Maara Packalen at the OMNRF-OFRI.

Candidates must have a PhD degree from a recognized university in ecology, physical geography, or related discipline with a strong background in process-based ecosystem science.  Candidates must have demonstrated skills in Visual C++ 6.0 and executed in PC Windows.  Experience in conducting field-based experiments and remote field experience is desirable but not required.  The ability to effectively communicate and collaborate with a diverse group of colleagues from universities, governments and other research organizations is essential.  Applicants must also have a demonstrated ability to independently prepare manuscripts for publication in peer-reviewed journals.

The position is available immediately and the successful applicant would be expected to begin the position by May 1, 2019.  The initial postdoctoral appointment will be for one year, with extension for an additional year depending upon funding and satisfactory performance.  The salary range is $50000-$55000 per annum, commensurate with qualifications and experiences.  A benefits package is included, as described at

Interested candidates should submit a full curriculum vitae, cover letter with a statement of qualifications and experience, and names of three references to

Applications will continue to be accepted until the position is filled, but evaluation of applications will begin April 1st.


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.



Post-doctoral fellowship in population ecology and conservation biology

Institution: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (

Laboratory: Integrative Wildlife Conservation (

We are hiring a post-doctoral fellow to conduct research at the interface of behavioural ecology, population ecology, and conservation biology. Our lab includes a wide range of research areas that are suitable for a highly-productive post-doctoral fellowship; below are examples of the areas that are immediately available for post-doctoral research, and depending on interest and expertise, the fellow can develop specific research questions within the scope of a larger project:

  • Boreal forest and climate change – We forecast dire consequences of climate change to birds and mammals in the boreal forest (Murray et al. 2017 PLoS (ONE)12(5): e0176706). Through field sampling, species distribution modeling, population viability analysis, and/or landscape genetics and adaptive genomics, we can assess: 1) current and potential future extent of change in boreal species; 2) how boreal breakdown may affect population processes and viability of native species; 3) likely patterns of invasive colonization; 4) genome-level evidence of stress or adaptation.
  • Long-term ecological monitoring design – Long-term ecological monitoring programs must be optimized if they are to contribute tangibly to future conservation and management. Our previous work (Murray et al. 2010, Ecology 91: 571-581; Murray et al. 2008 J. Wildl. Manage. 72: 1463-1472) questions existing approaches in population analysis and management. Through time series analysis, statistical power analysis, and simulation modeling, the project may assess: 1) time series features for reliable detection of population decline and trend; 2) statistical approaches for quantifying population cyclicity and cyclic attenuation; 3) design optimization for ecological surveys in heterogenous and dynamic landscapes; 4) forecasting population viability using limited or biased data. Our lab-based model system (Borlestean et al. 2015 Ecol. Evol. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00037) is available to test specific model predictions in an empirical context.
  • Non-consumptive effects of predators – The extensive literature on non-lethal effects of predators on prey has excluded clear demonstration of population-level impacts. Through experiments using one of our established model systems (e.g., amphibians – Hossie & Murray 2016 Ecology 97:834-841; algae – Borlestean et al. 2015 Ecol. Evol. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00037) and/or via models parameterized with data from our Canada lynx-snowshoe hare system (Chan et al. 2017 Ecology DOI:10.1002/ecy.1828), we will assess: 1) consumptive and non-consumptive effects of predators on prey populations; 2) the role of prey vulnerability and predator selectivity on consumptive/non-consumptive dynamics; and 3) conditions promoting additive vs. compensatory predation.

In addition to conducting research, the post-doctoral fellow may teach 1-2 courses per year in a new online graduate program ( The PDF will also have opportunities to mentor and collaborate with graduate students. Candidates are welcome to propose new areas of research.

The successful candidate will have a PhD and MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications in relevant areas, strong quantitative, genetics, and/or field skills, and an interest in working collaboratively as part of a large group.

The PDF salary is a minimum of $50,000/year (CDN) + benefits. To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for 3 references, to: Dennis Murray ( The position is currently open and will close as soon as a suitable candidate is found.


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.