The boreal woodland caribou is an umbrella species for which a habitat management favoring its populations also promotes biodiversity conservation. Following climate change, however, different habitat management strategies may be favored, and the species contribution to boreal biodiversity may vary. The PhD project will establish the interplay among climate change, habitat management for boreal caribou and the species’ contribution to biodiversity conservation. The empirical approach will be based on the study of radio-collared caribou and wolves along latitudinal transects located in Quebec and Alberta. This information will be related to data on plant and animal diversity collected along the same transects. Weather conditions observed along the transects will be used as a surrogate for local climate conditions, and projections from climate change models will be used to explore consequences of those changes to the function of boreal caribou as umbrella species. Most of the data have already been collected, and little additional fieldwork is expected. The study will therefore largely focus on the analysis of existing data, combined with computer simulations. It is nonetheless possible that additional fieldwork is conducted.
We are seeking a highly motivated PhD student to participate in a project on the current and future role of boreal caribou as an umbrella species in boreal forest. The successful candidate will join a research group comprised of biologists, statisticians and physicists working on Network Analysis of Umbrella and Indicator Species. The student will be co-supervised by Daniel Fortin (U. Laval) and Mark Hebblewhite (U. of Montana).
Qualifications: Hold an MSc in terrestrial ecology or related field. Be familiar with the use of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing data, and have a strong interest for statistics and quantitative ecology. Université Laval is a French university, and the student will be asked to learn French within the first two years.
A scholarship of 18,000$/year is available for 3 years. Small scholarships from U. Laval will be added to this amount. Students admissible for NSERC and FRQNT fellowships will be favored.
Documents to provide by email: Applicants for this position should forward a short cover letter indicating their motivation, accompanied by a current CV, unofficial transcripts and contact information of three references to: Daniel Fortin (Daniel.Fortin@bio.ulaval.ca). We will start reviewing the applications on 15 April 2017.
Département de biologie, Pavillon Alexandre-Vachon, 1045, av. de la Médecine,
Université Laval, Québec (Qc) G1V 0A6, Canada