MODELLING THE IMPACTS OF DEVELOPMENT ON LAKE STURGEON

WCS Canada and Lakehead University are seeking a recent PhD graduate for a postdoctoral fellowship in conservation biology. The project will focus on applying advanced ecological modeling techniques to understand the impacts of climate change and future development scenarios on lake sturgeon populations in Ontario’s Arctic watershed. This project supports a broader long-term collaborative research program between WCS Canada and Moose Cree First Nation (Resource Protection Unit), which is using field-based research (acoustic telemetry, physiological measurements) to understand the impacts of a hydroelectric facility on lake sturgeon. The postdoctoral fellow will be responsible for developing models (e.g., agent-based models, bioenergetics models) to predict the impacts of various development scenarios on lake sturgeon populations, and publish their results in the peer-reviewed literature. The postdoctoral fellow will also assist with the fieldwork collecting acoustic telemetry and physiological data from lake sturgeon within the Moose River basin. As well as having opportunities to contribute to the Lakehead University academic community, such as through seminars, there will be opportunities to contribute to WCS Canada’s applied conservation efforts and outreach activities, such as through blog posts, community presentations, and commenting on policy and management proposals.

Position objectives:

1) Model the impacts of climate change and future development scenarios on lake sturgeon populations in Ontario’s Arctic watershed and publish results as a peer-reviewed publication.
2) Conduct lake sturgeon ecological field research (physiological measurements and acoustic telemetry).

Qualifications:

1) Recent PhD graduate in relevant field (e.g., fisheries, spatial ecology, quantitative ecology, conservation, etc.). Senior PhD candidates are also encouraged to apply, but the successful applicant must defend their PhD prior to starting this position.
2) Demonstrated ability to apply advanced modelling techniques (e.g., agent-based models, bioenergetics models, etc.) to ecological problems.
3) Demonstrated ability to manage safe and effective field-based research projects, including associated logistics and personnel is preferred.
4) Excellent oral and written communication skills for diverse audiences.
5) Strong interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work effectively in cross-cultural and interdisciplinary work environment.

To apply:
Please send a cover letter, resume/CV (including contact information for 3 references), and a brief and relevant example of your written work to WCS Canada by email or mail:

By email: wcscanadahr@wcs.org with the subject “FRESHWATER PDF”
By mail: Human Resources, Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, 344 Bloor Street West, Suite #204, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 3A7

About WCS Canada:

WCS Canada (www.wcscanada.org) was established as a Canadian conservation organization in July 2004. Our mission is to conserve wildlife and wild places by improving our understanding of and seeking solutions to critical problems that threaten key species and large wild ecosystems throughout Canada. We implement and support comprehensive field studies that gather information on wildlife needs and then seek to resolve key conservation problems by working with a broad array of stakeholders. We also provide technical assistance and biological expertise to local groups and agencies that lack the resources to tackle conservation concerns. WCS Canada is independently registered and managed, while retaining a strong collaborative working relationship with sister Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) programs in more than 60 countries.

About the Rennie Lab at Lakehead University:

Our research is focused on the metabolic and community ecology of altered environments. Human activities often create change in the form of multiple stressors, altering the community composition of aquatic ecosystems. Accurately measuring those changes is a critical first step to understanding ecosystem responses to stress. Our research group focuses on understanding how those community changes alter ecosystem energetics and function. Two broad research themes are: 1) understanding the role of multiple stressors (e.g., climate change, commercial and recreational fishing, species invasions) on the community structure and energetics of aquatic ecosystems and 2) understanding ways in which the behaviour and life histories of aquatic organisms can influence population size and ecosystem structure. For more information, see: http://ceelab.ca/.

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Seeking PostDoc: Predicting Spread of Whirling Disease in Fish using Belief Nets

We are seeking  a postdoc to work on modelling the spread of whirling disease using Bayesian Belief and Decision Networks.   Whirling disease infects fish and can have devastating effects on trout and related species.  It was recently detected in Canada, with reports from Alberta in the summer of 2016. It was declared by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to be present in the Bow, Oldman and Red Deer River watersheds in Alberta. The project will explore effective ways to model the spread of this disease in ways that will help inform policy makers on appropriate measures for prevention, and response.  We anticipate this will involve the use of Bayesian Belief Networks, and related Probabilistic Graphical Models.

The ideal candidate will have experience with invasion biology and/or machine learning and/or fisheries biology/ecology. S/he must be comfortable with quantitative analysis, with strong skills in R or a similar language.  S/he will need to be able to work well in an interdisciplinary team environment and be goal-oriented.  

The candidate will be jointly supervised by Profs Russ Greiner (Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute) and Mark Lewis (Math/Stat Sciences and Biological Sciences) at the University of Alberta, and will collaborate with experts from Alberta Environment and Parks.  The home base would be as a member of the research lab of Mark Lewis. This is a 2 year position (renewable after the first year).

This position will be at the University of Alberta, and have a competitive salary. The starting date is August 1, 2017 or when filled.  To apply, please

  • send a cover letter and CV by email to Kim Budinski (kbudinsk@ualberta.ca), and
  • also have two letters of recommendation emailed to this address.

If you have questions about the position, please feel free to contact Russ Greiner at rgreiner@ualberta.ca or Mark Lewis at mark.lewis@ualberta.ca.

(This page is https://docs.google.com/a/ualberta.ca/document/d/1IeALgFbFkM_e2mXxucV-7GpEhJnqwWQPhSr2fhEnfps/edit?usp=sharing )

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