Graduate Student Opportunity in Stream Ecosystem Ecology

SUPERVISORS: Neil Rooney (nrooney@uoguelph.ca) and Merritt Turetsky (mrt@uoguelph.ca)

We are seeking an enthusiastic graduate student with a strong academic record to undertake an MSc or PhD in ecosystem ecology focusing on the effect of agricultural practices on the structure and functioning of wetland and stream ecosystems. PhD students are preferred. As part of the recently launched ‘Food from Thought’ initiative at the University of Guelph (http://news.uoguelph.ca/2016/09/u-g-receives-nearly-77-million-launch-food-thought/), this graduate project presents an exciting opportunity to participate in a large collaborative research effort that aims to quantify ecological effects of agricultural practices from individuals to ecosystems.

This project will take a field based approach to linking farming practices to hydrology, soil and stream nutrient cycling and metabolism across gradient of agricultural intensity. The results of the research will be essential in the development of crucial links among different scales of ecological organisation.

We are looking for a candidate who:

  1. Has a strong background in biogeochemical cycling and/or aquatic ecosystem metabolism (MSc preferred)
  2. Thrives in a collaborative environment and enjoys field work
  3. Has strong quantitative skills (i.e. statistics and/or programming)

Starting date: Fall 2017.

Stipend: Minimum funding of 20,000$/year for 4 years. There are also opportunities for TAships and scholarships through the School of Environmental Sciences, and the University of Guelph does offer competitive matching for exceptional students.

Applicants should provide a copy of their CV and transcripts, a short statement of research interests, and the contact information of two referees to: nrooney@uoguelph.ca. Applications will be considered until the position is filled.

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PhD project in the Department of Integrative Biology at the University of Guelph – Closing date: January 1, 2018

Development of novel biotracers to understand the impact of agricultural practices on aquatic wildlife

A Canada First Research Excellence Fund (CFREF)-funded PhD student position is available for a candidate interested in wildlife conservation and physiology. The candidate will seek to assess the cumulative impacts of human activity in fish exposed to gradients of agricultural runoff using physiological tools, both in field and laboratory settings. Individual measures of chronic stress and contaminant exposure will be combined with an analysis of physiological and ecological indicators of fish performance. This project aims to develop and validate new biotracers of the sublethal effects of pollution on aquatic wildlife, which could revolutionize our approach to aquatic environmental assessment and monitoring.

The overarching theme of the University of Guelph CFREF is precision agriculture and environmental sustainability. The selected candidate will join the CFREF ecology team composed of up to 25 collaborators across 4 Departments plus the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario. The primary objective of the ecology team is to understand, and mitigate against, the impacts of a range of agricultural practices on adjacent ecosystems. The development of novel efficient biotracers that can serve as early warning signals of agricultural impacts on aquatic ecosystems will be essential to inform wildlife ecologists and management.

Applications must consist of the following: (1) a letter expressing your interest; (2) an unofficial transcript; (3) names of at least two references; and (4) an example of your scientific writing.

The College of Biological Sciences at the University of Guelph currently has a number of major graduate scholarships available. Students with excellent academic records should visit the following website for further information: https://www.uoguelph.ca/ib/new_graduate_scholarships

Contact persons:
Nicholas Bernier (nbernier@uoguelph.ca) and Frederic Laberge (flaberge@uoguelph.ca)

Post-doctoral Visiting Fellowship Opportunity on Recovery Strategies for Depleted Populations of Pacific Salmon

Canadian Government Laboratory Visiting Fellow program

POST-DOCTORAL POSITION

We are seeking a Visiting Fellow to lead a research project on evaluating recovery strategies for depleted populations of Pacific salmon with Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO). The Principal Investigators of the project are Dr. Carrie Holt (PBS), Kendra Holt (IOS) and Ann-Marie Huang (Annacis Island); key collaborators include representation from DFO Science and Fisheries Management: Mike Hawkshaw, Jeff Grout, Sarah Hawkshaw, and Robyn Forrest.

PROJECT OBJECTIVES

Our goal is to create a framework for developing recovery plans for Pacific salmon that evaluates trade-offs between conservation objectives and other fisheries management objectives. Within Canada, there are approximately 450 Conservation Units (CUs) of Pacific salmon, of which a large proportion have been assessed or are expected to be assessed with poor status below conservation thresholds. However, progress on implementing recovery strategies has been limited by a lack of tools to evaluate management actions. Our specific objectives are to identify management approaches (e.g., target exploitation rates, harvest control rules) to achieve recovery, and develop tools to identify CU-specific management actions. This will include exploring how to achieve targets in the context of multiple mixed-stock fisheries. The successful candidate will develop a simulation model within a Management Strategy Evaluation, MSE, context to evaluate a range of management strategies for achieving recovery and will consider environmental forcing of population dynamics that may impact productivity and confound recovery efforts. The project will work closely with fisheries management to link tool development with priorities for decision-making through a series of meetings and workshops.

ESSENTIAL ASSET QUALIFICATIONS

Applicants must have completed a PhD in fisheries science or a related discipline within the past five years. Experience using R programming language is essential. Candidates with experience in simulation modelling of population dynamics on marine fish species and evaluating impacts on fisheries and management will be given priority. Successful candidates will have a proven capacity to publish in peer-reviewed journals. Those who are not Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada must satisfy Canadian immigration requirements.

LOCATION OF TENURE FLEXIBLE: Pacific Biological Station (PBS), Nanaimo, BC; Institute of Ocean Sciences (IOS), Sidney, BC; or Annacis Island, Delta, BC. The west coast of Canada, and Vancouver Island in particular, is well known for its rainforests, beaches, and mountains. It is a destination for kayaking, hiking, surfing, skiing, diving, biking and camping.

POSITION DETAILS AND HOW TO APPLY

This fellowship is available to start October 1, 2017 and will be completed September 31, 2019 with a salary of $62,000 CAD per annum. The Canadian Government Laboratory Visiting Fellow program is administered by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC). More details about the program can be found at: http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PD-NP/Laboratories-Laboratoires/index_eng.asp. All candidates must meet NSERC eligibility requirements http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/NSERC-CRSNG/Eligibility-Admissibilite/students-etudiants_eng.asp

CONTACT

Interested applicants should email: 1) CV; and 2) cover letter outlining the experience and skills they bring to the project to: Carrie Holt, carrie.holt@dfo-mpo.gc.ca

Short-listed applicants will be invited to develop a full application through the NSERC system. CVs will be accepted until the position is filled.

PhD project in fire ecology in the eastern Canadian taiga

We are seeking an outstanding PhD candidate to conduct a thesis in fire ecology in the fire-prone eastern Canadian taiga. The project will be undertaken at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR; http://labdendro.uqar.ca) in collaboration with Laval University, the Canadian Forest Service and the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). The thesis will be part of a larger multidisciplinary project funded by NSERC, the Ouranos consortium, Hydro-Québec and Manitoba Hydro, that will focus on mapping the fire risk and performing a cost-benefit analysis of fire mitigation scenarios.

The selected candidate will be responsible for reconstructing the fire regime of the last 200 years along a continentality gradient corresponding to a 200 km road transect. An important challenge will consist in combining several field approaches to reconstruct fire date, fire size and fire numbers as fire activity decrease inland. A second challenge will be to quantify the interactions and feedbacks between wildfire activity and forest composition along the fire activity gradient.

The candidate will actively contribute to the production and interpretation of data and to the writing of scientific manuscripts. He/she will be mainly under the supervision of Dominique Arseneault and Martin Simard and will benefit from the diverse expertise of our team members in the fields of taiga ecology, fire ecology, dendrochronology and remote sensing. The candidate will be awarded a financial support of $21,000 (Canadian dollars) per year for a period of three years.

We are looking for a candidate with a master degree (MSc) in a relevant field (forestry, biology, geography, environmental sciences). The successful candidate will possess an excellent academic record, as well as strong analytical and problem-solving skills. He/she must be interested to perform fieldwork in difficult conditions, be resistant and efficient in the field, and should be able to work with autonomy, curiosity, discipline, motivation and determination and have excellent writing skills. Knowledge of French is an asset but is not mandatory.

The project will begin as soon as possible, preferably in September 2017. We will accept applications as long as the position is not filled. Interested candidates must submit a letter of motivation, their academic transcripts, as well as the contact information of three references to Dominique Arseneault (dominique_arseneault@uqar.ca).

PhD project in fire spread modelling and fire risk mapping in the eastern Canadian taiga

We are seeking an outstanding PhD candidate to conduct a thesis in fire risk simulation in the fire-prone eastern Canadian taiga. The project will be undertaken at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR; http://labdendro.uqar.ca) in collaboration with the Canadian Forest Service, Laval University and the University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). The thesis will be part of a larger multidisciplinary project funded by NSERC, the Ouranos consortium, Hydro-Québec and Manitoba Hydro, that will focus on mapping the fire risk and performing a cost-benefit analysis of fire mitigation scenarios.

The selected candidate will be responsible for using a fire spread model (the Burn-P3 model) to map burn probabilities across a large hydroelectric complex (300 000 km2) in northern Québec. An important challenge will be to parameterize the simulations in order to generate realistic fire activity (number and size of fires), as well as to reproduce the negative feedback on burn rates due to the low fuel loads of young forest stands. The candidate will do a MITACS internship hosted by Manitoba Hydro to facilitate knowledge transfer and application of the methodology developed from the Quebec case study to Manitoba.

The candidate will actively contribute to the production and interpretation of data and to the writing of scientific manuscripts. He/she will be mainly under the supervision of Marc-André Parisien, Yan Boulanger and Dominique Arseneault and will benefit from the diverse expertise of our team members in the fields of fire ecology, fire spread modelling and statistical modeling. The candidate will be awarded a financial support of $21,000 (Canadian dollars) per year for a period of three years. Additional funding may be available.

We are looking for a candidate with a master degree (MSc) in a relevant field (forestry, biology, geography, environmental sciences). The successful candidate will possess an excellent academic record, as well as strong analytical and problem-solving skills. This person should be able to work with autonomy, curiosity, discipline, motivation and determination and to work effectively within a team and have excellent writing skills. GIS and R programming skills would also be precious assets. Knowledge of French is an asset but is not mandatory.

The project will begin as soon as possible, preferably in September 2017. Interested candidates must submit a letter of motivation, their academic transcripts, as well as the contact information of three references to Dominique Arseneault (dominique_arseneault@uqar.ca).

POST-DOC OPPORTUNITY IN CONTINENTAL-SCALE AVIAN HABITAT MODELING

We seek a quantitative ecologist and modeller to join an NSERC-funded project on avian conservation in managed boreal forests. In partnership with industry and government, our goal is to forecast bird species responses to the landscape changes that occur through forestry activities at local, regional, and national extents. The successful candidate will work with a team of avian ecologists, forest scientists, statisticians and technical staff to forecast the consequences of alternate forest management and conservation plans and identify forest management practices that best support conservation goals. The forecasting tools will be implemented in SpaDES, a new system for spatial simulation in R (spades.predictiveecology.org). The major component of the work will be designing simulation experiments and ecological indicators to evaluate alternate forest management plans, estimate model forecast error, and design sampling regimes to reduce such errors.

Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in ecology, forestry, environmental sciences, applied mathematics, computer science, statistics, or a related field;
  • High-level programming skills (e.g., R, Python);
  • Experience with statistical modelling;
  • Experience with spatial simulation modelling;
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills, in English.
  • Experience with any of the following are valuable assets: forest management planning methods and tools; conservation planning methodologies; wildlife-habitat or species distribution modelling; GIS; Remote Sensed data; workflow automation tools; French.

The direct supervisors will be Eliot McIntire (Pacific Forestry Centre, expertise in applied ecology, conservation and ecological forecasting) and Steven Cumming (Université Laval, expertise in forest landscape dynamics, avian habitat modelling, and spatial simulation). Additional collaborators include Erin Bayne (University of Alberta), Fréderic Raulier (Laval), and Marcel Darveau (Laval), post-doctoral fellows and graduate students across Canada, and government research scientists. The successful candidate will be team member of the Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM), a long term research program in the ecology and dynamics of avian populations and their habitats in the boreal forest of North America (see www.borealbirds.ca).

Location of tenure: The position will be located in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, at the Pacific Forestry Centre, with travel to Quebec City (Université Laval) and/or Edmonton (University of Alberta) to work with collaborators. No field work is required.

Start date, duration, & compensation: The position will start as soon as possible. The duration is one year, renewable once based on performance. The annual salary is $53,161 Cdn plus benefits.

 To Apply: Please provide a letter of interest, your CV, and an example of your writing skills in the form of a peer-reviewed manuscript. Your letter should indicate how you meet each of the criteria, and state when you are able to start and when you can relocate to British Columbia. We will accept applications until a suitable candidate is found, but will begin reviewing as soon as the first is received. Send application packages to:

Nicole Barker, BAM Coordinating Scientist, nbarker@ualberta.ca

M.Sc. Position, University of Regina – Management and conservation of sharp-tailed grouse in Saskatchewan. Closing date: July 1, 2017.

We are looking for an enthusiastic and self-motivated student to lead a project examining factors related to Sharp-tailed Grouse ecology and management in Saskatchewan, Canada.  Using both a field component and statistical modelling, this project will address questions related to climate and habitat factors affecting lek counts and lek habitat
selection.  The successful applicant will be: (1) a motivated team player, (2) interested in a project with broad wildlife management applications, (3) willing to engage with local landowners, conservation and hunting communities in Saskatchewan, industrial partners, and Saskatchewan Ministry of the Environment staff to support this research, (4) capable
of managing a 2-4 person field crew, and (5) willing to apply for various funding opportunities including a MITACS or NSERC scholarship. The project is fully funded, including a graduate student stipend, for the 2017-2018 year.

Applicants will be under the co-supervision of Dr. Chris Somers and Dr. Ryan Fisher (adjunct professor) in the Department of Biology at the University of Regina. To apply for this position please email a copy of your resume/CV, a short cover letter detailing previous experience and why you want to be considered for this position, transcripts, and a list of 2 references to  Chris Somers (chris.somers@uregina) and Ryan Fisher (ryan.fisher@uregina.ca).

Closing date is July 1, 2017 with the expected start date on September 1, 2017, but other arrangements (for earlier or later start dates) can be made.

PhD project on foraging behaviour and population ecology of Canada lynx in Yukon

Institution: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (www.trentu.ca)

Supervisors: Dennis Murray (http://www.dennismurray.ca) and Stan Boutin (https://www.ualberta.ca/science/about-us/contact-us/faculty-directory/stan-boutin)

We are seeking a PhD student to assess lynx foraging behavior and population ecology near Kluane Lake, Yukon. Our research on lynx and their prey in the Kluane region spans decades, and the current project builds on our recent re-analysis of the functional response of lynx to different prey types and how such relationships are more complex than previously thought (see Chan et al. 2017 Ecology DOI:10.1002/ecy.1828). Specifically, through lynx GPS telemetry and accelerometry, camera trap surveys, as well as assessment of prey distribution and abundance, we aim to understand the mechanisms underlying lynx interactions with their primary (snowshoe hare) and secondary (red squirrel) prey, and how such interactions affect lynx population ecology through space and time. To date, lynx have been studied intensively for 2 winters during a period of relative abundance of prey, with an anticipated crash in snowshoe hare numbers and corresponding changes in lynx foraging behavior, expected during the next 2 years. These anticipated changes set the stage for robust analysis of variation in lynx: 1) kill rates and movement patterns; 2) exploitation of prey habitat patches; and 3) interactions with conspecifics. The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop specific research questions within the scope of the larger project and be part of a dynamic group of researchers from 4 Canadian universities.

The funding package includes a competitive stipend, foreign tuition waiver (if the student is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident) as well as coverage of all research expenses. Successful candidates will have an MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications, strong field skills (preferably including carnivore radio-telemetry, chemical immobilization and winter fieldwork), and analysis of GPS telemetry datasets. The successful candidate must be competitive for scholarship funding and be excited about working in a remote field station in the winter for extended periods of time.

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references, to: Dennis Murray (dennismurray@trentu.ca). The successful candidate will begin enrolment by September 2017 or January 2018, and we will accept applications until a suitable candidate is found, so apply early.

Field Assistant, Cape Race, Newfoundland, Canada, June 10 – August 22, 2017. Application deadline: May 10th, 2017.

Job description:

We are seeking a summer field research assistant to assist with fish sampling in Cape Race, Newfoundland. The objective of this research is to identify the effects of juvenile brook trout density on their fitness, and whether it operates through prey depletion, competition or microhabitat exclusion. The fieldwork will consist of fish sampling via backpack electrofishing, behavioral observations of young-of-the-year brook trout, quantification of microhabitat-use, sampling of invertebrate drift communities and to divide stream channels in sections where density will be manipulated. Long days are common (10+ hours) and the schedule is unpredictable. Accommodations and food are provided for the duration of the fieldwork. Salary is determined with the experience of the applicant.

Qualifications:

Applicants are expected to be comfortable working in a remote setting and in inclement weather for extended periods of time. Long hikes on uneven ground while carrying heavy gear are a daily occurrence. Applicants must be apt at working in teams. Electrofishing certification (Class I or II) is required. A background in ecology with fieldwork experience is expected. Experience in behavioral sampling and a valid driver’s license are assets, but not required.

Please send a cover letter, resume and contact information for two references to Jean-Michel Matte (jeanmichelmatte3@gmail.com) by May 10th, 2017 @ 4pm. Jean-Michel is a PhD student cosupervised by Dr. James Grant and Dr. Dylan Fraser at Concordia University.

PhD project on boreal forest responses to climate change

Institution: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (www.trentu.ca)

Supervisor: Dennis Murray (http://www.dennismurray.ca)

We are initiating a PhD project to assess responses to climate change among native species in Canada’s boreal forest. The boreal forest comprises Canada’s largest biome but its state is rapidly deteriorating, including due to climate change. Our recent findings (Row et al. 2012 Glob. Chan. Biol doi:10.1111/gcb.12526; Murray et al., PLoS (ONE), in press) forecast dire consequences to the boreal forest especially in the boundary region between Ontario-Quebec where disjunct east-west populations of native plants, birds, and mammals, and extensive loss of native biodiversity, likely will arise. Through field sampling, species distribution modeling, population viability analysis, and landscape genetics and adaptive genomics, the PhD student will determine: 1) the current and potential future extent of change in boreal species in the Ontario-Quebec region relative to less-impacted areas; 2) how boreal breakdown may affect population processes and viability of native species in the region; 3) whether invasives are colonizing the region disproportionately quickly compared to other regions; and 4) if native or invasive species in the region demonstrate genome-level evidence of stress or adaptation to environmental change. The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop specific research questions within the scope of the larger project.

The funding package includes a competitive stipend, foreign tuition waiver (if the student is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident) as well coverage of all research expenses. Successful candidates will have an MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications, strong quantitative, genetics, and/or field skills, and an interest in working collaboratively as part of a larger group. The PhD student will join the Integrative Wildlife Conservation laboratory at Trent University (www.dennismurray.ca) and be part of an interdisciplinary team addressing innovative solutions to environmental change (www.create-enviro.ca).

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references, to: Dennis Murray (dennismurray@trentu.ca). The successful candidate will begin enrolment at Trent University by September 2017 or January 2018, and we will accept applications until a suitable candidate is found, so apply early.