Weston Family Conservation Science Fellowship: PhD or MSc Position: Demography of the Endangered Mottled Duskywing. Application deadline: February 3, 2020.

The Nature Conservancy of Canada (NCC) is the country’s leading private land conservation organization. Since 1962, NCC has helped to conserve 14 million hectares of land across Canada. Research by Weston Family Conservation Science (WFCS) Fellows will support conservation of important natural areas and biological diversity across Canada.

Project Summary

The objective of the study is to collect data on Mottled Duskywing population size, adult lifespan, dispersal, survival, and response to land management activities. The student will use these data to develop a predictive stage-based matrix population model for this species that will be directly applicable to future recovery decisions, including re-introductions. Field research will involve a mark re-sighting study and surveys from May through July at sites in southern Ontario. Lab research will involve experiments at the Cambridge Butterfly Conservatory to quantify overwintering survival. The student will be working with Dr. Ryan Norris, NCC’s Weston Family Senior Scientist, and will be based at the University of Guelph (www.norrislab.ca). The student will also collaborate closely with partners from various other organizations.

Fellowship Details

The Fellowship will begin in September 2020 and will consist of up to four years of support with a minimum $15,000 annual stipend. The student will be eligible to apply for a Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship to match the base stipend for a total of $30,000 of funding annually. In addition, Fellows will receive $5,000 annually to cover costs associated with an annual Fellows meeting and for select training/development opportunities. All research costs and field work accommodations for the project will covered separately. If the student is available, they may be hired for 8 weeks in May–July 2020 for project field work.

As a part of the Mitacs Accelerate Fellowship, the student will spend a portion of their time interning with the Nature Conservancy of Canada. They will have the opportunity to gain experience with activities such as conservation planning, GIS, property stewardship, science communication, or community outreach.

If a Fellow receives another fellowship or scholarship (e.g. NSERC), NCC will only contribute stipend up to a total of $30,000 annually but the student will still be considered a WFCS Fellow and participate fully in the program.

Fellowship Requirements

A Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in science or a related field is required. Successful applicants will have a strong, demonstrated interest and knowledge of ecology and conservation. Prior field experience, preferably on insects, and a strong work ethic, are required. Fellowships are open to international students, but preference will be given to Canadian applicants. Applicants must meet the graduate admissions criteria for the University of Guelph and applicants with a minimum A- average are strongly preferred. A valid driver’s license is required.

How to Apply

We are committed to creating a diverse and inclusive program. Individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. If you are interested in the Fellowship, please forward your CV, contact information for three references, unofficial transcripts, and a detailed cover letter indicating “Mottled Duskywing Fellowship” in the subject line to samantha.knight@natureconservancy.ca by February 3, 2020. Only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.