PhD opportunity in millennial dendrochronology to disentangle multiple drivers of forest productivity (eastern Canadian boreal forest)

PhD based at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (Quebec, Canada) in collaboration with other research institutes

We are seeking an outstanding Ph D candidate to accomplish a thesis in dendrochronology on the drivers of forest productivity (temperature, precipitations, CO2, volcanoes, disturbances, etc.) during the last millennium in the eastern Canadian boreal forest. The project will be undertaken at the University of Quebec at Rimouski (UQAR; http://labdendro.uqar.ca) in collaboration with the University of Quebec at Montreal (UQAM), University of Quebec in Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT), and the Québec’s Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks. The thesis will be part of a larger project with aims of using tree-ring metrics (width, density, stable isotopes) as well as ecophysiological modelling to disentangle the relative contributions of drivers on forest productivity.

The selected candidate will be responsible for developing millennial tree ring series from subfossil stems preserved in lakes. A major challenge will be to produce long chronologies free of biases due to scaling problems (from samples to trees, to stands, to region).

The candidate will actively contribute to the fieldwork, as well as to the production and interpretation of data and to the writing of scientific manuscripts. He/she will benefit from the diversified expertise of our team in the fields of forest ecology, dendrochronology, statistical and process-based modeling of tree growth and analysis of various tree ring signals. 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 passionate 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 high analytical and problem solving skills. This person should be able to work with autonomy, curiosity, discipline and motivation within a multidisciplinary team. He /she must be willing to perform fieldwork in difficult conditions, possess a good team spirit and excellent writing skills.

The project will begin in May or September, 2020. 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).