Graduate Student Opportunity in ECOLOGY/BIOINFORMATICS, University of Guelph

About the Project

A MSc/PhD graduate student position is available in the laboratory of Dr. Cottenie in the Department of Integrative Biology in the College of Biological Science (  The main research theme in my lab ( centers around metacommunity dynamics, and we study this in a wide variety of systems, from fish to small mammals to macroinvertebrates to transposable elements within the genome. I am currently expanding my research focus to microbiome studies, and the first species that I will study is the microbiome of Canada Jays in Algonquin Park. This is a collaboration with the Norris lab who study these year-round residents of the boreal forest that rely on food cached during the late summer and fall for over winter survival and late-winter reproduction. Some of the questions we are interested in are determining the effect of very local dispersal (vertical transmission from parents to offspring) and regional dispersal (dispersal of parents and offspring in the landscape) on the oral and gut microbiome of Canada Jay individuals.


I am looking for an enthusiastic graduate student who wants a research project that combines ecological field work with bioinformatics to study relevant questions in ecology through advanced statistical analyses in R.

This position is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Other strong candidates are also welcome to apply.


MSc students in the College of Biological Science are funded at a minimum of $21,259 per year, and the minimum guaranteed duration of support is 6 semesters.  For more details regarding funding, see Student Stipend Information.

Depending on eligibility, students may also apply for a wide range of internal and external scholarships.  See the full list of available Scholarships and Awards for more information.

Interested in applying?

To learn more about this project and the application process, contact me ( with your CV and your research interests. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of this project, depending on your interests and future goals, you could either apply as an MSc student in Integrative Biology ( or as an MSc student in Bioinformatics ( Since this might change the research focus, we can determine together the most relevant program for you.

I also encourage you to visit the websites above to determine what the University of Guelph can offer you during your graduate education, and I highly recommend that you contact my current graduate students to get a sense of what my advisor style is, and whether it would fit with your needs. My graduate students are Anna Solecki (, Brent Saylor (, Carolyn Trombley (, Jenny Gleason (, Marie-Eugenie Maggia (, and Simon Denomme-Brown (

Why Choose Guelph?

The University of Guelph is consistently ranked as one of Canada’s top research universities and our faculty attract more research dollars per capita than any other comprehensive university in Canada.

The Department of Integrative Biology resides within the College of Biological Sciences and is a diverse department dedicated to excellence in research and scholarship. It is home to 36 full-time faculty who lead research in three overlapping themes: comparative animal physiology, ecology and evolutionary biology. Graduate students are able to pursue studies in all aspects of biology from genes to entire ecosystems, and tailor their program of study to their individual interests and background. The Graduate Program in Integrative Biology is recognized as one of the finest in the country for research, training, and scholarship.