PhD Opportunity in Black Bear Ecology and Genomics – Trent University/Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Description

Graduate assistantship focused on the ecology and evolution of black bears – we are seeking a highly motivated person to pursue a PhD degree in the Environmental and Life Sciences Program at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada. The graduate project will combine ecological and genomic datasets to address basic and applied research questions broadly focused on the distribution, abundance and evolutionary history of black bears in Ontario. The successful applicant will be expected to become familiar with and apply state-of-the-art statistical and genomic approaches and will have considerable responsibility and freedom to formulate and address basic and applied research questions grounded in ecological and evolutionary theory. The successful applicant will be expected to assist in fieldwork to collect samples. Further, this project will have a major lab component that will be directed by the student, under supervision. The research is expected to have direct applied relevance to management of black bears within the province of Ontario. The student will be co-advised by Dr. Christopher Kyle of Trent University and Dr. Joe Northrup, Research Scientist with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry within the shared Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensic Centre (www.nrdpfc.ca) facilities at Trent University.

Requirements

M.Sc. degree in ecology, wildlife, biology or related field is required but exceptional past experience may be considered in place of a M.Sc. degree. Applicants must meet the minimum entrance requirements for the Environmental & Life Sciences graduate program. Desired qualifications include a GPA >3.5 (4.0 scale). A strong background in ecology and/or evolutionary biology, demonstrated analytical capabilities, and passion for wildlife research are required. Strong quantitative, writing, and oral communication skills are also required. The strongest applicants will have demonstrated experience with programming languages commonly used for statistical and scientific applications (e.g., R and Python), and familiarity with geospatial software (e.g., ArcMap, QGIS).

Application instructions

Initially, all applications are to be sent as follows. Please email a cover letter describing how you meet the above qualifications, current CV, unofficial transcripts, scientific writing sample and contact info for ≥3 references as a single attachment to Joe Northrup at joseph.northrup@ontario.ca. The successful applicant is expected to begin in fall, 2018. Application deadline is January 15, 2018 but review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a suitable candidate is found. Once a successful applicant has been determined a formal application to the University is required.

Canadian candidates will be given preference, but qualified international students who are eligible for international funding opportunities should apply. There are also a limited number of international tuition fee waivers available on a competitive basis.

Additional Information: The Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensic Centre (NRDPFC) is located within the Trent University’s DNA Building (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada). We have separate genomic DNA and DNA cloning laboratories for molecular work and also an automation laboratory for high throughput sample preparation. Our facility also includes access to a bio-containment Level II lab for processing potentially infectious tissues and an Indigenous Pathogen Containment Level III (IPCL 3) laboratory located in the DNA building that is certified for several indigenous pathogens. Peterborough is a vibrant community a 1.5 hour drive from Toronto and the Pearson International Airport (http://www.peterborough.ca/Living.htm).

 

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