PhD Opportunity – Trent University: Climate change and shorebird breeding ecology in the Hudson Bay Lowlands, Ontario

One Ph.D. project is available as part of an initiative to improve understanding of how climate change may affect the habitat and ecology of shorebirds breeding in the Hudson Bay Lowlands. This is a great opportunity to directly support wildlife conservation and management and gain experience on a collaborative project with a government agency (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry).

The project will use existing datasets (shorebird nesting, climate, aerial imagery, and remotely sensed products) and new field sampling to assess habitat selection and relationships among variation in climate/weather, the availability of preferred habitat features, and observed patterns in nest site selection and breeding success. The study area is in the Coastal Hudson Bay Lowland Ecoregion, and field work will be based at the Burntpoint Research Station in Polar Bear Provincial Park, Ontario. Target species may include one or more species of shorebirds (e.g. Whimbrel, Dunlin, and Semipalmated plover).

The student will be enrolled in the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, and under the co-supervision of Dr. Glen Brown and Dr. Erica Nol. The project will begin January, 2018.


A minimum stipend of $22, 000 per year for three years will be provided (includes a Teaching Assistantship).


Candidates should have a solid background in ecology and an aptitude for statistical and spatial analysis (including geographic information systems and imagery processing), as well as the ability to conduct laborious field work in remote areas for extended periods of time. A willingness to become licensed in firearm use is also required. Prospective students should meet the minimum requirements for admission to the PhD program and possess an 80% average in last two years of undergraduate courses.

Prospective students should send a letter of interest, a CV, unofficial transcripts, and the names of two references to Dr. Glen Brown (