PhD PROJECT IN BIOLOGY: MODELLING PREDATOR-PREY INTERACTIONS AND THEIR IMPACTS ON LEMMING POPULATIONS

This project is part of a long-term study of the population dynamic of lemmings in the Canadian Arctic. Annual fluctuations of lemming populations, of their multiple predators (arctic fox, ermine and birds of prey) and the seasonal demography of lemmings has been studied for the past 20 years on Bylot Island. Predation appears to paly a key role in lemming population dynamics (Therrien et al. 2014, Ecology 95:56-67; Fauteux et al. 2015 Journal of Animal Ecology 84:1412-1422; Fauteux et al. 2016, Ecology 97:3231-3241). The aim of this project is to use this long-term database to develop a seasonal model of population dynamic and to verify the hypothesis that predator prey-interactions drive the population cycles observed in lemmings.

For this project, we are looking for a candidate with an experience or skills for modeling, advanced statistics (e.g. hierarchical models) and a strong interest for fieldwork at a remote and isolated site. The project requires a participation to the monitoring program of lemming demography by capture/recapture at the Bylot Island field station in Nunavut during several weeks.

An $18,000/yr scholarship during 3 years is offered but the student is strongly encouraged to apply to NSERC and FRQNT scholarships. The student will be co-supervised by Dominique Gravel at Université de Sherbrooke and Gilles Gauthier at Université Laval. The student will also be involved in the activities of the Centre d’études nordiques.

Candidates with a master’s degree in biology are invited to submit their application (cover letter, detailed CV, university transcripts and the name of 3 people who can provide references) by the end of December or until a candidate has been selected. Preference will be given to Canadians and permanent residents. The candidate should be able to start at the winter or summer 2018 session.

Send your application to:

Dominique Gravel (dominique.gravel@usherbrooke.ca)
Gilles Gauthier (gilles.gauthier@bio.ulaval.ca)

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