PhD project on boreal forest responses to climate change

Institution: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (www.trentu.ca)

Supervisor: Dennis Murray (http://www.dennismurray.ca)

We are initiating a PhD project to assess responses to climate change among native species in Canada’s boreal forest. The boreal forest comprises Canada’s largest biome but its state is rapidly deteriorating, including due to climate change. Our recent findings (Row et al. 2012 Glob. Chan. Biol doi:10.1111/gcb.12526; Murray et al., PLoS (ONE), in press) forecast dire consequences to the boreal forest especially in the boundary region between Ontario-Quebec where disjunct east-west populations of native plants, birds, and mammals, and extensive loss of native biodiversity, likely will arise. Through field sampling, species distribution modeling, population viability analysis, and landscape genetics and adaptive genomics, the PhD student will determine: 1) the current and potential future extent of change in boreal species in the Ontario-Quebec region relative to less-impacted areas; 2) how boreal breakdown may affect population processes and viability of native species in the region; 3) whether invasives are colonizing the region disproportionately quickly compared to other regions; and 4) if native or invasive species in the region demonstrate genome-level evidence of stress or adaptation to environmental change. The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop specific research questions within the scope of the larger project.

The funding package includes a competitive stipend, foreign tuition waiver (if the student is not a Canadian citizen or permanent resident) as well coverage of all research expenses. Successful candidates will have an MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications, strong quantitative, genetics, and/or field skills, and an interest in working collaboratively as part of a larger group. The PhD student will join the Integrative Wildlife Conservation laboratory at Trent University (www.dennismurray.ca) and be part of an interdisciplinary team addressing innovative solutions to environmental change (www.create-enviro.ca).

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references, to: Dennis Murray (dennismurray@trentu.ca). The successful candidate will begin enrolment at Trent University by September 2017 or January 2018, and we will accept applications until a suitable candidate is found, so apply early.

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