PhD Student Opportunity , Department of Renewable Resources, University of Alberta

Field Assessment of Size and Sex of Native Trembling Aspen Stands Along the Boreal Forest Fringe

We are seeking a PhD student to investigate the mechanisms underpinning the stand structure and gender distribution of trembling aspen (Populus tremuloides) along the boreal fringe. The student will select and sample aspen stands along the boreal forest fringe and link physiological and phenological responses to growth, wood quality characteristics and sex. This project is part of a broader study that aims to understand the role of sex and ecophysiological responses in shaping the distribution and long-term survival of aspen under climate change.

Qualifications: Preference will be given to prospective students that have:

  • An MSc degree in forestry, plant genetics, ecology, or related field.
  • An understanding of tree genetics, phenology and ecophysiology.
  • Experience in field work and working in remote locations under minimal supervision.
  • A valid class 5 driver’s licence (or equivalent), and be eligible to drive UofA vehicles.
  • Proficiency in spoken and written English.
  • Knowledge of experimental design and associated statistical programs (eg: R, SAS).

Funding: This project is partially funded through an NSERC Discovery Grant and additional scholarship funds will be required. Additional funding is available for Canadian students with a GPA of 3.7 or greater. Students will be required to pursue additional funding through internal/external sources, as well as via teaching opportunities.

Start date: January, May or Sept. 2018.

Application: Prospective students must apply through UofA Graduate Studies; however, those interested should first email Dr. Barb Thomas ( and cc Morgan Randall the following:

  • a letter of interest (1 page)
  • a CV describing qualifications and experience
  • unofficial transcripts
  • contact information for three references

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Informal inquiries to gain more information about the positions are also welcome.