Post-doctoral fellowship in population ecology and conservation biology

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

Laboratory: Integrative Wildlife Conservation (http://www.dennismurray.ca)

We are hiring a post-doctoral fellow to conduct research at the interface of behavioural ecology, population ecology, and conservation biology. Our lab includes a wide range of research areas that are suitable for a highly-productive post-doctoral fellowship; below are examples of the areas that are immediately available for post-doctoral research, and depending on interest and expertise, the fellow can develop specific research questions within the scope of a larger project:

  • Boreal forest and climate change – We forecast dire consequences of climate change to birds and mammals in the boreal forest (Murray et al. 2017 PLoS (ONE)12(5): e0176706). Through field sampling, species distribution modeling, population viability analysis, and/or landscape genetics and adaptive genomics, we can assess: 1) current and potential future extent of change in boreal species; 2) how boreal breakdown may affect population processes and viability of native species; 3) likely patterns of invasive colonization; 4) genome-level evidence of stress or adaptation.
  • Long-term ecological monitoring design – Long-term ecological monitoring programs must be optimized if they are to contribute tangibly to future conservation and management. Our previous work (Murray et al. 2010, Ecology 91: 571-581; Murray et al. 2008 J. Wildl. Manage. 72: 1463-1472) questions existing approaches in population analysis and management. Through time series analysis, statistical power analysis, and simulation modeling, the project may assess: 1) time series features for reliable detection of population decline and trend; 2) statistical approaches for quantifying population cyclicity and cyclic attenuation; 3) design optimization for ecological surveys in heterogenous and dynamic landscapes; 4) forecasting population viability using limited or biased data. Our lab-based model system (Borlestean et al. 2015 Ecol. Evol. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00037) is available to test specific model predictions in an empirical context.
  • Non-consumptive effects of predators – The extensive literature on non-lethal effects of predators on prey has excluded clear demonstration of population-level impacts. Through experiments using one of our established model systems (e.g., amphibians – Hossie & Murray 2016 Ecology 97:834-841; algae – Borlestean et al. 2015 Ecol. Evol. doi: 10.3389/fevo.2015.00037) and/or via models parameterized with data from our Canada lynx-snowshoe hare system (Chan et al. 2017 Ecology DOI:10.1002/ecy.1828), we will assess: 1) consumptive and non-consumptive effects of predators on prey populations; 2) the role of prey vulnerability and predator selectivity on consumptive/non-consumptive dynamics; and 3) conditions promoting additive vs. compensatory predation.

In addition to conducting research, the post-doctoral fellow may teach 1-2 courses per year in a new online graduate program (www.trentu.ca/bema). The PDF will also have opportunities to mentor and collaborate with graduate students. Candidates are welcome to propose new areas of research.

The successful candidate will have a PhD and MSc in Ecology, Conservation Biology, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications in relevant areas, strong quantitative, genetics, and/or field skills, and an interest in working collaboratively as part of a large group.

The PDF salary is a minimum of $50,000/year (CDN) + benefits. To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and contact information for 3 references, to: Dennis Murray (murraylabapplicants@gmail.com). The position is currently open and will close as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

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