Postdoctoral position in Epidemiology, University of Montreal. Closing date: March 1st, 2018.

Epidemiology of Zoonoses and Public Health Research Unit (GREZOSP)
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal

As part of a multi-disciplinary research program aimed at assessing and predicting the risk of exposure to wildlife diseases of importance to public health, we are looking for a motivated postdoctoral research associate in modelling and epidemiology.

Project title: Modelling arctic fox rabies dynamics in the changing North 

Arctic fox rabies is endemic in the Arctic ecosystem. This disease is maintained by transmission within arctic (Vulpes lagopus) and red fox (Vulpes vulpes) populations. Disease dynamics are potentially driven by multiple and interacting aspects of arctic and red fox ecology. The current climate warming adds an additional layer of complexity by: 1) altering fox habitat quality through weather and surface ice/snow conditions, 2) reducing lemming habitat quality and the punctual abundance of this food resource for foxes, 3) enabling red foxes to expand their range further northwards and overlap more densely and expansively with arctic foxes, and 4) facilitating growth and number of northern communities through increasing economic activities.

The successful candidate will parameterise and adapt the Ontario Rabies Model (ORM), a spatially explicit individual-based simulation model, to simulate arctic and red fox reservoir species. Project objectives include modelling movement and interaction behaviours relevant to the fox and rabies ecologies, and assessing how multi-host dynamics influence rabies dynamics. Project outcomes will be used to help advise public health risk in northern communities and estimate risk to rabies re-incursions into southern Canada.

Research team:

A multidisciplinary research team, working in the fields of epidemiology, public health, modeling, ecology, and pathology, will offer a rich and stimulating work environment. The research team consists of professors and researchers of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Montreal, the Public Health Agency of Canada, Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec, and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Candidate’s profile:

Diploma:

  • PhD in Software engineering, Computer science, Epidemiology, Mathematics, Ecology, or another relevant field
  • Master’s and/or First degree in computer science, software engineering, veterinary medicine, medicine, science (Epidemiology, Public health, Biology, Ecology, Mathematics)

Abilities:

  • Familiarity with the C family of languages (c, c++, java, or c#) and .NET to modify an existing program
  • Experience in object-oriented programming and development of stochastic and spatially explicit simulations
  • Knowledge of bioinformatics, epidemiology and/or computer science
  • Knowledge in statistics and experience using statistical (R, SAS, STATA) and geomatics (ArcMap, Qgis) software are an asset
  • Good scientific writing and communication skills

Skills:

  • Ability to review, synthesize and analyze large amounts of scientific literature and complex information/data
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently as well as part of a team

Terms:

Duration: 1 to 2 years starting May 1st, 2018

Home institution: Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Montreal

Funding: This position is funded for at least 1 year. The researcher will be expected to complete scholarship applications from granting agencies to supplement and prolong their position.

Salary: Competitive salary offered commensurate with experience.

Directors: The project is codirected by Patrick Leighton (U. de Montréal) and Erin Rees (Public Health Agency of Canada).

To apply:

Please send a cover letter (one page), CV, latest university transcript, and a list of two references (name and contact details) to patrick.a.leighton@umontreal.ca.

Closing date: March 1st, 2018.


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