Project with M.Sc. Scholarship Functional – Assemblage of vascular and bryophyte plants in arctic tundra, Bylot Island (Nunavut)

Arctic plants experience among the most extreme climatic conditions on Earth. Locally they are also subject to a diversity of resource availability and perturbation gradients, including strong grazing intensity with the large population of Great Snow Geese reported in Bylot Island. How do plants respond to this set of environmental conditions? Do vascular plants respond in a similar way than bryophytes? Can we apply the same response laws for these two major plant groups?

The objective of the student will be to quantify the functional assembling of arctic tundra communities in response to a gradient of nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization coupled with a contrast of grazing pressure (Snow Goose exclosure), which had been set up 16 years ago. A comparative approach will be used by measuring on both vascular plants and bryophytes the plant functional traits that characterize their strategies to survive, grow and reproduce in such harsh environments.

We are looking for a candidate passionate about botany, northern and community ecology. The student will work with a team of ecologists from the Universities of Laval and Quebec in Trois-Rivières, under the supervision of Line Rochefort (site web) and Vincent Maire (site web). The work will take place both in the field at a remote area site in the Arctic (Bylot Island) as well as in the laboratory. She or he may be based at U. Laval or UQTR with stays at the co-supervisor university, and will be affiliated with the Research Center for Northern Studies.

This is a fully funded position with an annual stipend of $15,000 CAD per year (for two years). Candidates who already have a major scholarship (eg NSERC, FQRNT) or who will obtain it during the Master’s degree will receive additional profits. Teaching opportunities can be proposed according to the interest and expertise of the student. The student will ideally start in the winter of 2018 but with an opportunity to start in the summer of 2018.

If you are interested in this offer, send to line.rochefort@fsaa.ulaval.ca and vincent.maire@uqtr.ca, by December 1, 2018: (1) your CV, (2) an unofficial transcript of marks (3) a short description of your research interests and your career plan, and (4) the names and email addresses of 3 people who can provide an assessment of your ability to do a master degree in research. Preference will be given to Canadian students and permanent residents. Applications may be accepted after December 1 if the position is not filled.

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