Looking for a PhD student for a funded project

AI and eDNA assisted characterizations of the Nunavik insect pollinator communities.

The Montréal Insectarium and the Université de Montréal are looking to recruit a doctoral student who wishes to pursue her academic training through graduate studies at the PhD level, linking entomology, molecular biology and artificial intelligence (AI).

Applications from women are especially encouraged, as part of the funding comes from a fund for the advancement of women in science.

This person will have the chance to be part of the dynamic Nunavik Sentinels team, and to work in a stimulating environment. The team is based in Montreal. Fieldwork will take place in Nunavik, while laboratory work will be carried out at the Insectarium de Montreal, the Institut de Recherche en Biologie Végétale (Centre sur la Biodiversité), and course work will be at the Université de Montréal.

Project description

The impacts of climate change are increasingly well documented in arctic and subarctic regions. The Inuit were the first to detect the changes affecting their environment, and in particular animal communities, and are now wondering about the impact of these changes on their way of life, which is still intimately linked to the environment. For the First Nations of Nunavik, maintaining pollinator communities is vital, as they directly affect the production of berries, which are a source of food and an important cultural element. In collaboration with several Northern communities, we aim to deepen our understanding of the biodiversity and pollinator assemblages of important fruit plants in the Far North.

Using a combination of biodiversity monitoring tools (traditional, molecular and automated-assisted AI), the project aims to characterize the diversity and assemblages of insect pollinators in Nunavik, the association (food webs) between insect pollinators and the plants they visit, and the quantification of observed changes. All this will be done in collaboration with Nunavik communities and the Nunavik Sentinels program.

Specific questions and hypotheses will be developed by the student in conjunction with the supervisory team. The candidate will be based at the Montreal Insectarium under a supervisory committee that includes Dr. Julia Mlynarek, entomologist, Dr. Amelie Grégoire Taillefer, coordinator of the Nunavik Sentinels program, and Dr. Alain Cuerrier, Université de Montréal.


The university program will start in September 2024, or January 2025. Once enrolled in the program, the student along with their committee will determine the number of field seasons required to continue data collection.

Condition of employment

  • Scholarship at NSERC level
  • Duration of full-time studies: 4 years


  • 2nd cycle university degree in ecology, entomology or a related discipline
  • Strong interest in conservation, particularly of insects, and in the popularization of science
  • Experience in database management, statistical data analysis, molecular biology, or AI programming will be considered an asset.
  • Demonstrated ability to work in field and remote environments, in collaboration with indigenous peoples, with new emerging technologies
  • Valid driver’s license (mandatory)
  • Excellent command of English and French (writing and communication)
  • Dynamic and creative
  • Autonomy, versatility, thoroughness and resourcefulness
  • Sense of organization and priorities

To apply or have questions

Send a cover letter describing research interests, a CV and a copy of unofficial academic transcripts by e-mail to Julia Mlynarek (Julia.mlynarek@montreal.ca) and Amélie Grégoire Taillefer (amelie.gregoiretaillefer@montreal.ca).