M.Sc. position: Invasion ecology (Saint Mary’s University, Halifax)

Project summary

We are looking for an M.Sc. student (fully funded, $24,000/yr) to work on the effects of forest harvesting and road networks on the spread of introduced earthworms. Clearcutting has been the dominant forest harvesting practice in Nova Scotia, resulting in young, regenerating, even-aged stands across much of the province. As of June 2022, Nova Scotia has formally transitioned to an Ecological Forestry model that uses uneven-aged silviculture systems in some forest stand types (Nova Scotia Guide for the Ecological Matrix). Ecological Forestry requires more frequent silvicultural and harvesting interventions than clearcutting and therefore may increase the frequency of road use or the footprint of the road network. Roads are often key vectors in the spread of invasive species such as earthworms but almost no research has been conducted on earthworms in forests of Nova Scotia. While the research questions should include earthworms, there is some flexibility to extend the research to other species (e.g., invasive plants, soil invertebrates, earthworm predators, etc.) depending on the candidate’s interests.

This is a joint project between Saint Mary’s University and Dalhousie University, and the student will become part of the Ecological Forestry Research Initiative (EFRI), a dynamic partnership across institutions. They will have opportunities to participate in conferences, training, and networking with the larger EFRI team, and participate in research direction steering committees. The student will be based in the Conservation and Soil Ecology Laboratory at Saint Mary’s University and will be supervised by Erin Cameron.

The program will begin in Spring or Fall 2024 and last for two years, with a minimum annual stipend of $24,000. The M.Sc. stipend may be increased if the candidate is successful in securing additional scholarships or takes on a TA position.

The ideal candidate will: 

  • Hold a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science, Biology, Forestry, or a related discipline. 
  • Have experience conducting independent research and working collaboratively in field and laboratory conditions. 

This position is open to Canadian and International students, however, tuition costs at SMU are higher for non-Canadian students hence, they would require additional funding of their own.

Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI):

Saint Mary’s is committed to an academic environment that is inclusive, equitable, and dedicated to embracing global perspectives. Our lab also runs a book club that discusses books relating to EDI and ways to make SMU more equitable, diverse, inclusive, and accessible.

How to apply

If you are interested in this position, please send a brief letter outlining your research experiences and interests, your CV, and an unofficial transcript to Erin Cameron (mailto:erin.cameron@smu.ca). We anticipate a starting date in Spring 2024 or Fall 2024. Applications are due 12 January 2024 but will be reviewed as they are received.