The Riley Integrative Ecology Lab (RIEL; is recruiting a MSc student to study the invasion biology of Eastern Red-backed Salamanders in Newfoundland. This research will ask questions like: What is the native source population of the introduced salamanders? Do the salamanders in Newfoundland differ from the native population in their morphology or behaviour? We also expect the MSc student to guide this research and tailor it to their own interests.

Academic Environment: This position will be co-supervised by Dr. Julia Riley and Dr. James Baxter-Gilbert. RIEL is a small, collaborative team of researchers at the undergraduate (BSc) and graduate (MSc) level. Students are empowered to lead their research projects, are supported through advisor and peer mentorship, and are encouraged to engage in professional development and outreach activities. RIEL’s home is in the Department of Biology ( at Mount Allison University (MtA), which is located in Sackville, New Brunswick at the heart of the Maritimes.

Funding: This position offers a minimum guaranteed stipend of $20,500/y. Additional details on MtA’s graduate program can be found on this website: studies Eligible students are expected to apply for external scholarships and research funding.


  • Have successfully completed a BSc in Biology, Ecology or a related field
  • Have meaningful experience or interest in invasion science, ecology, and herpetology
  • Experience with research project management, like budgeting, animal ethics and permit application and reporting, and team management
  • Possess strong verbal and written communication skills
  • Experience with molecular ecology, as well as statistical analysis in R and reproducible scientific practices is a benefit

Starting Date for Fieldwork: May 2024 (pending funding)

Starting Date of Degree: 1 September 2024

Application Instructions: Email Dr. Riley ( and Dr. Baxter-Gilbert ( using the subject line “Invasion Biology: MSc Application” and include: 1) A brief cover letter that outlines your research interests and experience and how they align with the project, as well as provides 2 references that can be contacted to speak to your expertise; 2) Curriculum vitae; 3) Unofficial transcripts; and 4) A sample of your writing, if available. Review of all applications will begin on 30 September 2023 and will continue until the position is filled. Please note that only applicants invited for an interview will be contacted. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply, but preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents. Also, as our research group aims to cultivate diversity in STEM and strive to be an equitable, inclusive, and collaborative community, we welcome and encourage applications from women, Indigenous, Black, LGBTQ+, and other under-represented persons.