PhD studentship: University of Saskatchewan

Exploring relationships among agriculture, wetland water quality, aquatic macroinvertebrates, and waterfowl productivity in the Canadian Prairie Pothole Region

Description: A PhD studentship is available with Dr. Mitch Weegman in the Department of Biology at the University of Saskatchewan (https://www.ducks.ca/our-work/science/saskatchewan-endowed-chair/), co-supervised by Dr. Matt Dyson at the Institute for Wetland and Waterfowl Research, Ducks Unlimited Canada.

The student will join an ongoing collaborative research program investigating how agricultural land cover influences wetland water quality, aquatic macroinvertebrate prey availability, and waterfowl productivity. The student will work with DUC staff and collaborators to complete field work and data collection as well as supervise seasonal field technicians. Data collection includes water quality sampling, aquatic macroinvertebrate collection using net sweeps, environmental genomics sampling (e.g., eDNA), submerged aquatic vegetation sampling, non-invasive sampling using camera traps and autonomous recording units, and the use of a drone to quantify pair and brood use of target wetlands. The student will work with their advisory team to develop research questions that support the project’s goals and objectives of understanding contemporary drivers of waterfowl productivity on the Canadian Prairies.

Prerequisites: Ideal candidates will have an MSc degree in ecology, statistics or a closely related field, field experience (e.g., previous technician experience), and interpersonal skills to lead discussions among collaborators. Students with a BSc degree and research experience will also be considered. Preference will be given to those with previous field experience, a quantitative background (e.g., experience with Program R, Bayesian methods), knowledge of migratory bird ecology and management, and spatial programming skills (e.g., in Program R or ArcGIS). The successful applicant will be expected to publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and present papers at scientific meetings.

Salary and benefits: $35,000 Canadian per year plus compensation for tuition and fees

Start date: 3 Sept 2024 with preference to start as a research technician as early as April 2024 with Ducks Unlimited Canada

Last date to apply: 12 Jan 2024

To be considered for this position, please send the following (preferably as a single PDF) to Dr. Mitch Weegman (mitch.weegman@usask.ca) and Matt Dyson (m_dyson@ducks.ca):

(1) Letter of interest summarizing your experience (i.e., cover letter),

(2) Curriculum vitae or resume,

(3) University transcripts (unofficial are OK),

(4) Contact information for three references.