NSERC Postdoc – Reconstructing Hyperdiverse Tropical Marine Food Webs:

The Baum Lab (https://baumlab.weebly.com/; @BaumLab) at the University of Victoria seeks an NSERC post-doctoral fellow to conduct research investigating fundamental and applied ecological questions with a focus on tropical coral reef food webs.

The post-doc will have immediate access to a large reef fish dataset collected on the world’s largest atoll, both before and after a prolonged marine heatwave that transformed the ecosystem’s foundation (90% loss of live coral cover). The data set is comprised of samples from more than ~2,800 reef fishes from 30 species, with representative species from all major functional groups. Fish were collected from sites with distinct exposures to chronic local anthropogenic disturbance. Bulk stable isotope data are already in hand, and there is the potential to also address questions using compound specific isotope analyses, as well as  metabarcoding of fish stomach samples.

Research could address fundamental food web ecology questions (e.g. trophic structure, niche width, food chain length), as well as applied questions about how local and global stressors alter hyperdiverse food webs. Candidates must have experience processing and analyzing stable isotope data.

The candidate will need to secure their own core salary (e.g. through an NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship (due October 17th, https://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Students-Etudiants/PD-NP/PDF-BP_eng.asp). NSERC PDF salaries will be supplemented by $5,000/year. The successful candidate will also receive support to attend, and present at, least one major scientific conference per year.

Applicants should have excellent critical thinking and science communication skills, a solid track record of publishing their research in reputable journals, and be proficient in R and in conducting stable isotope analyses.

We are especially interested in candidates from demographic groups that are currently underrepresented in STEM due to historic and ongoing inequalities, including women and BIPOC scholars. We are a collegial, collaborative and productive group committed to enhancing diversity and equity in STEM, to open science and outreach, and to conducting world-class conservation-relevant research.

Qualified, eligible candidates should send a CV, statement of research interest, two of their publications as examples, and a list of three references to Prof. Baum (baum ‘at’ uvic.ca), and be prepared to develop a competitive NSERC PDF proposal with Prof. Baum’s support for this year’s deadline.

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Three graduate student positions (MSc, PhD) in population and community ecology, University of Calgary

Program: Biological Sciences

Location: University of Calgary

Start date: Sept. 2021 (preferred; start date flexible)

Stipend: Guaranteed minimum of $23,000/year for 2 years (MSc) or 4 years (PhD). The minimum will be exceeded as permitted by the lab’s funding, and successful pursuit of scholarship and fellowship opportunities.

Supervisor: Dr. Jeremy Fox

I am seeking three graduate students (MSc and/or PhD) interested in addressing broad, fundamental questions in population and community ecology. Research in my lab combines mathematical modeling with experiments in laboratory microcosms and other tractable model systems. Mathematical models are essential for developing testable hypotheses about complicated ecological scenarios. Microcosms of protists and other small-bodied organisms allow controlled, replicated experiments lasting dozens to hundreds of generations. They are ideal both for testing hypotheses about population and community dynamics, and for generating novel dynamics in need of theoretical explanation.

My lab is currently pursuing two main lines of research, but I am open to applications from students interested in pursuing other lines of research as well.

1. Spatial synchrony. Spatially-separated populations of the same species often fluctuate synchronously, even though they’re hundreds or even thousands of km apart. The result is that, across vast areas, all populations increase (or decrease) simultaneously. Coexisting populations of different species also often fluctuate synchronously. Alternative hypotheses to explain spatial synchrony are difficult to test in nature because it’s impossible to do experiments at the right spatial and temporal scales. You can’t, say, manipulate the weather across all of Canada and then wait a century to see what happens to the spatial synchrony of lynx-hare cycles (and even if you could you wouldn’t have a control or any replication…). My lab’s solution is to scale nature down. We manipulate the hypothesized causes of synchrony in microcosms that play by the same basic “rules” that natural populations play by, even though they don’t precisely mimic any particular natural populations. The results complement studies of natural systems. One question of current interest is whether the causes of spatial synchrony differ between species that exhibit cyclic fluctuations in abundance, and those that do not.

2. Higher order interactions and species coexistence. Are ecological communities more than just the sum of their parts? If you knew enough about the population dynamics of each species on its own, and about all the pairwise interspecific interactions, could you predict the population dynamics of every species in the entire community? If not, the community dynamics are driven in part by “higher order” interactions: “emergent” effects that can’t be predicted just from knowledge of single-species and pairwise dynamics. Higher order interactions can arise because of adaptive plasticity–organisms changing their behavior or even morphology in response to the presence of other organisms–and for other reasons. Higher order interactions present a major challenge to our ability to explain and predict community dynamics, but we don’t know much about their prevalence or importance. My lab is developing and testing hypotheses about the circumstances in which higher order interactions matter for community dynamics and species coexistence.

Applications are open until the positions are filled. To apply, send an introductory note to jefox@ucalgary.ca, along with a transcript (unofficial is fine), cv, and contact details for three references. Applications from students of diverse backgrounds and perspectives are welcome and encouraged.

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EFFECTS OF LINEAR FEATURES ON FITNESS IN CARIBOU

We are recruiting an exceptional MSc student into a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive research community. The position is fully funded. We will support and encourage the successful applicant to compete for internal and external funding. Preference is for a September 2021 start date and the competition will remain open through Sept 25th, 2020. The position is based at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. Our lab and the caribou studied within this project occur on the ancestral homelands of the Beothuk and Mi’kmaq peoples. The project will be a co-mentored by Eric Vander Wal (Memorial University of Newfoundland; weel.gitlab.io) and Hance Ellington (University of Florida; profile).

Project: Anthropogenic disturbance is increasingly prevalent on the landscape. Linear features are defined as cleared stretches of land and are distinct sources of habitat fragmentation. In addition to direct mortality from vehicle collisions, animals that regularly interact with linear features may have declining reproductive success. For caribou (Rangifer tarandus) in Newfoundland, population declines have been linked to nutritional stress of adult females and high levels of calf mortality associated with coyote (Canis latrans) and black bear (Ursus americanus) predation, both of which could be amplified in the presence of linear features. The goal of this research project is to ascertain precisely how caribou interact with linear features using integrated step selection analysis and assess the effects of linear features on individual reproduction and survival.

System and team: There is a long history of studying caribou in Newfoundland and Labrador. The project will leverage over a decade of caribou GPS collar data from several large herds on the island of Newfoundland to assess the effects of linear features on fitness. In addition, the student will be part our team studying caribou on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, where there will be opportunity to collect data in the field. We have been studying caribou on Fogo Island since 2016 and have a team studying movement, habitat selection, social behaviour, and predation of caribou in this system. In general, we are a dynamic, collaborative, question-driven research group that bridges fundamental and applied questions in evolutionary, behavioural, population ecology.

Training Opportunity: The project will provide excellent opportunities for training and developing skills for employment or further graduate studies. For example, (1) Fundamentals: critical thinking, experimental design, practicing and communicating science; (2) Field skills: biotelemetry; behavioural observation of caribou; (3) Analytical and lab-skills such as advanced GIS, programing statistical and spatial models; (4) Building a better community: learning about, and contributing to, the ongoing development of lab inclusivity practices through organized discussions, workshops, and seminars.

Qualifications: We seek an applicant with the following qualities. (1) A passion for ecological and evolutionary theory. (2) An interest, commitment and, aptitude for research in the field in all seasons. (3) Quantitative skills in GIS, statistical programing in R, and experience or interest in modeling. (4) A demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. (5) And foremost, evidence of kindness. Competitive applicants are encouraged to contact any past or present students in the WEEL group to obtain an informed opinion of the potential provided by this position and environment.

Memorial University’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity is reflected in its mission, code, and values. While everyone is responsible for upholding these values, we have a responsibility to lead and foster equity initiatives within our lab and department given the importance of inclusion in scholarship.

To apply, please email your applications to Hance (e.ellington@ufl.edu) and me (eric.vanderwal@mun.ca). We would appreciate if the application was a single *.pdf document. Please include a cover letter outlining your background, aspirations, interests, and any equity considerations you are comfortable sharing, and a current CV including the names of two references.

Thank you in advance.

~Eric

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PhD position: Atlantic Puffin Social Interactions. Application deadline: November 15th 2020.

Background – Atlantic puffins are highly colonial seabirds that constantly interact with conspecifics. Social interactions in colonial species are often mediated by vocalizations with high-information content such that individual recognition is possible. Penguins for example communicate using a two-voice system that produces rich harmonics, allowing easy parent-offspring contact. Atlantic puffins do not regularly vocalize outside their burrows precluding the use of acoustic communication for conspecific interactions. Our laboratory is exploring individual recognition in this species by analyzing multispectral images of adult puffins. What we currently lack is knowledge regarding the extent to which puffins socialize.

Project description – I am recruiting a PhD student to join the Visual Ecology @ MUN lab to study social interactions in Atlantic puffins. By using traditional colour banding methods and attaching proximity loggers to adult puffins, the student will answer questions such as: How much time do mates spend together on land? How many individuals do they regularly interact with? Are these interactions maintained on the water? How far away from their nests do they visit? There will be much freedom for the student to develop his or her own research ideas. The research will be conducted in the Witless Bay Reserve, home to the second largest colony of Atlantic puffins in the world. The student will collaborate with other lab members with complementary questions in visual communication.

CABE @ MUN – The student will be enrolled in the Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology program at Memorial University of Newfoundland. Advisors in this program are drawn from the Departments of Psychology, Biology, Ocean Sciences, the Environmental Science Division (Grenfell) and Marine Institute. Adjunct Professors from Environment Canada, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Newfoundland and Labrador Wildlife and Forestry Divisions and Parks Canada also contribute to student supervision and teaching. Memorial University of Newfoundland hosts 3800 graduate students across more than 100 programs. The St. John’s campus is in the province’s capital city where a 10-minute bike ride can take you to historic fishing villages, breathtaking ocean views, or to the heart of downtown.

Start date – May 2021
Application deadline – November 15th 2020

Eligibility – For full funding (4 years at ~21,500 CAD/year), applicants must have a minimum 75% grade in their last 20 credit (equivalent to B+).

To apply – Please send a statement of interest describing your career goals and how this position would help you achieve them, a CV, and transcripts (unofficial) to pbitton@mun.ca. Furthermore, provide a first-authored publication reprint, manuscript in preparation, or a chapter of your MSc research for evaluation. Only applicants short-listed for interviews will be contacted.

The successful applicant should have completed an MSc by the start date, and has strong work ethics. Previous fieldwork with birds and knowledge of electronics are assets but not required. Our lab highly values diversity of ideas and cultures. We are an inclusive group that respects individual differences and provides an equitable work environment. Because of current travel restrictions and difficulties for international students with obtaining the required visas, Canadian citizens will be given priority.

Pierre-Paul Bitton – Department of Psychology, Cognitive and Behavioural Ecology
www.visualecologymun.net

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Graduate Student Positions (MSc, PhD) in Marine Habitat Mapping and Species Distribution Modeling. Closing date: January 15, 2021.

The 4D OCEANS Lab at the Marine Institute of Memorial University, St John’s, NL, Canada, is looking to recruit two graduate students (1 MSc, 1 PhD) with interest in marine habitat mapping and/or species distribution modelling.  These positions will examine the role that benthic habitats play in controlling shifting patterns in species and biodiversity at fine (MSc) and broad (PhD) spatial scales in the North West Atlantic and/or Canadian Arctic Gateway.  Geomorphological terrain variables derived from seafloor bathymetric data sets can be highly valuable as proxy for environmental drivers of species and habitat distributions.  By including additional environmental variables such as those derived from oceanographic models, species-environment relationships can be modelled and it becomes possible to predict how marine species and ecosystems may respond to specific changes (e.g. climate change, ocean acidification, human activities).

Required skills include a quantitative background in marine ecology or biology, and familiarity with a programming language (e.g. R).  Previous experience acquiring or processing acoustic or video data will be considered a strong asset.

For more information, please Katleen Robert (Katleen.robert@mi.mun.ca) with a CV and a cover letter stating your main research interests.

Closing date: January 15, 2021
Prospective start date: May 2021
Please visit: https://www.mi.mun.ca/graduateopportunities/

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PhD position: University of Lethbridge, amphibian population genomics

The Lee-Yaw Lab at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta Canada is looking to recruit a PhD student to work on population genomic analyses in amphibians.

Currently funded projects are focused on the long-toed salamander (although there may be opportunities to work on other amphibian species in Alberta). Existing tissue samples in the lab can support a number of dissertation topics in ecological genomics including testing evolutionary explanations for range limits, exploring the effects of wildfire on amphibian genetic structure and gene flow, examining hybrid zone dynamics and cytonuclear interactions, and testing phylogeographic hypotheses for historical range dynamics. The data collected will also support applied conservation projects, including reintroductions to high-elevation sites where the species has been extirpated by fish stocking programs. Students will have the opportunity to interact with our collaborators at other institutions and with Parks Canada. There is scope to eventually pair the genomic data with other types of data (field or lab experiments or GIS modelling) depending on the student’s interests and available funding. However, please note that there is heavy emphasis on molecular data collection at the outset.
Lethbridge is a smaller, affordable city with an active university community. We are about 2 hours south of Calgary and have fantastic hiking, skiing, and other recreational opportunities close by, with Waterton Lakes National Park, and Castle Provincial Park both being ~1.5 hours away.
Instructions for applying:
Prior experience generating and analyzing genetic data is essential. Priority will be given to candidates who have experience with next-generation sequencing (library preparation and/or bioinformatics).
If you are interested in applying, please send me an email at julie.leeyaw@uleth.ca to discuss next steps. Note that the earliest start date is January 1 (in which case a formal application must be submitted to U of L by October 1) but a May or Sept start is preferred. Applicants will be encouraged to apply for external stipend support.
Please use the subject line “Graduate Studies” and include 1) a brief statement of research interests, 2) relevant experience, 3) a current CV, 4) unofficial copies of academic transcripts, and 5) preferred start date.
The Lee-Yaw lab is committed to diversity and inclusion and welcomes applications from students with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.
Additional Information:
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Post-doc, University of Lethbridge and University of Kentucky

The Lee-Yaw Lab at the University of Lethbridge and the Weisrock Lab at the University of Kentucky are looking for a post-doc who is interested in using genomic data to inform amphibian conservation efforts in the Rocky Mountains of southwestern Alberta.

We are specifically using genome-wide estimates of genetic diversity and genotype-environment-associations to identify ideal source populations for the planned reintroduction of long-toed salamanders to high-elevation sites where they had been extirpated by historic fish stocking programs. Tissue samples have already been collected and the ideal candidate will work with current lab members on library preparation and sequencing, as well as lead the bioinformatics for the project. Reintroduction sites are located in the beautiful Waterton Lakes National Park (sister park to Glacier National Park in the USA) and this work is being done in close collaboration with Parks Canada as part of their Nature Legacy Program. Depending on interest and additional funding, there may be opportunities for the successful candidate to be directly involved in the reintroductions and post-reintroduction monitoring to determine establishment success.

Additional Details:

We are seeking candidates with experience generating and analyzing genomic data. This appointment is funded for 18 months, with a possible extension depending on funding (ideally, the candidate will work with us to develop applications for additional external funding). The start date for this appointment is January 1, 2021.

The position is based in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. Lethbridge is a smaller, affordable city with an active university community. We are about 2 hours south of Calgary, 2 hours north of the Canada-US border, and have fantastic hiking, skiing, and other recreational opportunities close by (Waterton Lakes National Park and Castle Provincial Park are ~1.5 hours away; Banff National Park is ~3 hours away). The collaborator labs will be working closely and, depending on COVID restrictions, some activities may take place in Kentucky.

If you are interested in applying, please send an email to Julie Lee-Yaw (julie.leeyaw@uleth.ca) to discuss next steps. Please use the subject line “post-doc” and include a brief statement of your research interests and relevant experience, as well as a current CV.

The Lee-Yaw lab is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion and particularly welcomes applications from students with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.

Lee-Yaw Lab: https://julleeyaw.weebly.com/
Weisrock Lab: wesirocklab.com
U of L Biological Sciences: https://www.uleth.ca/artsci/biological-sciences
Biology U of K: https://bio.as.uky.edu/

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Tenure-track faculty positions at Carleton University

Carleton University is advertising three tenure-track faculty positions:

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POSTDOCTORAL FELLOW in Species Distribution Modelling

S. Leroux (https://shawnleroux.wixsite.com/lerouxlab), A. Hurford (https://amyhurford.weebly.com/), and K. Hargan (https://www.kathrynhargan.com/) at Memorial University of Newfoundland are looking to recruit a collegial post-doctoral fellow (PDF) for two years. The PDF will join our collaborative and productive research group where we are integrating principles of population, ecosystem and paleo ecology to understand the mechanisms governing spruce budworm dynamics in Eastern Canada.

​The PDF is funded by the Healthy Forest Partnership (http://healthyforestpartnership.ca/) from Natural Resources Canada. Our team will integrate spatial statistical and mathematical models with paleolimnology and empirical data to improve the detection of budworm hotspots and drivers of forest susceptibility to budworm outbreak on the island of Newfoundland with the capacity to be extended to other regions. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to mentor BSc and MSc students and to develop collaborative relationships with research scientists with the Canadian Forest Service (https://coniferlab.wixsite.com/home) and the diverse team of researchers involved in the Healthy Forest Partnership.

​Applicants should be critical thinkers with an interest in advancing research questions. They should have a track-record for publishing their research in reputable journals, be capable programmers, and effective science writers. There is a preference for candidates with a strong quantitative background in the areas of mathematical biology, spatial ecology, and/or species distribution modelling. The salary is $49K + 12% benefits per year.

​Memorial hosts a diverse and engaging group of scientists studying ecology and evolution in the departments of Biology, the Cognitive and Behavioral Ecology program (Psychology), Geography, and Ocean Sciences. Departmental and inter-departmental events include regular discussions, workshops, and seminars from invited speakers. These intra-and inter-lab events encourage an important cross-fertilization of emerging ideas in ecology and evolution and exciting opportunities for collaboration.

​Please email your application to S. Leroux (sleroux@mun.ca). Please send the application as a single *.pdf document and include a cover letter outlining your background, aspirations, and interests; a current CV including the names of three references; and two publications for which you are most proud.

​We value equity, diversity, and inclusion and we encourage all interested applicants to apply, however, due to University COVID-19 recruitment restrictions at this time we can only consider candidates that currently reside in Canada. Some flexibility in start date and work location (i.e., remote) is available for the ideal candidate. We will begin evaluating applications on August 28, 2020 and the position will remain open until filled.

​Thank you in advance.

Shawn, Amy, Kathryn

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Postdoctoral fellowship: Mathematical modelling for infectious disease management

We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow to derive and analyze mathematical models for infectious disease management. The ideal candidate will have strong training in the formulation and analysis of population dynamic models, good written and oral communication, and strong computational abilities. Expertise in any of the following areas is an asset: stochastic processes, optimal control theory, metapopulation models, network analysis, and statistics. The candidate is expected to develop research that contributes broadly to disease ecology, while also informing public health policy for COVID-19 management.

Specific research projects may include:

  1. Spatial optimal control to delineate the geographic scope of testing and mandatory self-isolation given the location of positive tests and contact networks;
  2. The efficacy of geographically defined mandatory self-isolation requirements relative to, and in combination with, various forms of contact tracing;
  3. The optimal allocation of mandatory testing and self-isolation between travellers and residents;
  4. Comparative statistical analysis of COVID-19 outbreaks, and mechanistic modelling to support hypothesized drivers.

The candidate will be supervised by Drs. Amy Hurford (https://amyhurford.weebly.com/)  and J.C. Loredo-Osti (https://www.mun.ca/math/people/ppl-faculty/loredoos.php) at Memorial University.  The candidate may work remotely, but must be able to take up residence in Canada. The position is for two years with an annual salary of $49K + 12% benefits.

Please email your application as a single *.pdf file to ahurford@mun.ca. The application should include: (1) a cover letter describing your motivation to apply and your relevant training and expertise; (2) a CV; and (3) the contact information for three references. We value equity, diversity, and inclusion and encourage applicants of all backgrounds to apply. Review of applications will begin on August 26, 2020, and continue until the position is filled.

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