PhD position studying the behaviour of domestic cats and their impacts on wildlife – Application deadline: Feb 22, 2021

Drs. Elizabeth Gow and Ryan Norris are seeking a PhD student to join their research team at the University of Guelph beginning September 2021.

Project description: Working closely with a variety of partners and researchers (veterinarians, ecologists, and non-government), the student will use a novel on-board camera technology, the Catcam, to get a cats’ eye-views of the world, quantify behaviour and track movement.

The student will have the opportunity to create a project suited to their interests that examines one or a variety of different cat behaviours, including but not limited to risk taking and hunting, habitat selection and use, or disease transmission. The results of this research has the potential to help inform cat management strategies and policies. The student will also have the chance to enroll in the new interdisciplinary One Health Graduate Program (https://graduatestudies.uoguelph.ca/programs/onehealth).

Minimal qualifications: Completion of a BSc and MSc in Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Veterinary Medicine, Wildlife Management, or related field. Driver’s licence.

Desired qualifications: Experience using GIS and R, as well as fieldwork in animal behaviour would be an asset. Proficient bird identification skills by sight and sound. Eligibility for a NSERC Scholarship is favourable, but not mandatory. The student will be working with cat owners and other stakeholders so the ability to manage, schedule and communicate with a diversity of people is highly beneficial.

Location: This research will take place throughout the year at the University of Guelph and surrounding area. The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Elizabeth Gow (www.elizabethgow.com) and Dr. Ryan Norris (www.norrislab.ca).

Timeline: The ideal candidate would start as a paid field technician May 1, 2021 with an official PhD start date of September 1, 2021. Please submit your unofficial transcript, CV, cover letter, and contact information for three references to egow@uoguelph.ca and rnorris@uoguelph.ca by Feb 22, 2021. Preference will be given to Canadian citizens or permanent residents, but all qualified applicants are encouraged to apply. We strongly encourage applications from members of traditionally under-represented groups.

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PhD student, postdoc, lab technician positions in Arctic marine fish genomics and feeding ecology Department of Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University. Deadline: 15 February 2021

Start date: Fall 2021

Faculty members in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill University are seeking highly motivated applicants for PhD student, postdoc, and research technician positions for the FISHSENS project. Climate change is making the Arctic susceptible to biodiversity loss and to increases in sub-Arctic and temperate species. The potential loss of native fishes is of outsized importance as they are foods for Arctic seabirds and marine mammals. Marine fish, and animals that eat them, also represent essential local foods and culturally important species for Inuit communities. Most marine fishes in Canada’s Arctic are not well enough known to assess how they will be affected by climate change, information which is urgently needed to reduce Arctic biodiversity loss and protect northern cultural and food systems. FISHSENS will combine genomics data with dietary and movement assessments to develop tools needed by federal and Inuit co-management partners to establish Arctic marine fish monitoring strategies and assess their sensitivity to climate change. Recruited candidates will develop projects combining laboratory and data analysis approaches and will collaborate with Canadian academic, government, and Inuit partner organizations in Nunavut and the Inuvialuit Settlement Region in the Northwest Territories.

Recruited candidates will have a strong work ethic, enthusiasm for the research, independent and team-work skills, and a suitable degree in a relevant discipline: natural resources, ecology, evolution, genetics, bioinformatics, environmental chemistry, environmental science, Indigenous studies or a closely related field, and experience in at least one of the following:

  • DNA extractions, library preparations, quality screening, PCR, extraction robots, gel docs and associated instruments
  • Stable isotopes or fatty acids extraction and analysis (GC-FID, IRMS)
  • Statistical analysis of biological or environmental data (e.g., in R), bioinformatics tools (e.g., VCFtools, genome assemblies and annotation)
  • Field work, fish identifications, working with Inuit communities and organizations would be an asset

Potential PhD students will have to apply to the Department of Natural Resource Sciences at McGill, which has strict admission standards (minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0, or 3.2/4.0 in the last two years). Transcripts, letters of support, CV, and a strong personal statement are part of the application. Deadlines for the fall 2021 start date are May 31st for Canadian applicants and March 15th for international applicants.

McGill University is Canada’s premiere university for research excellence and teaching, is one of the top 50 universities worldwide, and was recently named the International Sustainability Institution of the Year. The Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences is located at McGill’s Macdonald Campus, just 30 km from vibrant downtown Montreal, providing students with both urban culture and recreational opportunities. Graduate students at Mac campus are ¼ of the student body and the campus houses 8 graduate programs and 100+ faculty members. McGill University is committed to diversity and equity and welcomes applications from Indigenous persons, women, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, visible minorities, and others who may contribute to diversification.

For more information: https://denisroy.weebly.com/http://mckinneylab.weebly.com ; http://mcgill.cahttp://mcgill.ca/nrs

Annual PhD student stipends will be provided, with opportunities for supplementation through applications for scholarships and teaching assistantships. Postdoctoral and research technician positions include salary plus benefits. Please note that position availability is contingent upon funding.

Please send a cover letter indicating your research experience and goals, a CV, and, for PhD student positions, unofficial transcripts. For genomics/bioinformatics positions, send application materials to Dr. Denis Roy, Assistant Professor, at denis.roy5@mcgill.ca. For dietary/chemical tracers positions, send application materials to Dr. Melissa McKinney, Assistant Professor and Canada Research Chair, at melissa.mckinney@mcgill.ca . Please ensure to write “FISHSENS positions” in the subject line. Deadline is 15 February 2021.

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Graduate student opportunities in Ecosystem Ecology and Conservation Biology at Memorial University 

The Ecosystem Ecology Lab at Memorial University of Newfoundland is recruiting graduate (MSc and/or PhD) students to study the impacts of animals on ecosystem functioning at local and regional extents with implications for natural resource management and conservation. Specifically, we are looking for students that are interested in one or more of the following key research themes: spatial ecosystem ecology, food web ecology, zoogeochemistry, animal ecology, biogeography, restoration ecology, and conservation planning. Our lab is actively developing and testing theories at the intersection of these themes using moose (Alces alces), spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana), Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar), and boreal ecosystems as case studies. Our group integrates mathematical modelling, field experiments and observations, and big data synthesis. We are particularly interested in candidates that have or wish to develop quantitative skills in mathematical modelling, big data analysis, and spatial analysis (e.g., GIS). Please visit our lab website to learn more about our research (http://shawnleroux.wixsite.com/lerouxlab).

A major strength of our lab lies in our diversity which includes BSc, MSc, PhD, and post-docs with varied interests and backgrounds. Research questions range from the impacts of animals on ecosystem elemental cycling to the drivers of the spatial distribution of terrestrial, freshwater and marine food webs and ecosystems. We work closely with diverse partners to use scientific evidence to inform environmental policy. Our lab fosters a supportive environment and values work-life balance. More broadly, Memorial hosts a diverse and engaging group of scientists studying ecology and evolution in the departments of Biology, 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.

Memorial is the largest university in Atlantic Canada with ~19,000 students (~3,200 graduate students). The Department of Biology at Memorial has ~25 faculty and ~60 graduate students. You can find out more about the department, graduate studies application procedures and funding at: http://www.mun.ca/biology/graduate/. The positions come with a guaranteed stipend.

We value equity, diversity, and inclusion and we encourage all interested applicants to apply. We will evaluate applications as we receive them until the positions are filled. Please email your application to Shawn Leroux (sleroux@mun.ca).

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Graduate student positions – integrative ecology of white-footed mice

Graduate-level applications are being accepted for the Functional Ecology lab at the University of Ottawa, Ontario. We are seeking graduate students interested to work at the interface of eco-physiology, animal behaviour, and quantitative genetics. In addition to being involved in cutting-edge research, students will learn techniques in field ecology, animal capture and manipulation, metabolic and behavioural sampling, multivariate statistics, and scientific communication. The project is part of a study on white-footed mice (Peromyscus leucopus) conducted at the Queen’s University Biological Station. We use nest boxes and traps to quantify relatedness, reproductive success, and survival in hundreds of individuals. Each mouse is temporarily brought back to a laboratory where we measure a variety of metabolic, behavioural, and performance traits. The project will exploit data collected since summer 2016 which, in addition to those collected by the students during the summers of 2021 and 2022, will be used to study the causes and consequences of individual variation in survival (modeling of trapping data), home range (telemetry tracking), agility (performance tests), anti-predator behavior (personality tests), and cost of locomotion (respirometry). The exact topic will be suited to match the level (MSc or PhD), interests, and skills of the student. Interested students should visit the Functional Ecology lab webpage (see the “join the lab” page) for more information why and how to apply (http://vincentcareau.weebly.com/)

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MSC POSITION IN FOREST ECOLOGY

We are seeking a highly motivated person to conduct research that addresses impacts of climate change on forests in western Canada. In British Columbia alone, 60 million hectares are forested. How we manage these forests now will have a large impact for decades to come and sound research is the foundation of sustainable management. As the successful candidate, you will contribute to these objectives by analyzing data from long-term forest experiments to evaluate how silvicultural interventions like thinning or fertilization can increase forest resilience to drought. Annual growth variations will be linked to climatic extremes and the anatomy of the wood will be linked to underlying mechanisms. The position will be supervised by Dr. David Montwé at the University of British Columbia – Department of Forest Resources Management.

Please refer to https://www.grad.ubc.ca/ad/54640 for additional details and requirements.

Please send your application including a cover letter, CV, academic transcripts, and contact information for three references by email to david.montwe@ubc.ca.

We will begin reviewing applications on January 25th, 2021, and will continue until the position is filled. The anticipated starting date for this position is September 1st, 2021.

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Projet de doctorat en écologie animale à l’Université Laval, Québec, Canada – Application deadline: February 7th, 2021

As part of the research partnership on Tick-Moose-Climate interactions
(www.albipictus.com), we are seeking a student interested in undertaking
doctoral studies in animal ecology.

More specifically, we are offering a project on the spatio-temporal
interactions of moose (Alces alces) and winter tick (Dermacentor
albipictus) and the susceptibility of moose to winter tick infestations.

Background: Understanding the changes in moose habitat selection and
activity budget in relation to the degree of tick infestation is essential to
study behavioural mechanisms that may affect moose recruitment and
survival. Moose using the same sites in spring, when adult ticks leave their
host, and in fall, when the larva seek a host to colonize, could promote the
development of epizootics. Some forest management practices could also favour
ticks by multiplying the habitats favourable to ticks and by concentrating moose in
them.

Main objectives: 1) Evaluate activity budget and habitat selection of moose
depending on tick load, 2) assess habitat selection of the winter tick, and 3)
determine the conditions that favour the co-occurrence of moose and winter ticks.

Director: Steeve Côté (Département de biologie, Laval U.); Co-directors: Christian Dussault (Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs) and Joe Nocera (Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management, U. of New Brunswick)

Start date: May or September 2021

Funding: Scholarship of $24 000/year during 3 years (MITACS) and an additional year at $21,000/year (NSERC)
available.

Required skills:

  • Strong academic record;xperience in animal ecology and spatial analyses;
  • Interest and skills in statistical analysis of large and complex datasets and epidemiology;
  • Rigor, autonomy, written and oral communication skills;
  • A good knowledge of French and English;
  • Have published at least one scientific paper as first author in a peer-reviewed journal;

To apply for this position, please send a cover letter presenting your scientific interests, your CV, university
transcripts and three references before February 7th, 2021 to:

Steeve Côté, Département de biologie, Université Laval, Québec (Québec) Canada
steeve.cote@bio.ulaval.ca; (418) 656-2131 Ext: 403490

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MASTERS PROJECT IN FOREST ECOLOGY – Reconstruction of historical fire and logging regimes in white and red pine forests

Context and issues: Historically, white and red pine forests were common throughout the southern boreal, temperate, and Great Lakes and St. Lawrence forest regions. However, the cover and extent of their range has declined significantly due to changes in fire regime, unsustainable forest management practices, and increased mortality caused by the introduction of pathogens. To reverse this decline and preserve / restore these ecologically and economically important ecosystems, a research program aimed at developing an ecosystem-based management strategy for mixed and pure stands of white pine (Pinus strobus L.) and red pine (Pinus resinosa Ait.) at the northern limit of their distribution has been proposed. Understanding the factors that control fire dynamics and associated ecological processes at the local and regional scale, and through time are crucial for the development of conservation and restoration strategies for red and white pine-dominated forest ecosystems, and may also facilitate understanding of how these tree species may react to projected changes in climate and fire regime. The objective is to reconstruct historical fire (both high and low-severity fire events) and logging regimes to quantify their effects on forest structure and functionality over time, and by extension, assess ecosystem resilience to changes in climate and disturbance regime.

Click here for more information.

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MASTERS PROJECT IN FOREST ECOLOGY – Susceptibility of protected black ash stands to potential regulation of spring lake water level, northern Quebec: a biodiversity conservation issue

Context and problematic: Extremes in spring flooding have become an issue in northern regions of Canada. Recent data suggest that flood frequency and magnitude may have increased in the last decades after a period of relatively low spring water level. For example, the 2019 floods in northeastern Ontario and northwestern Quebec is unprecedented. As a result, the lakeside residents of Lake Duparquet would like the governmental authorities to implement a mitigation strategy including regulation of the lake spring water level. The proposed changes will affect both high and low water levels. At the same time, old, rare and protected stands of black ash trees are growing on the floodplains of Lake Duparquet. These stands, reaching the northern distribution limit of the species, are unique with trees more than 250 year old. Lake Duparquet is also one of the rare unregulated water body in the region. The project aims at defining the potential consequences of a change in hydrological regime (low and high water level) on black ash stands located on the floodplain of Lake Duparquet. Fieldwork will take place in northern Quebec and will involve measuring attributes of black ash stands, looking at indicator vegetation and age structure. It will also involve using remote sensing tools for mapping. Could water level regulation lead to the contraction and slow disappearance of these stands or could they be able to maintain themselves and, if so, under which conditions?

Click here for more information.

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