Ph.D. position: University of Saskatchewan

Comparing movements, behaviour, survival and reproductive success in dabbling ducks fitted with tracking devices using different attachment techniques

Description: A Ph.D. 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/). The student will use state-of-the-art tracking devices deployed on mid-continent mallards to compare movements, behaviour, survival and reproductive success of birds using harness, anchor/suture and implant attachment techniques, and geolocators.

This project is an international partnership among the Canadian Wildlife Service, Delta Waterfowl Foundation, Ducks Unlimited Canada, Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries, and University of Saskatchewan. Our project goals are to (1) Deploy Global Positioning System-acceleration (GPS-ACC) tracking devices on 35 wild mallards per attachment technique, and geolocators on 150 wild mallards as a control group, per year for two years (totaling 280 GPS-ACC tracking devices and 300 geolocators), (2) Compare movements, behaviour, survival and reproductive success of tagged birds within and among treatments relative to a control group, (3) Assess retention of anchor/suture design in wild birds, and (4) Develop a reproducible framework to evaluate effect sizes of movement, behaviour, survival and reproductive success with varying frequency of GPS and ACC data, as well as sample size for each attachment technique.  

Our team will deploy GPS-ACC devices and geolocators on mid-continent mallards in Aug-Sept 2022, as year 1. We anticipate collation of millions of data points providing examples of individual decision-making. While GPS-ACC tracking devices have become common tools across animal ecology, and to some extent negative effects of devices on survival and reproductive success have been shown in a variety of animals, there have not been recent evaluations to contextualize data gained and inform operational monitoring programs/conservation planning. The student will have opportunities for field work in North Dakota and Saskatchewan, and engage in novel ecological modelling and collaboration among other projects using GPS-ACC devices to study the full annual cycle in migratory birds.  

Prerequisites: Ideal candidates will have an undergraduate and master’s degree in statistics, ecology or a closely related field, and interpersonal skills to lead discussions among collaborators. Preference will be given to those with a strong quantitative background (e.g., experience with Program R, Bayesian methods), knowledge of migratory bird ecology and management, and field skills (e.g., capturing and handling birds). Students must have a valid driver’s license. The successful applicant will be expected to publish manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals and present papers at scientific meetings.  

Salary and benefits: $30,000 Canadian per year plus compensation for tuition and fees.  

Start date: January 2023  

Last date to apply: 9 Sept 2022 or until a suitable candidate is selected  

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

(1) Letter of interest summarizing your experience, (2) Curriculum vitae or resume, (3) University transcripts (unofficial are fine), (4) Contact information for three references.

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MSc or PhD positions – SOCIAL AND SPATIAL BEHAVIOUR AS DRIVERS OF PATHOGEN DYNAMICS

I am establishing a new research lab at the University of Guelph in the Department of Integrative Biology and recruiting multiple new students (MSc or PhD) to be part of a collaborative and inclusive research community. These positions are fully funded, but I will support successful applicants to compete for internal and external funding (NSERC). Preference is for a May or September 2023 start date and the competition will remain open through September 6th, 2022.

Projects: As a new faculty member, I am recruiting students to work in two systems to test hypotheses about the social and spatial drivers of parasite and pathogen dynamics in caribou and bats.

  1. Fogo Island Caribou: We have been studying social, spatial, and movement behaviour of caribou on Fogo Island, Newfoundland, since 2016. Students will focus on testing hypotheses about how social behaviour, movement, and habitat selection affect infection with Elaphostrongylus rangiferi, a parasitic nematode. Students will have access to long-term data and will have the opportunity to spend time in the field in Newfoundland to collect data for their project and contribute to data collection goals of the project.
  2. Ontario Bats: This system will be local to Southern Ontario and focus on measuring parasite and pathogen loads for individual bats and linking these measures to behavioural, social, spatial, and life-history traits for individual bats. We are currently working to establish the system and students will have an exciting opportunity to help shape the future of our work in collaboration with other institutional partners.

Training Opportunity: Both projects will provide excellent opportunities for training and skill development for employment or further graduate studies. For example, (1) Fundamentals: critical thinking, experimental design, practicing and communicating science; (2) Field skills: capturing, tagging, and tracking bats, biotelemetry of caribou, sampling for parasites, and behavioural observation of caribou or bats; (3) Analytical skills such as programming statistical models, geospatial analyses, and social network analyses; (4) Contributing to the lab and departmental culture through inclusive and equitable learning, teaching, and collaboration.

Qualifications:

(1) A passion for, and curiosity about, the natural world and the things that live in it.

(2) An interest and commitment to fieldwork. Given that fieldwork is expensive and can be a barrier to entry for students in ecology and evolution, I will work with students on an individual basis to ensure all needs are met. I will also provide additional “gear stipends” to students to cover costs of specialized fieldwork gear (e.g., hiking boots). While my preference is for field-based projects, if fieldwork isn’t for you, that’s okay! Just let me know and we can discuss lab or computer-based alternatives.

(3) Quantitative experiences, including programing in R, geospatial analyses, and social network analyses are an asset. Given these skills can take years to develop, there will be opportunities to learn.

The University of Guelph and The Department of Integrative Biology are committed to diversity and inclusivity. As a person at the intersection of multiple privileged groups, it is my responsibility to actively leverage this privilege to advocate for my peers and work towards sharing undue burdens placed on members of equity-seeking groups, lifting them when possible, and creating space that does not exist for these groups. Together with students, it is my hope that we will foster equity in the lab and department.

To apply, please email your application as a single pdf document to Dr. Quinn Webber (qwebber@uoguelph.ca), including a cover letter outlining the project you are interested in (bats or caribou), your background, goals, and interests and a current CV with the names of two references.

Thank you for your interest!

Quinn

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PhD position: forest ecology and climate change adaptation – Application deadline: November 15th 2022

A fully-funded Ph.D. position in forest ecology and climate change adaptation is available at the Institute of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Toronto or in the Department of Renewable Resources at the University of Alberta. The Ph.D. candidate will participate in an operational-scale silvicultural experiment that will test various “climate-smart” strategies for promoting the resilience of temperate mixedwood forests in the Petawawa Research Forest in central Ontario. One of the key strategies is within-range assisted migration, whereby southern provenances will be planted after partial harvest operations, with the expectation that they will respond better to global warming than local provenances. The Ph.D. candidate will assess the growth and survival of transplanted seedlings, examine how performance varies among species and provenances, and determine whether southern provenances are maladapted to the current frost regime (despite being adapted to the future climate regime). The Ph.D. candidate may also assess frost hardiness of the transplanted seedlings experimentally, as well the impact of frost on the long-term growth of different provenances, using dendrochronological analyses of historical provenance trials spanning a broad latitudinal gradient from Ontario to the southern US.

Qualifications: 1) sincere interest in forest ecology, 2) strong quantitative skills, 3) excellent oral and written communication skills in English.

Applicants should send a curriculum vitae to John Caspersen (john.caspersen@utoronto.ca) and Charles Nock (nock@ualberta.ca) by November 15th. Competitive applicants will be contacted to schedule an interview (but note that less competitive applicants will not be contacted). The position will remain open until a suitable candidate is selected.

The Ph.D. project is funded by Silva21 and the Petawawa experiment is part of the Adaptive Silviculture for Climate Change network:

https://www.silva21.com/?lang=en
https://www.adaptivesilviculture.org/
https://www.adaptivesilviculture.org/project-site/petawawa-research-forest

https://academic.daniels.utoronto.ca/forestry/caspersen-j/
https://www.charlesnock.ca/

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PhD position, University of Guelph

Full funding is available for a four-year PhD position in the labs of Drs. Andrew MacDougall and Kevin McCann – University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada. We seek a highly motivated candidate with a theoretical or empirical background at the MSc or undergraduate level, to explore issues of global change biology, stability and ecological “tipping points”, plant biogeography, and/or the regulation of biological diversity in global grasslands. This project is affiliated with Nutrient Network, based at the University of Minnesota USA (www.nutnet.org), and the University of Washington (Dr. Jon Bakker). The work centers on testing major drivers of diversity and stability along latitudinal gradients from desert to arctic in North America. Project emphasis can be theoretical or empirical depending on interest, but there will likely be a need for fieldwork in remote amazing wilderness of western North America. If interested, please e-mail a brief statement of research interest, your CV, an unofficial transcript, and the names of two academic referees to asm@uoguelph.ca. Start time is flexible up to and including fall 2023.

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PhD student needed for research on rare plants and climate change in Canada

The McCune (University of Lethbridge) and Hargreaves (McGill University) labs are recruiting a PhD student to lead research on rare plant ecology and conservation in Canada.

Project Details

The goals of our collaborative project include:

(1) predict which plant species at risk will be most sensitive to climate warming; (2) identify species’ future habitat under climate warming, and (3) test whether species will require assisted migration to get there.

The project will involve some combination of Species Distribution Models, transplant experiments and experimental warming – but there is flexibility for the successful candidate to bring their own ideas. Our project will help fill knowledge gaps in conservation planning and practice needed to inform Québec and Canada’s missions to protect their rare species.

The student will be co-supervised by Dr. McCune and Dr. Hargreaves. The student will be based at the University of Lethbridge, where they will join a group of graduate students all dedicated to plant ecology and conservation. Summer fieldwork will be in southern Ontario and Quebec, with an optional research visit for up to a year at McGill University in Montreal.

The University of Lethbridge is a smaller University with a vibrant community of scientists. Lethbridge is an affordable and friendly city only 2.5 hours from Calgary, and only 1.5 hours from stunning mountain Parks, including Waterton Lakes National Park and Castle Wilderness Provincial Park.

We are looking for candidates with a passion for plant conservation, a love of being outdoors with plants, strong communication skills, the ability to work independently and be self-motivated, and a background in ecology or a related field.

We will guarantee a stipend of $21,000 per year for at least 3 years, which may be increased via Teaching Assistantships and/or University Scholarships.

If you are interested, please email Jenny McCune, jl.mccune(at)uleth.ca, by September 1, 2022 and share your research interests and experiences. Include your CV and unofficial transcripts. We anticipate that the successful candidate will start their PhD program in January 2023.

We are committed to diversity and inclusion and we welcome applications from students with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.

Additional Information:

https://www.ulethbridge.ca/future-student/graduate-studies/

http://jlmccune.weebly.com/https://annahargreaves.wixsite.com/home

https://annahargreaves.wixsite.com/home

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Graduate student positions – Understanding and modifying microbial niche breadth


Location:
University of Toronto – Scarborough, Scarborough, ON, Canada

Description: I am in the process of moving my lab from The Pennsylvania State University to the University of Toronto – Scarborough in the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, with an official start of January 2023. I am looking for graduate students to start sometime in 2023 to help launch my new program. Some of our current work can be found here: https://microbiomemanipulationlab.weebly.com/

Student projects can focus on the fundamental and/or applied consequences of microbial niche breadth. Fundamentally, microbial compatibility with various environments helps to determine microbial biogeography. While a broad environmental range may provide benefits to a microbe, there are likely costs to carrying more survival traits; however, we know little about the relative costs of different types of generalism (e.g. resource generalists vs. thermal generalists). From an applied perspective, understanding the factors that shape the niche breadth of microorganisms can help us in designing more effective microbial inoculants, for agriculture and otherwise. Such inoculants are promising alternatives to chemical additives, such as inorganic fertilizers and pesticides, but are still largely unpredictable in field settings.

Project development will depend on a combination of lab needs and student interests, but I expect most student projects will contribute to one of the following three areas:

  1. Environmental filtering to collect microbes with unique ecological traits
  2. Directed evolution to modify microbial niche breadth
  3. Modification of environmental stressors and opportunities to affect in-field microbial survival and function

To date, I have worked with an amazing and diverse group and appreciate the value that many types of diversity have brought to our work. This includes, but is not limited to, diversity in academic training, problem-solving approaches, and personal backgrounds and experiences. Je suis content d’intéragir en anglais ou en français.

Funding will be provided in line with the particular graduate program that the student applies to. We can discuss and investigate options, as I am still learning!

If interested, please send a CV, a letter of interest, unofficial transcripts, and contact info for 3 references to thb15@psu.edu .

Information on the Department can be found here: https://www.utsc.utoronto.ca/physsci/

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SEVERAL POSITIONS FOR GRADUATE STUDENTS (and others)*: Urban forests – towards adaptation to global change

Despite a large proportion of the population living in cities and the recognized importance of urban forests in providing benefits to people, we still know surprisingly little about them. In a future with more frequent and intense heatwaves, urban trees will be key in ensuring the livability of cities. Urban planning must also account for social inequities. Finally, while most cities across Canada have plans to plant thousands of trees, few have measurable objectives in terms of desired benefits (such as a reduction in air temperatures) and a plan to face global change challenges. Without better guidelines, these noble and expensive planting efforts may fall short of desired outcomes. Our ambitious project will provide working answers to these challenges, while developing novel techniques to sample and track change in urban forests, and knowledge towards adaptation to global change.

The project has identified four main research objectives contributing to the overarching goal of adapting urban forests to global change. We are seeking to train scientists (MSc and PhD mostly, but also undergrads and postdocs) with a passion for people, cities and urban trees to work on:

  • Increasing our capacity to survey all urban trees; (3 positions)
  • Understanding why trees die in the urban environment, how they cope with stress and interact with soil biodiversity, and how they perform in stormwater control measures; (4 positions)
  • Modelling response and drafting adaptation strategies; (1-2 positions)
  • Mobilize knowledge to concerned stakeholders. All students and researchers will work together with partners to achieve this very important task.

Selected candidates will contribute to an interdisciplinary project led by an expert team of researchers from different universities, and partners from municipalities, private companies, and non-profits, thus broadening their professional network. Internships with partners and between universities will be strongly encouraged.

Prospective students should contact us (paqlab@uqam.ca) with the following information: letter of interest, CV, unofficial transcripts, and contact information for three references. Informal inquiries are welcome. Please don’t hesitate to share any career interruptions or personal circumstances that may have had an impact on your career goals. Positions may be at UQAM, Concordia or UdeM in Montreal, or UofT in Toronto. Flexible start dates, but some as early as the Fall 2022 or Winter 2023 terms (others may start later). Full scholarship and support such as French language classes and maternity leave is offered. We want happy people.

Think you’re out of luck because of your background, a disability, or the way you dress? Relax, we don’t care, because innovation is born from diversity. Our team offers an inclusive, equitable, respectful, healthy, and openminded work environment – because we work there too! An exceptional opportunity to join a young, dynamic and welcoming research group!

This project is lead by Alain Paquette, Tanya Handa, and Dan Kneeshaw from UQAM, Carly Ziter from Concordia, Danielle Dagenais and Jacques Brisson from uMontréal, and Danijela Puric-Mladenovic from uToronto, as well as a large team of collaborators.

*This is an early call for recruitment. All positions are pending research funding approval.

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PhD student position in Caribbean Biogeography and Systematics at Memorial University of Newfoundland-Canada

I am seeking a motivated PhD student to test the role of different hypotheses (e.g. Cenozoic vicariance, over-water dispersal, the GAARlandia colonization route, in situ speciation) on the evolution and assembly of Caribbean flora. The Caribbean is important to conserve because it is one of the world’s top five biodiversity hotspots. We will compile divergence times and ancestral areas of Caribbean endemic plant lineages from the literature or from our own analyses (dated phylogenetic trees and biogeographic modeling). With these data we will estimate colonization and speciation rates through time. We hypothesize that different speciation rates through time could explain the absence of a time-for-speciation effect in the Caribbean as we previously demonstrated, and a decreased colonization rate into the Caribbean because islands will reach carrying capacity with time. In addition, the systematics of the genus Copernicia (Arecaceae), a radiation of 21 palm species mostly endemic to Cuba, will be conducted using Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS). The student will conduct fieldwork in Cuba. We expect to find phylogenetic splits reflecting the history of fragmentation and rejoining of Cuban paleo-archipelagos, and between Cuba and Hispaniola. Other research questions of interest to the student are welcome. The PhD student will work under the mentorship of Dr. Julissa Roncal at MUN, and will collaborate with Raul Verdecia from las Tunas University in Cuba for the systematics of Copernicia.

Student’s qualifications:

  • A MS degree in a related discipline (e.g. biology, botany, systematics, ecology, molecular biology, bioinformatics)
  • Experience in organismic botany, phylogenetics and/or population genetics analyses, biogeographic modeling, and bioinformatics is highly desirable.
  • Excellent writing, analytical, organization and communication skills. Attention to detail.
  • Written and oral proficiency in English is mandatory for international students. TOEFL or IELTS test required for admission to the university, but not the GRE tests.

Position characteristics:

Project start date is September 2022 or January 2023. The PhD program comprises four years with an annual stipend of CAD$ 22,500 and the possibility to obtain the Dean’s Doctoral Award of CAD$5,000 per year. The student is expected to teach 60 hours during the fall and winter semesters (Sept through April) but not in the spring. The department of Biology at Memorial University has 25 faculty members and 74 graduate students. Memorial University is Atlantic Canada’s largest university offering a multicultural environment. Screening will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Position is funded by an NSERC Discovery Grant, but as part of the student’s training I encourage every student to apply for grants and awards.

How to apply:

Interested applicants should send their CV, a one-page statement of research interests and career goals, transcripts, and contact information of 3 references (who have agreed to be contacted) in a single pdf or word file to Dr. Julissa Roncal at Email: jroncal@mun.ca before applying formally to MUN. For more information on the research group visit: www.julissaroncal.wordpress.com. For instructions on how to apply to Memorial’s graduate program visit: http://www.mun.ca/become/graduate/apply/index.php

Information on the Biology department can be found: https://www.mun.ca/biology/our-people/faculty/

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Post-doctoral Fellows and PhD opportunities focusing on genomic applications to caribou conservation-Trent University

Dr. Paul Wilson (Trent) and Dr. Micheline Manseau (ECCC, Trent) through EcoGenomics (ecogenomicscanada.ca), a long-term national scale program, are recruiting PhDs and Post-doctoral Fellows (PDFs) focusing on genomic applications to caribou conservation. This national-scale collaborative research program on caribou conservation genomics is supported by whole-genome sequences of caribou representing diverse subspecies, ecotypes and populations, with additional genomes being planned for sequencing, and development of targeted caribou-specific loci for Population Genomic surveys of a long-term (20-year) database of samples (40,000 across Canada). The national network supporting these positions include partnerships with Environment & Climate Change Canada; Canadian Wildlife Service; Parks Canada; the Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources & Forestry, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks and other provincial (e.g. Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Saskatchewan) and territorial jurisdictions (Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut); wildlife management boards and Indigenous communities (e.g. the Sahtu Wildlife Management Board); and industry such as MB Hydro.

Positions may be based out of Peterborough, Ontario at Trent University or Ottawa at the National Wildlife Research Centre, Environment & Climate Change Canada. 

The following positions/projects are available:

PDF studying Demographic Parameters in caribou ranges across Canada using applications such as spatial capture-recapture (sCR); density estimation;; population modelling; and network analyses. Position requires strong quantitative skills, and experience in software development will be considered an asset.

PDF in establishing metrics for large-scale and long-term Genomic Monitoring of caribou through the implementation of sequencing technologies, e.g. high/low coverage genomes and amplicon sequencing, and development of analytical pipelines . Position requires strong bioinformatic skills, and knowledge of molecular genomic protocols will be considered an asset. 

PhDs supporting the above projects will be considered in addition to projects related to caribou ecotype dynamics in Ontario’s Ring-of-Fire region; assessment of genomic erosion in isolated caribou populations (natural and captive) and at the southern range margins of boreal caribou; and an assessment of rapidly evolving genomic elements in adaptive genes of caribou subspecies and ecotypes across Canada.

Send a Cover Letter and CV to: pawilson@trentu.ca or micheline.manseau@ec.gc.ca  

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TWO PHD POSITIONS: ECOSYSTEM SERVICES IN CROPLANDS UNDER GLOBAL CHANGE

How will ecosystem services in croplands respond to global change? Human population growth and climate stressors are driving changes to agricultural landscapes. Heat and drought are set to reduce crop yields, while non-crop vegetation is increasingly cleared to expand the cultivated area. Changes to landscapes, such as these, can affect the beneficial organisms that supply crucial ecosystem services to farmers, such as the biological control of crop pests provided by insects and spiders.

Two (2) fully-funded PhD positions are available ($25,000 CAD/year for four years), to join our agroecological research team at the Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary, Canada. These positions will focus on the mechanisms connecting global change factors such as vegetation clearance and drought with pest regulation ecosystem services, and contribute to our broader program of environmental sustainability and landscape ecological research in Canadian Prairie croplands.

Candidates who have completed MSc (or equivalent) research in ecology, entomology, or agriculture will be well-prepared to begin these positions. Possible start dates include September 2022, January 2023, May 2023 or September 2023.

Please send a CV, unofficial transcripts for undergraduate and graduate degrees, and a cover letter describing your research interests as they relate to this project to Dr. Paul Galpern (paul.galpern@ucalgary.ca). Applications will be reviewed as received until September 2022, with protocols in place to ensure equity, diversity and inclusion in recruitment.

For more information on our lab’s research please visit: profiles.ucalgary.ca/paul-galpern-0 and recent publications in Paul Galpern’s Google Scholar profile. Questions are very welcome!

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