Postdoctoral Position on Essential Biodiversity Variables for the Réseau d’observation de la biodiversité du Québec

The Réseau d’observation de la biodiversité du Québec (BD-QC) is developing an IT infrastructure that will be used to document in real time the state of biodiversity and its changes. The direction of the BD-QC Network is located in the Faculty of Science at the Université de Sherbrooke and the supervision is carried out by Professor Dominique Gravel of the Department of Biology. 

As part of this project, we are currently looking for a postdoctoral fellow who will be in charge of developing and deploying a protocol for the creation of Essential Biodiversity Variables based on BD-QC Network observation data. 

Full time position
Duration: 3 years with the possibility of renewal
Start date: as soon as possible.
More information here.

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Early Career Award 2021

Deadline for receipt of all application materials: Friday 26 February 2021

Award Description:  The CSEE Early Career Awards recognize outstanding accomplishments and promising future research potential in ecology and evolution by scientists early in their career. The selection committee will consider the candidate’s application through the lens of CSEE’s Diversity and Inclusivity Statement. Awards will be given to two candidates each year.  They consist of a 10-year membership to CSEE/SCEE, $500 cash award, up to $1000 allowance to cover expenses associated with attending the 2021 CSEE meeting in August 2021, and an invitation to give a keynote lecture at the annual meeting.

Eligibility:  Applicants must be active researchers in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology who received their doctorate within five years of the application deadline, not including time taken for parental leave (i.e., one year of parental leave extends the eligibility period to six years post-Ph.D.).  Candidates need to be Canadian citizens, or landed immigrants, or have completed their PhD at a Canadian University, or be currently working at a Canadian University. Candidates must support the goals of the CSEE Diversity and Inclusivity Statement.

Application/Nomination Procedures:  Candidates may apply directly or may be nominated.  Established researchers are encouraged to nominate outstanding young scientists.  Applications must contain all of the following supporting materials in the stated order: (1) a completed Applicant Information Form, including names and email addresses of 3 referees (indicate the nominating scientist where applicable) who will provide supporting letters, (2) a curriculum vitae, (3) a summary of research accomplishments (maximum 2 pages), (4) a 2-page statement of research plans for the next 5 years, (5) three recent publications (a list is sufficient; attachments not required).
The three letters of reference must be sent separately from the candidate’s nomination package.  In addition to commenting on the candidate’s accomplishments and future research potential, letters of reference must specifically address the candidate’s commitment to CSEE’s Diversity and Inclusivity Statement. All nomination materials and reference letters must be sent as PDFs to either of the co-chairs of the CSEE Awards committee, Julie Sircom (jsircom@grenfell.mun.ca) or Jasmine Janes (jasmine.janes@viu.ca).

Time lines:  The deadline for receipt of all materials including letters of reference is 26 February 2021.  The recipients will be notified of the award in April and they will formally receive their award at the annual meeting.

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CSEE Excellence in Doctoral Research Award 2021

Deadline for receipt of all application materials: Friday 26 March 2021

Award Description:  The CSEE Excellence in Doctoral Research Awards aims to showcase excellent student research from within the society. Successful applicants will have conducted high-quality research that addresses fundamental questions or is of an applied nature in the fields of ecology and/or evolution. In addition to demonstrated scholarship and merit, the selection committee will aim to promote diversity in science through the lens of CSEE’s Diversity and Inclusivity Statement, and to balance field of study and institutional representation. Awards will be given to five candidates each year.  They consist of a $500 cash award, up to $1000 allowance to cover expenses associated with attending the 2021 CSEE meeting in August 2021, and an invitation to present their research in our Graduate Student Award Symposium at the annual CSEE meeting.

Eligibility: Applicants must have been (i) registered in a Ph.D. program at an advanced stage of their dissertation (typically the final two years) and (ii) a member of CSEE at the time of application. There is no citizenship or residence requirement. Successful applicants are expected to attend the CSEE annual meeting and to present their work as part of the CSEE Graduate Student Awards Symposium (exceptions will be considered on an individual basis). Applicants from last year who were not selected for the award but still meet the eligibility criteria are encouraged to re-apply. Applicants must support the goals of the CSEE Diversity and Inclusivity Statement.

Materials: Applications must include the following sections:

  • Applicant information form
  • Thesis Summary (300 words maximum): A summary of your thesis (i.e., thesis abstract). You may use subheadings for different thesis chapters if desired. The applicant should make it clear how their research advances the state of knowledge in their field.
  • Other Relevant Activities (300 words maximum): In this section, describe any professional and extracurricular activities that demonstrate your communication, and leadership skills including mentorship, academic and civic engagement, community outreach and/or involvement with EDI initiatives.
  • Select Awards and Contributions (1 page maximum): Using three headings, highlight (i) awards that you have received, (ii) talks or posters that you have given and (iii) papers you have published. Do not include papers that are in preparation, submitted, or being revised for a journal (including preprints)—only include manuscripts that are published or have been given final acceptance and are ‘in press’. If in press, provide the manuscript number. The applicant must remove their name from all publications and replace it with “Applicant”, in bold.
  • Letter of support (1 page maximum) from your PhD advisor or a committee member. Letters should speak to the criteria listed above and should clearly state that the applicant is close to completion of their thesis. Letters must not contain the name of the applicant but rather non-identifying terms such as “The Applicant”, or similar. For example, “The applicant has been a member of my lab…”. In addition to commenting on the candidate’s accomplishments and research potential, letters of reference must specifically address the candidate’s commitment to CSEE’s Diversity and Inclusivity Statement.

Sections 1 through 3 should be submitted as a single pdf file with the filename “<lastname_firstinitial>_CSEE_PhDaward.pdf” to cseestudent@gmail.com (e.g., Smith_J_CSEE_PhDaward.pdf). The letter of support should be submitted directly from the referee to the same email address and should have the same format as the application with “_Letter” added to the end (e.g., Smith_J_CSEE_PhDAward_Letter.pdf). All materials are due by the deadline indicated above. We will respond to each email to confirm receipt within one week.

The name (first or last) of the applicant must not appear anywhere within the application other than the file names. This anonymization is meant to reduce bias during the evaluation process. Failure to properly anonymize applications could result in disqualification.

Other Important Information
Successful applicants will give a 30-minute talk (23 minute talk and 7-minute question period and transition) in the Graduate Student Award Symposium and will not be able to give a separate talk during the conference. Awardees can present a poster if space is available. Successful applicants must respond to accept the award and confirm their registration within one week of notification. Successful applicants will be may ineligible for Student/Post-doc travel awards as they are already given a stipend.

 

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CSEE Stands in Solidarity with Mi’kmaw Fishers

The Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution (CSEE) supports the Mi’kmaw people in their efforts to manage and conduct sustainable fisheries in accordance with their treaty rights.

As scientists, we would like to emphasize that respecting the rights of the Sipekniꞌkatik First Nation is not in conflict with our understanding of relevant fisheries and conservation biology. There is no evidence that the lobster fishery currently being conducted by the Sipekniꞌkatik First Nation poses a threat to lobster populations. We are deeply concerned about the misuse of science to support acts of violence against Mi’kmaw fishers and their communities.

We join the calls for the federal government to take immediate and decisive action to protect Mi’kmaw fishers. In addition, the CSEE urges immediate action by the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans to work with the Mi’kmaq and develop fisheries management policies that incorporate the best available science advice.

Additional discussion about conservation issues related to the lobster fishery can be found in this recent article by Vanessa Minke-Martin in Hakai Magazine. https://www.hakaimagazine.com/news/mikmaw-fishery-dispute-is-not-about-conservation-scientists-say/

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Survey about the experiences of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in the biological, ecological and environmental sciences

We invite you to participate in a survey about the experiences of Early Career Researchers (ECRs) in the biological, ecological and environmental sciences.

This is a global survey that will contribute to understanding the specific challenges ECRs face in progressing through their academic careers, and balancing work and personal life. The survey will also provide insights into the unprecedented impact that COVID-19 has had on academics at the early career stage.

You can access the survey here:

 https://uniofqueensland.syd1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_elLeXK3pdv8pksR

What do you need to know?

– The survey takes 10-15 minutes to complete

– It is anonymous and all questions are voluntary

– It is open to all Early Career Researchers working in the biological, ecological and environmental sciences (including related disciplines such as environmental social science)

– The survey closes at midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time on Friday, 28th August 2020.”

– For any enquiries about the research, please contact Dr Catarina SilvaDr Cecilia Villacorta-Rath or Dr Claudia Benham.

We understand that it is hard to find time in a busy work day to complete surveys, and we appreciate your time and contributions to this study.

Best wishes,

 Dr Catarina Silva, Dr Cecilia Villacorta-Rath and Dr Claudia Benham

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CSEE BIPOC Spotlight Library Microgrants

One barrier to entry of underrepresented minorities, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), into STEM is the shortage of visible models.  CSEE can help by drawing attention to BIPOC ecologists and evolutionary biologists.  This project will build a library of short videos by both emerging and established BIPOC scientists, and make that library available to university and K-12 instructors, youth groups, etc. across Canada.  By shining a spotlight on BIPOC models – who are underrepresented, but not absent – the library will create opportunities to support better representation in future.  It will also help our community diversify its teaching, its seminar series, and so on.  The program will also address another barrier to increasing BIPOC participation in science, which is financial; the library microgrants will provide direct remuneration plus no-cost membership and conference registration.

The microgrants

CSEE offers a microgrant to ecologists or evolutionary biologists who identify as BIPOC (up to the program’s budget limit).  A microgrant consists of $200 cash a free 2-year membership in the Society, and reimbursement of registration fees for one CSEE annual meeting within the 2 years following the award.

Microgrant recipients are asked to make two short videos of themselves:

  • One (2-3 min) video of them talking about who they are; what their current position is; how they got interested in E&E or their study system and (optionally) something about the path they’ve taken to their current position; and mentioning one exciting question in E&E they’d like to answer in their career.
  • The other (6-10 min) would include the same elements PLUS one question in E&E (big or small) that the recipient has answered, or is answering, in their work (not a Powerpoint, simply video of them).

The two videos constitute different resources for the community. The shorter videos will be appropriate for use at any level, and stress membership in the scientific community.  Because they are short, they will lend themselves well to being shown in combination.  The longer videos will be more appropriate for use in classes at the high school or postsecondary level, and demonstrate in addition contributions to knowledge.  It is perfectly appropriate for the content of an applicant’s shorter video to be reprised in the longer one – that is, we expect the two videos to overlap considerably.

Both videos should be pitched to a non-specialist audience – even if they are used in postsecondary ecology courses, a non-specialist pitch will make them accessible to all students. The editorial committee will supply advice on making a video like this (e.g. equipment, things to consider before/during filming, minor editing) and is happy to provide feedback or advice on proposed content, etc.  Applicants will also be connected with each other, when possible, so they can swap tips and experience.

All the videos will be shared on CSEE social media, hosted on the CSEE Youtube and made available on our web site for use in classes and presentations by professors, high-school teachers, outreach groups like Pint of Science, Let’s Talk Science, and youth groups like Scouting, etc.  CSEE will actively reach out to these organizations to publicize the video library.

Applying for a microgrant

Applicants should send a very brief proposal (no more than 200 words, describing very briefly the videos’ intended content) to the Chair of the Editorial Committee, peter.soroye@gmail.com.

Applicants should be members of CSEE, or non-members of CSEE who are Canadian or working or studying at a Canadian employer or institution.  Applicants are welcome from any career stage, but CSEE will seek to balance awardees between faculty, industry professionals, and students.  Should senior applicants wish to participate while waiving financial compensation, CSEE will use the budget room to recruit more early-career participants.

Editorial committee

CSEE Council will establish a committee of 3 Society members, at least 2 of them BIPOC, to provide guidance and insure that submissions align with the goals of the project.  It will report to the chair of the Awards Committee.  This is the same committee that will handle Resources Library submissions (see below).  BIPOC members of the editorial committee who do not serve on CSEE Council will receive a stipend for their service.

Budget

CSEE has budgeted $3000 in 2020 for this initiative (but we envision the project continuing into future years).  The cash payment portion of the microgrant is crucial, because it is unfair to ask BIPOC to do unpaid work to fix a problem that isn’t of their making. The cash amount is intended to represent fair market pay for the labour involved.

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CSEE BIPOC Resources Library Microgrants

One barrier to inclusivity for underrepresented minorities, including BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Colour), in STEM is that most course materials lack representation of contributions from BIPOC. Similarly, most resources available for early-career researchers (or those mentoring them) do not reflect the experiences and additional challenges that BIPOC might face in STEM.  CSEE will commission the creation of two kinds of written materials: (1) articles highlighting research contributions of BIPOC researchers (worldwide, past or present) to E&E, that can be used as examples in undergraduate and/or K-12 curricula, and (2) articles written to help BIPOC navigate experiences in undergraduate or graduate school or in the field. Via our website and via direct outreach, CSEE will make these resources available to instructors, researchers, and departments of biology and cognate fields across Canada. The program will also address another barrier to increasing BIPOC participation in science, which is financial; the library microgrants will provide direct remuneration plus no-cost membership and conference registration.

The commissions

CSEE will commission the creation of (1) “Foundational research” articles and (2) “Navigating” articles.  While we suggest topics of interest below, CSEE is open to all proposals.

  1. “Foundational research” articles.
    • These will highlight foundational contributions by BIPOC researchers in ecology, evolution, and conservation biology. An applicant might write about any BIPOC researcher, worldwide, past or present.
    • Articles should include appropriately licensed photos or other illustrations, and should be relevant to commonly covered topics in introductory biology, ecology, evolution, or conservation courses. Photos of living human subjects must have photo releases.
    • An article could emphasize a particular piece of research or a researcher’s career contributions.
    • We encourage contributions from non-BIPOC authors, but these will be on a volunteer basis (non-remunerated). We encourage all career stages to get involved.
  2. “Navigating” articles. These will provide guidance for BIPOC navigating common situations in ecology and evolution, whether in learning or research.
  • Articles could address navigating situations in field work as a BIPOC; navigating situations in undergraduate study as a BIPOC; or navigating situations in grad school as a BIPOC.
  • “Navigational” articles are authored by, and share the views of, BIPOC members. We encourage all career stages to get involved.

 “Foundational Research” essays should be 500-1000 words, and BIPOC contributors will be paid $200 per essay.  “Navigating” essays can be longer upon agreement of the editorial committee, and will be paid at the rate of $200 per 1,000 words.  These rates are competitive with open-market freelance writing rates.

Applying for a microgrant

Applicants should send a very brief proposal (no more than 200 words, describing the article’s intended content/message) to the Chair of the Editorial Committee, peter.soroye@gmail.com.

Applicants should be members of CSEE, or non-members of CSEE who are Canadian or working or studying at a Canadian employer or institution.  Applicants are welcome from any career stage, but CSEE will seek to balance awardees between faculty, industry professionals, and students.  Should senior applicants wish to participate while waiving financial compensation, CSEE will use the budget room to recruit more early-career participants.

Editorial committee

CSEE Council will establish a committee of 3 Society members, at least 2 of them BIPOC, to provide guidance and insure that submissions align with the goals of the project.  It will report to the chair of the Awards Committee.  This is the same committee that will handle Spotlight Library submissions (see above).  BIPOC members of the editorial committee who do not serve on CSEE Council will receive a stipend for their service.

Posting and promotion

Materials will be made available online as they are approved, with promotion on social media etc. Links will be periodically sent to CSEE membership, and created materials will be promoted during the CSEE annual meeting. Applications will be accepted year- round (until all budgeted grants are awarded).

“Navigating” essays will have a two-week public comment period, after which the author would be asked to make any appropriate revisions. Public comment will help each article reflect multiple voices and lived experiences, without diminishing the experiences of the main author.

Budget

CSEE has budgeted $3000 in 2020 for this initiative (but we envision the project continuing into future years).  The cash payment portion of the microgrant is crucial, because it is unfair to ask BIPOC to do unpaid work to fix a problem that isn’t of their making. The cash amount is intended to represent fair market pay for the labour involved.

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CSEE Early Career Award 2020

We are thrilled to announce the 2020 recipients of the CSEE Early Career Award: Dr. Diana Rennison and Dr. Kiyoko Gotanda. Dr. Rennison is an Assistant Professor at UC San Diego, where she uses methods from the fields of evolution, ecology, and genomics to investigate the evolution and maintenance of biodiversity (https://rennisonlab.com). Dr. Gotanda is a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Cambridge whose contributions span ecology, evolution, behaviour, and conservation (http://www.kiyokogotanda.com/).

In lieu of giving plenary lectures at the annual meeting, Diana and Kiyoko will give online research talks on Friday, June 26th at 4pm EDT, and Friday July 3rd at 4pm EDT:

June 26 4pm EDT – Dr. Diana Rennison: Uncovering the genetic and ecological underpinnings of parallel adaptation

July 3rd 4pm EDT – Dr. Kiyoko Gotanda: Human influences on adaptation on the Galapagos Islands

Both talks will be streamed live to our CSEE YouTube channel and will feature a live question period: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoP8jVN1m84wvV5PQKS8ziQ .

Thank-you to the awards committee for their effort and care with this process, and for their attention to CSEE’s commitment to diversity and inclusivity. We had an incredible group of applicants for this award. While this made our deliberations difficult, it also filled us with excitement for the future of ecology and evolution research in Canada and beyond.

Early Career Award Talks: Friday June 26th, 4pm EDT

 Dr. Diana RennisonRennison

 Uncovering the genetic and ecological underpinnings of parallel adaptation.

This talk will give an overview of the integrative work I conduct to determine the mechanisms central to the origin and maintenance of the spectacular species diversity we see in the world today. The core questions I seek to address are: How do sources of selection interact to shape the course of evolution and the generation of biodiversity? & Why do organisms follow certain evolutionary trajectories when many are possible? To tackle these questions I integrate population genomics, field collections and experimental estimates of natural selection. I will give an overview of two of my studies which have shed light on these important questions. The first study uses a manipulative selection experiment to test whether evolutionary divergence between species is caused by differential predation. The second study takes a comparative approach to establish what genetic and ecological factors constrain or promote adaptive evolution.

Early Career Award Talks: Friday July 3rd, 4pm EDT

Dr. Kiyoko GotandaGotanda

 Human influences on adaptation on the Galapagos Islands

The Galápagos Islands are renowned for their unique, endemic biodiversity which inspired Charles Darwin to develop his theory of evolution by natural selection. In particular, Darwin’s finches are an iconic example of adaptive radiation due to natural selection, where ~18 species have evolved from a single, common ancestor. Adaptive radiations can occur when exploitation of new ecological niches can lead to speciation, that is, the formation of entirely new species. Each species of Darwin’s finches is able to specialize on niche specific food items as well innovate in order to take advantage of new food sources, for example, by utilizing tools. Humans can pose major threats to such adaptive radiations by changing selection pressures on Darwin’s finches, and thus, influence their adaptation and evolution. On the Galápagos Islands, humans have direct and indirect effects on the adaptation of Darwin’s finches. My research focuses on three human influences: introduced predators, novel foods, and urbanization, and how these iconic finches are adapting to the presence of humans on the islands.

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