MSC AND PHD OPPORTUNITY: Structures and functions of bryophytes in the boreal-temperate ecotone

We are investigating the diversity, assemblage, functional traits related to carbon and nitrogen cycling, microbiota composition, and adaptive potential of bryophyte communities (primarily forest floor mosses) at the southern margin of the boreal forest in the Wabanaki-Acadian Forest of New Brunswick. Using natural gradients in forest composition (deciduous to coniferous forest) and moisture between the coast and inland, we will: (1) characterize the composition, functional traits, and biomass of bryophyte communities in coastal and inland red spruce forests, (2) describe temporal variation in moss microbiota and associated nitrogen fixation, (3) determine how bryophytes and their microbiota interact under different forest cover types, and (4) assess the adaptive potential of coastal and inland bryophytes.

We are looking for candidates with a passion for plant ecology and plant-microbiota interactions to start one MSc project and one PhD project starting in the summer or fall 2022. The positions will be based primarily at Université de Moncton (New Brunswick) under the supervision of Professor Mélanie Jean (https://melaniejeanecology.weebly.com/) with a possibility of co-supervision by Professor Isabelle Laforest-Lapointe at Université de Sherbrooke (Quebec, https://www.laforestlab.ca/), two francophone universities. Knowledge of the French language is necessary for admission to U. Moncton, but not to U. Sherbrooke.

Interested? Send (1) a letter of interest, (2) a CV, (3) an unofficial transcript and (4) contact information for 3 references to Mélanie Jean (melanie.jean@umoncton.ca). Review of applications will begin on March 1, 2022 and will end when positions are filled. Individuals from underrepresented groups in research are encouraged to apply.  The scholarship offered is $21,000/year for 4 years for a PhD and $17,500/year for 2 years for a MSc. We offer an inclusive, equitable, respectful, and open-minded environment.

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