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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