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.

Share

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/

Share

2022 Summer School in Biodiversity Modelling with the following theme: Biodiversity changes and data visualization

Presented by the Université de Sherbrooke, the Integrative Ecology Lab (Pr Dominique Gravel) and the NSERC CREATE program BIOS2, the Computational Biology Science and Services training program.

August 22 to 26, 2022 at Centre de villégiature Jouvence (Resort), Orford, QC.

Classes will be taught in English, with bilingual support, and workshops will be conducted in both languages.

Registration until July 11, 2022 or until capacity is reached.

Information and registration: https://www.usherbrooke.ca/ecoles-de-pointe/en/2022-biodiversity-modelling

Share

MANAGING EDITOR – Biodiversity Journal

Job description

Biodiversity Conservancy International (BCI) seeks a Managing Editor (ME) for the journal Biodiversity, now in its 23rd volume. The ME must be a competent editor of scientific biological articles and be capable of managing authors and peer-reviewers through the Scholar One platform at Taylor and Francis Journals. Training will be provided for the platform. The ME needs to be able to work cooperatively with the Taylor & Francis editors and with their marketing team to maximize the exposure of articles published in Biodiversity. The work of the ME should help maintain the journal as an important forum for biodiversity research.

The position, in consultation with the Editor-in-Chief and the Editorial Board, is responsible for the content published in the journal. It requires timely production of four issues per year aligning with the production schedule set with publishing partner Taylor & Francis Journals.

Other responsibilities include:

  • Developing and maintaining networks within the international community of conservation scholars and biodiversity researchers to solicit high-quality research papers for the journal.
  • Cooperate with the Biodiversity Editorial Board (BEB) and the BCI Board of Directors (BoD) to sustain the journal vision and mission
  • Assist the BoD and the BEB to map out 2-3 year strategic action plan of themed issues
  • Participate in the assessment and timing of Impact Factor applications.
  • Ensure that publishing decisions are fair, consistent, and timely across all submissions
  • Maintain the journal’s high standard for acceptance.
  • Strive for geographic, cultural and topical diversity of research articles, opinion pieces and news stories.
  • Author and reviewer support.
  • Applicants should have good understanding of all aspects of the editorial process and of working with an editorial team.
  • Evaluation of submissions and assigning them for review in consultation with the Editor-In-Chief.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate has an editorial and writing background, experience in communications, have good interpersonal and organizational skills, competent in social media platforms, have excellent time-management skills and be knowledgeable of biodiversity conservation issues. He or she must be committed to the journal’s cross-disciplinary aims & scope and be passionate about biodiversity research and conservation. 

Amount

This is a part-time contract position (20-24 hours per week) supported by a royalty fee of CDN $~17,500 per year, payment to be made on a quarterly basis.

Term

The position will be for a term of 3 years after an initial 6-month paid probationary period (July 1st, 2022 to December 31st, 2022), renewable upon approval by the BCI-BoD. The full 3-year term will commence on January 1st 2023 and continue until January 1st, 2026. The current Managing Editor will act as a consultant to assist in the training of the new ME in the publication process, including the Biodiversity Scholar One site training.

Responsibility

The Me will be responsible to the BCI-BoD and agrees to indemnify and save Biodiversity Conservancy International, its officers, directors, employees, and agents harmless from and against any and all costs, claims, demands, expenses, actions, causes of action, and for any and all liability for damages to property and injury to persons howsoever caused, arising out of or in any way related to this position. BCI holds this indemnity in trust for parties who are not parties to this Letter of Agreement.

Violations and Termination of Agreement

If the ME violates the provisions of this agreement, including maintaining the production schedule for the journal, BCI has the right to terminate this contract and withhold any further payments to the ME.

To apply, send a CV and cover letter to Stephen Aitken (aitkense@biodiversityconservancy.org) and Hume Douglas (hume.douglas@biodiversityconservancy.org)

Share

Postdoctoral Position on Epigenetic Changes as a Mechanism for Mammalian Population Cycles at the University of Toronto (Ontario, Canada)

I seek a highly talented, engaged, enthusiastic postdoctoral fellow to investigate epigenetic (methylation) changes in snowshoe hares from two population cycles.

Study background: No mammalian population increases without limit. One of the fundamental questions in population ecology is: what are the factors that regulate and limit animal populations? Population cycles in small mammals (3-4 year cycles in voles and lemmings) and snowshoe hares (9-11 year cycles) occur throughout the northern hemisphere and have been studied for over 100 years. They have given us deep insight into the roles of food limitation, predation, stress, social processes, disease, and physical factors as causal mechanisms for these population cycles and for understanding population regulation processes generally. These findings may apply not just to these species, but to other vertebrates as well. In these cyclic species there is an enigma in their demography – the low phase – which can last 1 year in small mammals and 2-4 years in hares. For both, there is no obvious cause (food is abundant, predators are at low numbers, and other detrimental physical factors are absent). There is something intrinsically different about animals present at that time, even when these animals are taken to the lab. The hypothesis is that the environmental experience of the mothers during the peak and decline phases of the cycle programs their offspring through maternal effects. This signature causes these offspring to survive and reproduce poorly during the low phase. It takes one or more generations for this signature to disappear before high functioning animals again are present in the population, producing the increase phase. We hypothesize that this change is an epigenetic modification of key regulatory genes. Though extensive epigenetic work has been done on laboratory species and on humans, no such study has been done in nature on wild species that show these large scale, demographic effects.

We have collected brain tissue samples from snowshoe hares throughout the phases of the cycle and now seek a postdoctoral fellow to analyze these samples using Reduced Representation Bisulfite Sequencing (RRBS).

The postdoctoral fellow must have the following background and expertise:

PhD focusing on epigenetics, or previous postdoctoral research on epigenetics, particularly in the brain.
Experience with brain sectioning, extraction of critical samples from the hippocampus, hypothalamus, and amygdala, and DNA extraction from tissues. This is technique can be learned in my lab if needed.
Experience with library preparation, ideally RRBS.
Expertise with bioinformatics and analysis of sequencing data to determine the biological significance of the methylated regions. Note that the reference genome for snowshoe hares has been carried out by The Centre for Applied Genomics has not been published yet, but we have access to it.
• Evidence of synthesizing epigenetic patterns found to their biological causes and implications.

This postdoctoral fellow is expected to publish manuscripts in high-quality peer-reviewed journals and present their findings at national and international scientific conferences.

The position will be supervised primarily by Prof. Rudy Boonstra (Centre for Environmental Epigenetics and Development [CEED] and Centre for the Neurobiology of Stress [CNS]). This position is a 2-year appointment with a competitive salary of $55,000 CAN/year and a full benefits package.

Please contact Prof. Rudy Boonstra (rudy.boonstra@utoronto.ca) with questions.

Interested applicant should submit (1) a cover letter, (2) an up-to-date CV, (3) two recent publications demonstrating the required background and expertise and (4) contact information for three references.
Please send this material to rudy.boonstra@utoronto.ca for full consideration.
Proposed Start Date: 1 September 2022 or as early as possible.

Share

MSc in Biology at the University of Lethbridge – Application deadline: September 1, 2022

A Graduate Research Assistantship leading to an MSc degree in Biology at the University of Lethbridge (https://www.ulethbridge.ca/) is available starting January 2023.

The successful candidate will be a member of the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Lethbridge, and will be co-supervised by Dr. Robert Laird (https://people.uleth.ca/~robert.laird/ ).  

The project involves investigating the microbiome of khapra beetle (Trogoderma granarium), one of the world’s most economically important invasive pests of stored grains and grain products
(https://esc-sec.ca/2020/01/06/khapra-beetle/). Research will also examine the microbiomes of other stored-product pest insects. The bacteria associated with these insects play an important role in their biology and reproduction, and may give insight into methods for their control. The experiments will be carried out at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s containment facility at the Lethbridge Research and Development Centre under the supervision of Dr. Kevin Floate (https://profils-profiles.science.gc.ca/en/profile/dr-kevin-floate), with guidance from Dr. Vincent Hervet (https://profils-profiles.science.gc.ca/en/profile/vincent-hervet-phd).

Qualifications: Candidates need to have completed an undergraduate degree in the life sciences. Previous experience with molecular methods is desirable. The ability to complete all admission requirements of the University of Lethbridge’s School of Graduate Studies is required. Refer to http://www.uleth.ca/graduatestudies/ for application and degree requirement details.

Stipend: $18,000 to $22,000 (depending upon funding availability) per year for two years. Additional funding may be available through teaching assistantships and scholarships from the University of Lethbridge.

Deadline for application: September 1, 2022

How to apply: Please send a letter of interest, CV, transcripts (unofficial is fine), and the names and contact information of 2-3 academic referees to robert.laird@uleth.ca by September 1, 2022. Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in September, 2022. The successful candidate will be required to apply for admission to the University of Lethbridge by the October 1, 2022 deadline.

For additional information, please contact:

Robert Laird, Professor
Biological Sciences
University of Lethbridge
Lethbridge, AB T1K 3M4
Canada
Email: robert.laird@uleth.ca

The position is open to all qualified applicants, although preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada. The University of Lethbridge is an inclusive and equitable campus encouraging applications from qualified women and men including persons with disabilities, members of visible minorities, and Aboriginal persons.

Share

Postdoctoral Fellow in Ecological Forecasting of Boreal Bird Population Responses to Climate and Landscape Change

The Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM) seeks a Postdoctoral Fellow to join the Cumming lab at Université Laval, Québec City, in collaboration with J.A. Tremblay of Environment and Climate Change Canada. BAM is a long-term, international research collaboration supporting the conservation and management of boreal breeding birds in North America. The position is offered for one year, with the possibility of extension for two or three years, conditional on performance, eligibility, and funding.

The successful applicant will be instrumental to new initiatives in population assessment and avian conservation planning for eastern Canada. The goal of this project is to evaluate the impacts of past, present and future forest management on bird populations in SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified vs. non-certified forests. This position will apply spatial simulation models to forecast species responses to forest management, anthropogenic disturbance, and climatic change (e.g., Cadieux et al. 2020Micheletti et al. 2021), in order to identify effective methods to sustain their populations. The project may also include the application of spatial prioritization methods for conservation planning (e.g., Stralberg et al. 2018). This position will work closely with a research associate who will lead the development of species-specific habitat models for forest birds (see Crosby et al. 2019 and Adde et al. 2020), and with project graduate students. This work will be integrated with BAM’s efforts to produce national and regional avian density models. The postdoc will lead the writing of manuscripts and represent the project at meetings from local to international, and to research partners in government, industry, ENGOS, and academia.

Applicants must hold a PhD in a relevant discipline, to have been awarded not more than 3 years before taking up this position. Essential qualifications include strong quantitative skills coupled with an interest in avian ecology and conservation in general, independent of disciplinary background. Significant experience with advanced statistical or computational methodologies are essential (including R programming skills, while field experience in boreal systems and experience in multidisciplinary collaborations will be assets. Proficiency in French and English, both written and spoken, is preferred.

The preferred start date is September 1st 2022, but later or earlier dates may be negotiable. Location of tenure is negotiable given current circumstances, but the preferred location is Université Laval (Québec City), to facilitate effective engagement with the growing modelling team. Relocation expenses to Québec may be covered for qualified applicants. This is a lab-based position, but some field work may be needed or can be arranged. Annual salaries are $55,000-$60,000 including benefits. Additional funds are available to cover operating, conference and publication costs. BAM and Université Laval are committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace. All qualified applicants will be fully considered. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and of the University environment to apply.

To Apply:
Please provide a letter of interest, CV, an example of your scientific writing, and a list of three referees. In your letter, state HOW you meet the qualifications, and WHEN is your earliest availability. Apply by email to bamp@ualberta.ca with the subject heading “Postdoctoral Fellow in Eastern Forest and Bird Modelling”. Applications will be accepted until 30.05.2022 or until the position is filled.

FRENCH VERSION

Share

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  

Share

Ph.D. Opportunity: Moose Ecology in Saskatchewan

Job Title:  Moose ecology and conservation in the boreal forest of Saskatchewan

Location:       University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada

Closing:        Please contact me by June 15, 2022. M.Sc. preferred. Candidates should have publications in mainstream peer-reviewed journals and a GPA equivalent of A or higher over the past two years of coursework.

Apply:           Email CV and pdf copies of both undergrad and graduate transcripts. Email to philip.mcloughlin@usask.ca.  Please write “Moose Ecology” as the subject line. 

Description: In collaboration with the Saskatchewan Ministry of Environment, industrial partners, and Indigenous groups, USask is developing a long-term research program on the ecology of moose in northern Saskatchewan, Canada. This opportunity is specific to moose to understand the linkage between habitat selection and survival, and gain important insight into population dynamics (survival, recruitment, and trend), harvest, and relationships with predators and other ungulates. The Ph.D. is fully funded commencing Sept 1, 2022, and will interface both theory and applied ecology to inform management of moose in Saskatchewan and abroad. Habitat selection and fates of approximately 100 moose in Saskatchewan will allow us to develop a deeper understanding of moose population ecology in an area undergoing rapid landscape change and the emergence of novel disease, including meningeal worm. The student will help develop and test theory on causes and consequences of landscape and environmental change, while helping us to meet objectives of developing a strong understanding of the applied ecology to inform management. Field work will principally occur in winter and include coordinating logistics and participating in moose captures and GPS collaring, and especially timely investigation of moose mortality sites. This Ph.D. will complement the graduate and post-doctoral projects of several students, whom will be working together to promote a multidisciplinary project aimed at conserving wildlife and promoting northern food security.

The project is fully funded at $25,000 CAD per year; however, students will be expected to apply for internal and external scholarships, including NSERC PGS-D scholarships (if Canadian).

The successful student will have an opportunity to engage with a large lab working on related questions with respect to large-mammal population dynamics. There will also be opportunities to work collaboratively with a diversity of staff from the Ministry of Environment. Students can expect to publish outside of one’s own thesis topic as part of whole-lab research questions.

Evidence of familiarity with ungulate population dynamics, generalized linear models, and programming in the R language is an asset.

Interested applicants should contact me as soon as possible by email (philip.mcloughlin@usask.ca), and be prepared to submit a current CV with copies of transcripts.  

Website: http://mcloughlinlab.ca/lab/ 

Share