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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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/ 

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Funded PhD on “Agricultural practices and bee biodiversity” in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, University of British Columbia and the Department of Biology, Simon Fraser University

Farmers have adopted a number of new crop technologies and land management practices over the past century, resulting in a host of inter-correlated changes to agricultural landscapes. These changes include the adoption of novel pesticides, shifts towards genetically-modified crops, and increasing homogeneity (monoculture) of crop types. At the same time, serious concerns are being raised that these changes may be driving biodiversity declines in economically important species, including bees. This unique PhD opportunity is intended foster student engagement and training across the natural and social sciences. The advisory committee will consist of natural scientists and environmental economists and provide the student an opportunity to learn a diverse set of cross-disciplinary skills in these fields. Students with training in quantitative ecology, ecological data science, and/or environmental studies are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with a MSc in one of these disciplines are preferred, although students with only a BSc but with strong disciplinary overlap and excellent grades and references will also be considered to enter the fast track PhD option. The student will be co-advised by Drs. Risa Sargent and Leithen M’Gonigle (https://www.sfu.ca/biology/faculty/M%27Gonigle/index.html). To apply, please send a letter of intent describing your background and interest in the position, along with your academic transcripts and contact information for two references, to risa.sargent@ubc.ca. Applications will be reviewed on an ongoing basis until the position is filled. Possible start dates: September 2022, January 2023 or September 2023.

Click here for more information.

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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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PhD position: Landscape modelling of the effects of climate change and intensification of silviculture in Ontario’s forests

Are you interested in nature-based solutions to climate change? Do you want the chance to help inform sustainable management of Ontario’s forests? Do you like to code? Then consider applying to this exciting PhD opportunity!

Project
Ontario currently lacks the modelling infrastructure required to assess how altering management approaches (e.g., zoning to increase parks and protected areas and intensive management zones) will impact forest ecosystem services in the face of climate change. The objective of this project is to help generate an integrated forest model platform and conduct analyses of the effects of climate change and implementation of intensification of silviculture on broad spatial gradients (management units and provincially) and at different scales (landscape, stand, tree). The student will: (i) assist in integrating forest management and succession, wood science, and soil carbon models; (ii) examine the potential for enhancing carbon sequestration through nature based solutions, producing high value wood products, and conserving biodiversity (tree diversity and woodland caribou habitat) in Ontario’s managed forests under different climate and management scenarios; and (iii) inform policy development on enhancing carbon sequestration through nature-based solutions, high value wood product supply, and biodiversity.

Supervision
The student will be supervised by Mathew Leitch at Lakehead University. Eric Searle, Stephen Mayor, and Wayne Bell (Ontario Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources, and Forestry) and Guy Larocque (Canadian Forest Service) will be co-supervisors.

Conditions
The PhD is funded for the first two years in partnership with the Canadian Institute of Forestry/Institut forestier du Canada (CIF-IFC), through its science and knowledge exchange platform (CIF-SEEK) and will be funded for four years pending a successful grant application (underway). The student would be expected to start in September 2022 and would be based at Lakehead University. Lakehead offers all PhD students graduate assistantships which provide opportunities to gain valuable teaching experience. The student will have the opportunity to network with many stakeholders in Ontario forestry including: policy makers, Indigenous communities and corporations, forest industry, and professional organisations. Knowledge transfer to these stakeholders will be an essential part of this project.

Contacts
Please submit applications for the position by April 30th, 2022 to eric.searle@ontario.ca. Informal inquiries or questions are welcome.

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PhD Ad

We are seeking a highly motivated candidate to conduct research at the intersection of ecology and statistics to model environmental DNA (eDNA) in alpine aquatic systems of the Chic-Chocs Mountains (Québec, Canada).

The successful candidate will be co-supervised by Guillaume Blanchet (Université de Sherbrooke), Louise Chavarie (The Norwegian University of Life Sciences) and Olivier Morissette (Ministère de la Forêt, de la Faune et des Parcs du Québec).

In addition, the successful candidate will be an integral part of the CRÉA-CC project, which stems from a collaboration between the Mi’gmaq and Maliseet Aboriginal Fisheries Management Association, on whose traditional territories this work takes place, the Canadian Mountain Network (www.canadianmountainnetwork.ca), the Ministère Forêt, Faune et Parcs du Québec and the Société des établissements de plein air du Québec (SÉPAQ).

The ideal candidate will have a Master’s in biology, biostatistics or statistics, knowledge in spatiotemporal modelling, a good knowledge of the R statistical language and a strong interest in aquatic ecology.

Interested candidates should contact Guillaume Blanchet (guillaume.blanchet@usherbrooke.ca) with the following information:
– Letter of interest (1 page max)
– CV
– Transcripts (unofficial accepted)
– Contact details of three references

We are committed to fostering a culture of inclusion. As such we invite and encourage applications from all qualified individuals, including traditionally underrepresented groups (especially indigenous students because a main participant in this project is the is the Mi’gmaq and Maliseet Aboriginal Fisheries Management Association), who can contribute to a more diverse team.

The review of applications will begin on May 20th 2022 and will end when the position will be filled.

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PhD studentship on the James Bay ecosystem: linking primary producers to top predators


We are seeking a motivated student for a MSc or PhD thesis project starting September, 2022 to study aspects of the overwintering beluga population of James Bay in relation to nutrients and primary production at the base of the food web. The student is to be supervised by Drs. C.J Mundy, M. Marcoux, and L. Loseto. The student’s degree will be housed within the Centre for Earth Observation Science at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada and field work will be focused on James Bay. Field work will occur closely with Cree Nations organizations who live in the region. The successful student will also become a member of the Arctic Science Partnership (http://www.asp-net.org), providing national and international opportunities above and beyond a standard graduate degree. The successful candidate will have a MSc degree in biological oceanography or marine biology. The studentship is fully funded over a 3-year period as part a DFO Oceans Management contract and the NSERC-funded James Bay Expedition.

James Bay remains one of the least studied water bodies in Canada despite its vast size (~68,000 km2), resident beluga whale population (>10,000 individuals), and diverse coastal ecosystems that attract millions of migratory birds each year. Hunting and fishing along the coast have helped sustain Cree populations in this area for millennia and continue to be important in communities today. Most recently, Cree governing bodies have signed memorandum of understandings with Parks Canada for national marine conservation area feasibility studies that now encompass the entire bay. With rapid climate change during recent decades and major hydroelectric development in James Bay watersheds, updated and robust knowledge are needed for evidence-based conservation and management. To support this work, we need to answer questions such as how much marine primary production occurs within James Bay versus how much is required to support the resident beluga whale population. To help answer these questions, the student project will involve ship- and laboratory-based research combined with deployment and interpretation of oceanographic mooring sensor data, including hydrophone passive acoustic data. Fieldwork will be carried out on the RV William Kennedy, a jointly operated research vessel of the Arctic Research Foundation and University of Manitoba as well as via local community deployments of oceanographic moorings. Field experience on oceanographic research vessels and a knowledge base of primary production or marine mammals and bioacoustics, as well as general oceanographic techniques and programming language (e.g., Matlab) will be assets for the position.

Initial applications should be sent directly to Drs. Mundy (cj.mundy@umanitoba.ca) and Marcoux (Marianne.Marcoux@dfo-mpo.gc.ca), including: two letters of academic reference; a copy of your University transcripts; a letter of intent (1-2 pages) briefly describing your previous research or experience and a short research proposal fitting the above thesis topic, touching on objectives/hypotheses, preferred methods, and scientific significance. Please note that only Canadians will be considered for this opportunity because of the University of Manitoba deadline for application. Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. For further information, please contact Dr. Mundy.

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FUNDED PHD OPPORTUNITY, DEPT. OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA, WINNIPEG, MB

Are you passionate about the evolution of social behaviour, cooperative behaviour and mating systems? I am looking for graduate students to study questions related to mating systems, sociality, and the ecology of ground squirrels in southern Africa using a combination of behavioural, physiological and molecular techniques. The social systems of Cape ground squirrels are unique because males form amicable all-male groups that persist throughout the year and females live in family groups with cooperative breeding. Although these squirrels are small, they are long-lived and have a slow life history and our long-term dataset means we can examine questions on the factors impacting reproductive success (rainfall, climate change, age, hormones, social networks) as well as survival. Candidates who are excited to use an integrative approach to examine hypotheses that combine open-mindedness, creativity and versatility of skills are encouraged to apply. The project requires students to spend time at a field site in South Africa. Experience with laboratory techniques and fieldwork would be an advantage. More information can be found at https://sci.umanitoba.ca/biological-sciences/profiles/janewaterman/ and https://www.watermanlab.com/. Completion of an MSc degree in a related area is preferred. Interested applicants should email a CV, unofficial transcripts, and a short statement of research interests to Dr Jane Waterman (jane.waterman@umanitoba.ca), preferably by the 30th of March 2022.

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Ph.D. project in plant ecology – Comparison of approaches for assessing ecological restoration in afforested riparian zones

Project summary: Tree planting is a technique commonly used worldwide to restore riparian zones in agricultural landscapes. The ecological processes favoring the successful restoration of riparian plant communities remain however poorly understood. This project will be based on one summer campaign of botanical surveys in riparian zones that will be compared to surveys carried out in the same sites in 2011. This comparison will allow to determine the mechanisms of plant succession governing the restoration of forest communities using taxonomic and trait-based approaches. A meta-analysis based on a database already available and including several hundreds of articles is also planned to identify relevant research perspectives for optimizing the restoration and sustainable management of riparian plant communities.

Supervisor: Pr Bérenger Bourgeois, Department of Plant Sciences, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada (Google Scholar)
Co-supervisor: Pr Monique Poulin, Department of Plant Sciences, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada (ResearchGate)
Main collaborator: Dr Eduardo González, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, CO, USA (Google Scholar, ResearchGate)

Beginning of the project: September 2022

Desired skills:

  • Master’s degree in ecology, biology or any other related discipline considered relevant
  • Interest in botany, plant community ecology and restoration ecology
  • Aptitude or strong interest in biostatistics, data analysis and scientific writing
  • Taste for fieldwork
  • A first experience in scientific research is an asset

Grant: 21 000 Can$/year for 3 years. Students are encouraged to apply for scholarships.

References:
González E., Felipe-Lucia M.R., Bourgeois B., Boz B., Nilsson C., Palmer G., Sher A.A. 2017. Integrative conservation of riparian zones. Biological Conservation 211B, 20-29.
Bourgeois B., Vanasse A., González E., Andersen R. and Poulin M. 2016. Threshold dynamics in plant succession after tree planting in agricultural riparian zones. Journal of Applied Ecology 53, 1704-1713.
Bourgeois B., González E., Vanasse A., Aubin I. and Poulin M. 2016. Spatial processes structuring riparian plant communities in agroecosystems: implications for restoration. Ecological Applications 26, 2103-2115.
Bourgeois B., Vanasse A., Rivest D., Poulin M. 2016. Establishment success of trees planted in riparian buffer zones along an agricultural intensification gradient. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 222, 60-66.

To apply, send a cover letter explaining your interests, a CV and a copy of your university transcripts along with the contact details of three references before June 30, 2022 to Bérenger Bourgeois at berenger.bourgeois.1@ulaval.ca

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Evaluating post-harvest composition of forest stands in the context of global changes

Ph.D. thesis: A 4-year scholarship is available at the Université du Québec à Rimouski (Rimouski, Qc). The candidate must be willing to further their knowledge in forest dynamics, modelling and remote sensing. The call for candidates will be open until the position is filled.

Context: The forests of Eastern Quebec have undergone important compositional changes over the last century, mainly due to anthropic disturbances. The key to understanding these changes is to have a better knowledge of forest dynamics, and in particular post-harvest regeneration. Although there are certain tools such as the SUCCES-2009 regeneration simulator to evaluate the composition of cut blocks after harvest, there remains several unknowns to understand the links between pre-harvest compositions and post-harvest vegetation composition, in the context of global change.

Description: Under the direction of Robert Schneider, the candidate will have to develop tools to evaluate the regeneration of a cut block (quantity and spatial distribution) using biophysical data such as composition prior to harvesting and of the bordering forests, and position within the landscape. The person will also have to use remote sensing to evaluate the composition and spatial variation of the cut blocks. A 21 000 $/year scholarship is available for 4 years. The candidate will be co-directed by Emmanuel Duchateau (Quebec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks) in collaboration with Luc Sirois (Université du Québec à Rimouski).

Qualifications :

  • M.Sc. in forest sciences, biology, or environmental sciences
  • Experience with R is a plus
  • Good writing skills, and willing to work in a French environment

Interested persons should send a letter of interest, résumé and the names and contact information of 2 references to:

Robert Schneider
Professor in forest management and silviculture
Université du Québec à Rimouski
robert_schneider@uqar.ca

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