Master’s and PhD positions in quantitative forest insect ecology

Location: Toronto (UofT) and Montreal (McGill and UQAM)

Start Date: January 2021

Application deadline: August 31, or until suitable candidates are found

We are searching for quantitatively-oriented, enthusiastic, and creative students to tackle problems related to the spatial ecology of forest insect outbreaks. Selected students will have the opportunity to work with a diverse and collaborative research team examining the spatial and temporal dynamics of spruce budworm outbreaks in eastern Canada. Team members include Patrick James (U. Toronto), Dan Kneeshaw (UQAM), Brian Leung (McGIll), Elise Filotas (TELUQ), Mathieu Bouchard (MFFPQ), Deepa Pureswaran (NRCAN-CFS), and Rob Johns (NRCAN-CFS).

The focal subject of this work is the outbreak dynamics of the spruce budworm (Choristoneura fumiferana), a native defoliator that affect millions of hectares of coniferous forest during outbreaks. Despite nearly a century of research, there remain many outstanding mysteries associated with budworm outbreaks and their effects on forests. Developing greater understanding of these underlying population dynamics is essential to improve forecasting and for developing proactive sustainable forest management strategies.

Two projects are available. The general questions associated with these projects are: 1) what determines where, when, and the rate at which populations of spruce budworm increase? 2) How will future climate and forest management regimes affect future outbreak risk and severity?

Both projects will involve leveraging large spatial-temporal databases on forest insect outbreaks to develop predictive statistical, machine learning, and spatially explicit simulation models of outbreak dynamics.

Potential students should have an strong interest in developing skills and expertise in forestry, ecology, scientific computing (e.g., R), GIS, statistics, and modelling. Pre-existing expertise in these areas would be an asset

To apply, please send a short letter of motivation, a current CV, recent transcripts, and the names of two references as a single PDF to Dr. Patrick James at patrick.james@utoronto.ca

We encourage all qualified students to apply. Final selection will however give preference to Canadian citizens and permanent residents given current COVID-19 related uncertainty around international travel.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Graduate student and postdoc positions in plant ecology and plant conservation in Canada

The McCune lab at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, is looking for graduate students or postdoctoral fellows interested in plant ecology and plant conservation in Canada.

Potential projects include: analyzing the influence of habitat amount on the probability of occurrence of rare species, measuring genetic variation between isolated rare plant populations, modeling habitat suitability for rare plants across a landscape, and experimental rare plant translocations. Some projects require fieldwork while others involve GIS or lab-based work only. Fieldwork will occur primarily in southern Ontario or in southern Alberta.

The University of Lethbridge is a smaller University with a vibrant community of scientists. Lethbridge is a very affordable and friendly city only 2.5 hours from Calgary, and only 1.5 hours from stunning mountain Parks, including Waterton Lakes National Park and Castle Wilderness Provincial Park.

If you are interested, please email Jenny McCune (jl.mccune (at) uleth.ca) and tell me about your research interests and experiences. Include your CV and unofficial transcripts.

I am committed to diversity and inclusion and I welcome applications from students with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences.

Additional Information:

website: https://jlmccune.weebly.com/
U of L Biological Sciences: https://www.uleth.ca/artsci/biological-sciences
U of L Graduate Studies: https://www.uleth.ca/future-student/graduate-studies/

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Funded MSc and PhD positions in avian evolutionary physiology

About the projects

We are seeking 1-2 MSc/PhD students interested in avian evolutionary physiology. Areas of research include: the impact of temperature during development on adult physiology, climatic warming as a constraint on activity in wild birds, and understanding the fine-scale movement of individuals using of automated radio-telemetry. Specific thesis topics are flexible, and you are encouraged to contribute your ideas.

Requirements

You should have an interest in animal physiology/evolutionary physiology. Experience and/or interest in use of R would be an asset (although not required). To apply for an MSc, you will require a B.Sc. Hons (or equivalent) in Biology or a related field. PhD applicants will require a completed MSc or equivalent, by the start date. Positions are open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents, but strong international candidates are encouraged to apply. We seek a diversity of ideas and perspectives in the lab, so we especially welcome applicants from under-represented groups.

Funding

The minimum stipend for an MSc student is $19,274 for each of 2 years; a PhD student is $21,274 for each of 4 years. Students holding external funding are particularly encouraged to apply.

Interested in applying?

Send an email, with your CV and a brief statement of research interests to: Gary Burness, Professor, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada (garyburness@trentu.ca). Enquires are welcome.

Start date: Jan 2021. Applications will be considered until positions are filled.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Graduate assistantship in fish conservation genomics

The Mandeville Lab in the University of Guelph Department of Integrative Biology is recruiting a MSc student to study hybridization in Catostomus fishes (suckers) in the Gunnison River Basin, Colorado, USA.

Hybridization following species introductions or disturbance can pose a threat to imperiled native species and presents a challenge for conservation and management. The student recruited for this MSc position will use genomic data to evaluate the efficacy of a fisheries management intervention designed by Colorado fisheries biologists to prevent hybridization of threatened native species with introduced species by excluding introduced species from important spawning habitat. Work will involve generating and analyzing genomic data for adult spawners and larval fish, and identifying the extent of hybridization in larval fish cohorts from before and after the intervention. We will also assess longitudinal trends in ancestry of larval fish along the length of the spawning tributary to identify how far parental species migrate to spawn.

Research in the Mandeville lab focuses generally on describing evolutionary processes using computational approaches and large genomic datasets. Understanding evolutionary processes is essential for identifying how biodiversity arises and is maintained, and is also crucial for conservation of threatened species. We work primarily on fish and in aquatic systems, and many of our projects feature collaboration with conservation and management agencies. This specific project is funded by and in collaboration with Colorado Parks and Wildlife.

Applicants with interests in fisheries genetics, conservation, evolutionary biology, ecology, or related  fields are encouraged to apply. Desired qualifications include the ability to balance working independently and collaboratively, excellent work habits, and strong writing skills. This project will involve extensive work with large genomic datasets and high performance computing. No prior computational experience is required, but applicants must be willing to learn and excited about building their computational skills. Due to fiscal constraints, Canadian students (including permanent residents) will be given priority.

To apply, please send a letter of interest, CV/resume, transcript (unofficial is fine), and contact information for three references to Dr. Liz Mandeville, emandevi@uoguelph.ca. The Mandeville Lab is committed to increasing and supporting diversity in STEM, and members of underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Preferred start date is September 2020, but some flexibility is possible in terms of start date or initial remote work. For more information about the lab, please see https://mandevillelab.uoguelph.ca.

 

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

Funded Ph.D. project: Dispersal and metacommunity dynamics of boreal bryophytes

We are looking for a Ph.D. student with an interest in community ecology, bryology and ecological statistics for a funded research project at the Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue (UQAT). The student would be co-advised by Nicole Fenton (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Nicole_Fenton2) and Philippe Marchand (https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Philippe_Marchand3).

Project description

Bryophytes constitute a major part of the plant biodiversity in boreal forests and provide key ecosystem services such as nitrogen fixation (via symbiotic associations with cyanobacteria), soil moisture regulation, as well as food and shelter for invertebrates and small mammals. Despite their ecological importance, we know relatively little about the metapopulation and metacommunity dynamics of bryophytes at the landscape scale; such knowledge would be needed to set habitat retention size and connectivity targets for forest management. This is especially true of epixylic (deadwood-inhabiting) species that face high habitat turnover.

Using an existing bryophyte community database collected by the UQAT bryology lab (hundreds of plots distributed across a 73 000 km² forested area in north-western Québec), the Ph.D. student will apply novel modelling approaches to determine the importance of habitat availability, species interactions and dispersal limitations in determining the range of different groups of epixylic bryophytes. By combining the bryophyte community data with historical data on forest disturbances (fire, harvest) in the study area, they will also estimate metapopulation characteristics (colonization and extinction rates) of key species based on their dispersal and reproductive traits.

Desired start date: Winter 2021 (Fall 2020 start date possible for Canadian applicants)

 Location: The student will be based at the Rouyn-Noranda campus of UQAT, as part of the Forest Research Institute (FRI, http://www.uqat.ca/etudes/irf/), and the Centre for Forest Research (http://www.cef-cfr.ca/). The FRI team is dynamic and offers a good environment for students (student association, activities, etc.). Rouyn is a cultural and interesting city with an excellent quality of life (hiking, canoeing, swimming, films, music, festivals, restaurants). http://www.ville.rouyn-noranda.qc.ca/

Financing: Stipend of 21 000$/year for 3 years (with possibility of extension for a 4th year).

To submit your application, send a letter of motivation describing your interests, skills and experience relevant to this project, your résumé, and the names of two references to Nicole Fenton (nicole.fenton@uqat.ca) and Philippe Marchand (philippe.marchand@uqat.ca). We will start reviewing applications on June 19th, 2020.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

PhD Positions in Computational and Mathematical Population Ecology – Kim Cuddington (http://ecotheory.uwaterloo.ca), Department of Biology.

We use large datasets, computational, statistical and mathematical approaches to answer questions about temperature for invasive species, species at risk and ecosystem engineers. Work that involves modelling or data analysis can be done while sheltering in place, and late entry to the program is still possible. Possible projects include (but are not limited to) the following:

  1. Creating mathematical models of the impacts of an engineering predator on its prey
  2. Incorporating autocorrelated temperature data and thermal response curves in structured population models of aquatic species at risk or invasive forest pests (e.g. Emerald Ash borer)
  3. Modelling microclimate conditions (under-bark, river, plant canopy) to calculate the autocorrelation and probability of extreme temperature thresholds
  4. Experimentally determining the effects of autocorrelated temperatures on thermal responses of insect invertebrates or fish

We provide four years of funding for students in a PhD program.

Please send an inquiry email providing an unofficial transcript, a brief statement of research interests in ecology, and contact information for three references (kcuddingATuwaterlooDOTca). The application for graduate studies is here (https://uwaterloo.ca/graduate-studies/application-admission/apply-online), but please contact me directly regarding the deadlines.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

MS position – Use of UAVs and GPS telemetry for beaver monitoring in Illinois

Location: Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Illinois

Salary: ~19,000$ +tuition and benefits for two years.

Start date: 08/17/2020

Last date to apply: 05/29/2020

Description: The Spatial Wildlife Ecology Lab at Southern Illinois University is seeking an excellent MS student to begin in August 2020. The student’s project will focus on developing and testing new approaches to study the distribution and fine-scale movement of beavers in Southern Illinois. The project will potentially include the use of a UAV (drone), satellite imagery, and GPS telemetry. The academic home for the position is at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois. The position is two years in duration at ~19,000$.

Qualifications:

  • BS in Wildlife Ecology, Conservation Biology, or a closely related field, with a strong academic record
  • Interest in developing quantitative skills, including the use of R and ArcGIS software (previous experience with GIS is highly desired)
  • Experience in trapping mammals is desirable
  • Ability to perform fieldwork in difficult settings
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated, with an excellent work ethic

To apply: Submit a single pdf that includes a cover letter summarizing your qualifications and interest in the position, followed by a CV, GPA and GRE scores, and contact information for three references to Dr. Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau (gbr@siu.edu).

Website : bastillerousseau.wixsite.com/research

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share

MS position – Drivers of variation in movement strategies of elk in Colorado

Location: Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, Illinois

Salary: ~19,000$ +tuition and benefits for two years.

Start date: 08/17/2020

Last date to apply: 05/29/2020

Description: The Spatial Wildlife Ecology Lab at Southern Illinois University is seeking an excellent MS student to begin in August 2020. The student’s project will evaluate variation in movement strategies of elk herds across the state of Colorado to identify the potential impact of human development on those movements, and potential consequences for elk fitness. The academic home for the position is at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois under the supervision of Dr. Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau. The student will be co-advised by Dr. Nathaniel Rayl with Colorado Parks and Wildlife. The position is two years in duration at ~19,000$.

Qualifications:

  • BS in Wildlife Ecology, Conservation Biology, or a closely related field, with a strong academic record
  • Previous experience with GIS Interest in developing quantitative skills, including the use of R
  • Ability to perform fieldwork in difficult settings
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Motivated, with an excellent work ethic

To apply: Submit a single pdf that includes a cover letter summarizing your qualifications and interest in the position, followed by a CV, GPA and GRE scores, and contact information for three references to Dr. Guillaume Bastille-Rousseau (gbr@siu.edu).

Website : bastillerousseau.wixsite.com/research

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share