PhD project – Application of remote sensing tools for assessing boreal forest dynamics in the Yukon

The Integrative Wildlife Conservation lab at Trent University is offering a PhD project on the application of remote sensing technologies for monitoring boreal forest structure and function near Kluane Lake, Yukon. For decades we have conducted research on Canada lynx and their prey in the Kluane region, and the current project extends these investigations into the realm of vegetation and snow dynamics in this rapidly-changing northern landscape. Using a recently-acquired unmanned aerial vehicle equipped with LiDAR, multispectral, hyperspectral, thermal and RGB cameras, we will investigate: 1) how patterns of forest productivity vary dynamically across space and time; 2) sources of forest heterogeneity and resiliency to climate change and insect outbreaks; and 3) how snow conditions vary through time and affect wildlife habitat availability. In addition, this project provides several additional opportunities and potential collaborations with ongoing research related to: 4) validating cutting-edge remote sensing technologies in forest health assessment; 5) forecasting future boreal forest dynamics under climate change; and 6) relating forest characteristics to the movements and habitat selection of Canada lynx and snowshoe hares that are radio-collared with GPS transmitters. The PhD student will have the opportunity to develop specific research questions within the scope of the larger project.

Successful candidates MUST have an MSc in Ecology, Remote Sensing, or related field, demonstrated evidence of peer-reviewed publications, strong field and quantitative skills, and an interest in working collaboratively within a large and diverse research group. Additional desirable skills include application of GIS technologies and related software, experience in drone operation, and working in remote field conditions.  Start date is ASAP.

To apply, send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic transcript, and contact information for 3 references to: Dennis Murray (dennismurray@trentu.ca).

For additional details, see www.dennismurray.ca.

The position will be filled as soon as a suitable candidate is found.

 

 

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