Snow Bunting Graduate Research Positions

We seek two graduate students (MSc or PhD) to lead projects on the direct effects of climate change on the performance and success of this rapidly declining Arctic songbird. Projects will integrate physiology, behaviour and breeding ecology within a life history framework. The projects will be conducted in parallel at both a Low- and High-Arctic site in Nunavut, Canada.

Project #1 at East Bay Island (64°N) will be supervised by Dr. Oliver Love at the University of Windsor. It will examine i) whether adjustments to provisioning effort to avoid thermal stressors and subsequent overheating have consequences for breeding success and ii) whether males and females face similar costs to the same thermal challenges.

Project #2 at Alert (82°N) will be supervised by Dr. François Vézina at the Université du Québec à Rimouski. It will i) investigate how consecutive days of warm temperature affect condition, provisioning rate and reproductive success, and ii) use an ecophysiological approach to study energetic and physiological compromises made by birds to sustain provisioning.

Supervision and collaboration: Students will be co-supervised by Drs. Love and Vézina. Projects will be highly collaborative with regular team meetings and opportunities to visit counterpart laboratories for experiments and training. Projects are supported by long-term partnerships with Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and the Department of National Defense (DND). Students will work alongside other scientists in the field to help support ongoing long-term studies (seabird ecology at East Bay, biodiversity surveys at Alert).

Skills required: Ideally previous research experience in songbird field systems (Arctic work not necessary), with analytical and writing experience via an honours BSc or MSc degree. Projects involve field research as part of diverse scientific teams at well-supported, but remote, Arctic field sites for up to 3.5 months per year. Students will receive Wilderness First Aid and Firearms Safety training to work with confidence and safety in these locations within teams.

Funding: All research and personal stipend costs are fully covered for both student projects.

Approach: Our labs pride themselves on taking a supportive and positive approach to student mentorship and training. Our goal is to provide equitable, diverse and inclusive training environments that inspire and support enthusiastic scientists to explore and conserve the world.

Environment: Both Universities have very strong Ecology and Evolution research groups and teams leading international Arctic research. Both have an emphasis on high quality graduate training and research support, with large graduate cohorts of diverse, interesting, high-achieving and yet balanced graduate students.

Application: Please send: CV/resume, undergraduate/graduate transcripts, statement of research interest, clearly stating which project your wish to apply for, to Dr. Oliver Love ( All inquiries will be responded to, and candidates will meet with Drs. Love and Vézina and lab members via video-conferencing to discuss projects and ask questions.