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Athabasca University

Opportunities for Graduate Students

December 31, 2014

MSc or PhD position: fish population dynamics

 A graduate student position (either at the MSc or PhD level) is available at Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada) in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  Potential projects could focus on prey fish population dynamics in Lake Simcoe and involve analysis of hydroacoustic data and/or the building of life history models.  The exact project details can be developed according to the student’s background and interests.  Candidates with excellent quantitative skills are encouraged to apply.  For initial screening and to receive more information about the project, interested students should send a letter expressing their qualifications and interests, a CV, and unofficial transcripts to Erin Dunlop (erin.dunlop@ontario.ca).  For more information on the Environmental and Life Sciences graduate program at Trent, please visit http://www.trentu.ca/els/.  Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible but the position will remain open until filled.


MSc position: fish life history experiments

An MSc position is available at Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada) in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Chris Wilson and Dr. Erin Dunlop.  The project involves conducting laboratory experiments on lake trout to examine inherent differences in life history traits among strains stocked in the Upper Great Lakes.  For initial screening and to receive more information about the project, interested students should send a letter expressing their qualifications and interests, a CV, and unofficial transcripts to Erin Dunlop (erin.dunlop@ontario.ca).  For more information on the Environmental and Life Sciences graduate program at Trent, please visit http://www.trentu.ca/els/.  Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible but the position will remain open until filled.


Two Graduate Student Opportunities in Aquatic Ecology  

Two graduate student positions available at the MSc or PhD level:

  1. Confluence symmetry and upstream similarity as indicators of downstream aquatic ecosystem types.
  2. Lake-stream and watershed-wide network measures of aquatic ecosystem types.

Primary location: Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program, Trent University, Peterborough ON, Canada. This position will also include extended travel to Toronto and field work throughout Ontario, Canada and Ontario’s Far North. 

Starting Date: Spring 2015. Actual start date depends on candidate availability. Funding is largely secured.

In support of the development of an aquatic ecosystem classification for the province of Ontario, we are looking for two graduate students for two related projects. Dividing stream networks into manageable size units for management and research is a fundamental practice. Although there are a plethora of terms used to describe streams at different scales, the stream valley segment is gaining popularity for management. Stream segments are defined as sections of streams with homogeneous characteristics, physical, chemical, thermal and flow regimes. Inflowing tributaries are assumed to impart changes in these characteristics leading to sudden ecological shifts and thus are classified differently than upstream neighbouring segments. 

Project #1: Confluence symmetry and upstream influences. The student will examine stream network characteristics, longitudinal gradient patterns, and confluence symmetry ratios to guide the development of homogeneous stream valley segments.  More specifically, the student will determine which confluences should be used to differentiate stream segments for the classification.

Key tasks include:

  • Review literature on confluence effects and the influence of upstream lake and stream characteristics
  • Test and parametrise proposed implementation of confluence effects for software designed to identify unique stream segments in Ontario
  • Design and undertake field-work to test expectations about the significance of confluences and upstream effects.
  • GIS analysis and programming in R or Matlab 

Project #2: Aquatic network measures. The student will develop an understanding of how lakes interact with streams on a network basis.  Focus will be on generating stream-lake network metrics that describe the size, number, arrangement, and order of lakes.  A subset of such metrics will be used to predict flow regime types based on landscape characteristics. The student will also investigate how lakes influence downstream reaches and how this influence attenuates with distance downstream, stream size and reach contributing characteristics.

Key tasks include:

  • Review of literature on use of network measures in freshwater aquatic systems.
  • Develop landscape pattern metrics (e.g., Fragstats) as descriptors of network structure that can be used to predict function.
  • Develop and tailor network metrics (lake specific and catchment-wide) for use in aquatic stream-lake systems to predict flow regimes
  • Design and undertake fieldwork to test network metric expectations.
  • GIS analysis and programming in R or Matlab

This is classic stream ecology research and represents a terrific mix of applied and basic science. Both projects will require a thorough review of the literature and field work.  The students will be co-supervised by aquatic ecologist Nick Jones (Trent University) and landscape ecologist Dr. Stephanie Melles (Ryerson University).  Students will have the opportunity to interact with academia and government personnel and work as teaching assistants.

Application deadline: Feb 1 2015 or when filled.

The applicants should have a strong background in ecology.  Experience using statistical packages, GIS, MS Access is an asset but can be learned. Interested applicants should email a cover letter detailing experience, CV, and contact information for three references to nicholas.jones(AT)Ontario.ca

Nicholas Jones (Nick) PhD

River and Stream Ecology Lab | Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Adjunct Professor Trent University

Lab website http://people.trentu.ca/nicholasjones/ 

 

M.Sc. Analysis of Long-term Satellite Tracking of Bald Eagles

Employer: Trent University

Location: Peterborough, Ontario

Country: Canada

Last Date to Apply:

Open until filled


Description: We are seeking a student interested in animal movement and statistical analyses for a M.Sc. position in the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario. The proposed start date is September 2015, but could be earlier. The student will be working with Dr. Joe Nocera and Debbie Badzinski (Stantec Consulting)in partnership with Bird Studies Canada to investigate movement patterns of juvenile Bald Eagles by analyzing a long-term dataset of locations collected by satellite tracking devices. Bald Eagles are a species of Special Concern in Ontario. There is little information on dispersal patterns in this species, and how this is related to future habitat selection. Bird Studies Canada coordinated a long-term program to track Bald Eagles in the lower Great Lakes (2004-2014) with satellite transmitters, and these data are now ready for intensive analysis (
http://www.bsc-eoc.org/research/speciesatrisk/baea/ )

The student would analyze these data in conjunction with all partners (Trent U., Stantec, and Bird Studies Canada). Some fieldwork could be incorporated into the project, and a portion of the student’s time will be invested into work at Stantec (in Stoney Creek, Ontario). Candidates must have a B.Sc. in a related field and be comfortable with basic statistical analysis. Previous experience with advanced statistical techniques, using R, and/or GIS are not required, but are valuable assets.

Candidates must also meet the general admission requirements for Trent University. This position will be funded, in part, through an NSERC Industrial Post-graduate Scholarship in partnership with Stantec. It is important to note that this scholarship requires an excellent academic record. Interested applicants should e-mail a cover letter describing research interests, CV, and list of two or more references to Joe Nocera at joenocera@trentu.ca . The position will remain open until filled, but please try to submit applications by 31 March 2015.

Updated February 10 2015 by FST Technical Staff

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