Graduate positions available with the Forest Ecology Research Group. There are multiple graduate student positions (at PhD or MSc levels) available through Wilfrid Laurier University’s Forest Ecology Research Group as part of an ongoing partnership with the Government of the Northwest Territories. Candidates will join dynamic collaborations focused on impacts of boreal wildfire on forest resilience and functional trait ecology of tall tundra shrubs. Details of each position follows:
1) Wildfire impacts on boreal forest resilience
Field Locations: An existing and growing network of sites in the southern Northwest Territories, Canada, Details: Funding is available to support two MSc (or one PhD student). The project focuses on boreal forest resilience in the face of changing fire regime. This work has two main foci and lots of room for expansion:
1) The impact of overwintering or zombie fires on forest and ground vegetation recovery. This part of the project will involve the establishment of new field sites in recent overwintering fire locations and will be part of a large international collaborative effort. 2) The historic frequency of forest compositional changes following wildfire.
This part of the project will use existing field data paired with historic air photo analysis to evaluate whether recent fires are more frequently leading to forest compositional changes. Funding is through the Government of the Northwest Territories and Wilfrid Laurier University and includes a competitive stipend for the graduate student and funds for field assistants, travel expenses, field supplies, and conference travel.
The ideal candidate will be well versed in plant identification and/or functional trait measurement and have strong writing and organizational skills. The ability to lead and implement field-sampling logistics is important. Fieldwork will involve extended periods in remote field locations in the Northwest Territories.
2) Functional trait variation in tundra shrub communities
Field Location: Trail Valley Creek, Northwest Territories Project Details: Funding is available for a MSc or PhD level project aimed at quantifying functional trait variation in tundra plant communities. This will include coupling foliar, root, and/or whole plant functional traits with autochamber and eddycovariance productivity measures but has room for expansion to tackle questions of disturbance-mediated changes in tundra shrub community function. Funding is through ArcticNet and NSERC includes a competitive stipend for the graduate student and funds for field assistants, travel expenses, and field supplies.
The ideal candidate will have experience in tundra or boreal plant identification and/or plant functional trait measurement. Further, the candidate should have strong writing and organizational skills. The ability to lead and implement field-sampling logistics is important. Fieldwork will involve extended periods in remote field locations in the NWT.
Interested students should contact me directly (email@example.com) with a resume, transcript (unofficial is fine) and, if possible, a piece of your own written work. Students will enroll in the graduate program of the Department of Biology at the Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, ON (https://students.wlu.ca/programs/science/biology/index.html) in Dr. Jennifer Baltzer’s research group (https://forestecology.ca). Student must be able to begin work in July 2022 at the latest and enroll in the graduate program for the Fall 2022 semester.
Interested students should contact me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) with a resume, transcript (unofficial is fine) and, if possible, a piece of your own written work.
There is a PhD position available at Wilfrid Laurier University focusing on the cumulative impacts of beavers and climate on stream and lake hydrology with Professor Philip Marsh. Please see below for full details:
PhD position at Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada, focusing on the cumulative impacts of
beavers and climate on stream and lake hydrology:
Professor Philip Marsh
Project Description: This PhD position is available in the Department of Geography and
Environmental Studies, and Cold Regions Research Centre, at Wilfrid Laurier University in
Waterloo, Ontario. Beavers are expanding north of the Arctic treeline and into the tundra regions, and the climate is changing rapidly. These changes are expected to impact the hydrology, permafrost, aquatic ecology and communities in these regions.
Potential hydrologic impacts may include changing snowcover; creation of new aquatic habitats; fragmenting watersheds; changing water storage; impacting flows; changing lake levels; increasing lake evaporation and contributing to permafrost thaw. This PhD project will quantify beaver and climate impacts on stream and lake hydrology through observations and modelling that will focus on two watersheds north of Inuvik, NWT, Trail
Valley Creek and Hans Creek. Both have over 45 years of streamflow observations that cover the period of beaver expansion.
Using data from these streams, the project will consider the effects of climate, beavers and their dams on lake area and numbers, water storage volume, lake/stream flows, water temperature, and permafrost. In winter, the project will investigate the role of beavers on snowcover and pond ice cover. This position is fully funded and is a component of an integrated environmental project with researchers from the Inuvialuit Settlement Region, and universities across Canada and the United Kingdom.
Funding: Graduate students at Laurier receive competitive funding packages that come from a combination of teaching assistantships, internal scholarships, and research assistantships. All students are strongly encouraged to apply for a variety of external scholarships. Students in Marsh’s research teams have been very successful in receiving external awards.
Qualified Candidates will have: Previous degrees in relevant disciplines (e.g. geography, environmental science, hydrology, physics, engineering), and should possess aptitude and enthusiasm for understanding the integrated impacts of climate change and beavers on Arctic hydrology. Experience in northern environments is an asset but is not required. Start Date: September 2022.
Possibility of start date in June 2022 as a summer employee. Application: 1) Cover letter outlining qualifications and research interest; 2) Curriculum vitae; 3) Contact information for 2 academic references. To apply: Send the requested application information to Dr. Philip Marsh (email@example.com) Further Information: Trail Valley Creek Research Watershed
Cold Regions Research Centre
Canadian applicants are strongly encouraged to apply. Funding for Arctic field research is provided by external research grants. Further information on the Laurier graduate student program (joint with the University of Waterloo) is available at: