We are recruiting four graduate students (one MSc and three PhD) to join a well-funded multi-investigator project focused on understanding climate-impacts of alternative grazing practices in grassland ecosystems. At the core of this initiative is a very large, replicated, grazing experiment conducted at two locations in Southern/Central Alberta.
Team members will measure many aspects of these complex systems, including GHG emissions, soil C dynamics, vegetation responses, enteric methane production, soil genomics and metabolomics, and other key variables. The field work for this project will begin in Spring 2024, and thus candidates that should be able to arrive in Edmonton and begin their program no later than a Jan 2024 in-person start date (Sept 2023 preferred).
These are highly interdisciplinary positions, and thus we are particular interested in intellectually curious, independent, and creative students who are keen to help develop data-driven approaches to facilitate decision making. Further, this research is highly collaborative and all students will work closely with each other and additional team members. Though the project provides an overall direction students will be given substantial opportunity to develop additional research questions and directions.
This project is suited for individuals interested in research at the intersection of discovery and real-world application. Through collaborations with numerous private-operators, there will substantial opportunity to test the generalizability of research findings well beyond the confines of a single experiment.
We are committed to the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion and encourage applications from all qualified individuals, including those belonging to underrepresented groups. The positions will remain open until a suitable candidate has been found. To express interest, please see the contact information listed for each position.
- PhD Student Position Available: Grassland soil microbiome responses to grazing.
Cahill Lab, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Canada. This PhD student will lead the soil genomics/metabolomics aspects of the experiment, working closely with other students (e.g., those focused on vegetation dynamics and soil C) and PIs. The soil microbiome has strong impacts of plant growth, nutrient cycling, and GHG emissions. Thus, to understand climate impacts of grazing requires a detailed understanding of soil microbes.
This work will combine both barcode descriptions as well as functional gene analyses to understand the composition and function of the soil microbiome. Demonstrated experience (research and/or coursework) in genomics (amplicon-based and/or shotgun metagenomics) is an asset. Additional fields of relevance include bioinformatics, community ecology, plant-soil interactions, microbiome-function, rangeland ecology, and climate change biology.
This position will be based out of the Cahill lab within Department of Biological Sciences at the University, with co-supervision by Jon Bennett at the University of Saskatchewan. If you wish to be considered for this position, please contact JC Cahill (firstname.lastname@example.org; cahilllab.ca) for more information.
- PhD Student Position Available: Microbial necromass and soil carbon responses to grazing
Carlyle Lab, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta Canada, Microbial necromass is recognized as a crucial component in the formation and stabilization of soil organic carbon, but much is unknown about its composition and formation in response to livestock grazing or in northern temperate grasslands.
This PhD student will be responsible for leading an investigation of microbial necromass and soil carbon formation, considerable opportunities exist to integrate data from other aspects on this project. Demonstrated experience in soil science, microbial ecology, chemistry, community ecology, and climate change biology is an asset.
This position will be based out of the Carlyle Lab in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Alberta. If you wish to be considered for this position, please contact Cameron Carlyle (Cameron.email@example.com) for more information.
- Phd Student Position Available: Soil carbon and nutrient cycling responses to grazing
Carlyle Lab, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta Canada, Elements such as carbon and nitrogen contribute to both forage productivity and greenhouse gasses, the net balance of many processes determine whether the system is a sink our source for these elements contributing to climate change.
This PhD student will be responsible for leading and investigation of the net exchange of agricultural greenhouse gases and the fate of important nutrients within the ecosystem. Considerable opportunities exist to develop research questions and collaborate with other researchers on the project. Demonstrated experience in soil science, greenhouse gases and climate change biology are assets.
This position will be based out of the Carlyle Lab in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Alberta, and co-supervised by Dr. Edward Bork. If you wish to be considered for this position, please contact Cameron Carlyle (Cameron.firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information.
- MSc Position Available: Forage quality response to grazing and assessment using near infrared spectroscopy
Carlyle Lab, Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences, University of Alberta Canada, Forage quality and chemistry, in addition to quantity, is an important factor within grazing systems that affects not only livestock performance and health, but ecosystem processes. Traditional, wet-chemistry, methods of assessing plant chemistry are expensive and time consuming.
While near infrared spectroscopy has been advanced to produce accurate estimates of forage chemistry for agronomic plant species, sufficient data from native grassland systems to make reliable estimates is lacking.
This student will investigate grazing management effects on forage chemistry and develop a library of spectral data to support accurate NIRS estimates. Opportunity will exist within the project to integrate alternative data generated within the project, such as metabolic plant data generated by PhD 1 (above).
This position will be based out of the Carlyle Lab in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Alberta, and be co-supervised by JC Cahill. If you wish to be considered for this position, please contact Cameron Carlyle (Cameron.email@example.com) for more information.
Keywords: grassland ecology, grazing management, rangeland ecology and management, necromass, soil organic carbon, forage quality, near infrared spectroscopy, greenhouse gases, soil microbial ecology
Contact Email: firstname.lastname@example.org