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PhD scholarship opportunities in Community Ecology and Freshwater Biodiversity

 

We are seeking applicants for two PhD Scholarships, one at the University of Tasmania (Hobart, Tasmania, Australia) and the other at Murdoch University (Perth, Western Australia). The project revolves around replicated field experiments across a range of agricultural catchments in northern Tasmania and south-west Western Australia.

 

The research seeks to test the common assumption that high biodiversity makes ecosystems resilient to disturbances. Observational studies documenting change after disturbance cannot identify ecological processes connecting diversity and ecosystem function, making field experiments that manipulate identical disturbances in ecosystems with different biodiversity essential.

 

Freshwater streams are excellent model systems to test these ideas. This project will use field experiments that manipulate flow disturbances in streams replicated in low (south-west WA) and high biodiversity (Tasmania) regions and across gradients of chronic background stress imposed by agriculture to investigate how biodiversity sustains functional ecosystems, and how much diversity can be lost before the resilience of a stream is irrevocably compromised. Both benthic biodiversity and ecosystem processes will be measured.

 

There will be laboratory and smaller-scale field investigations to further unravel the underlying mechanisms, and the results will support food-web and community assembly modelling as the initial step to providing a synthetic platform to make predictions and test further hypotheses. The project is a collaboration between the University of Tasmania, Murdoch University (hosting the WA PhD student) and Massey University (New Zealand), and is funded by the Australian Research Council Discovery Program.

 

Applicants for these scholarships should be able to address the following eligibility criteria:

 

  • A First Class or high Upper Second Class Honours degree or equivalent qualification.
  • A good understanding of community ecology, biodiversity, limnology or freshwater ecology.
  • Willingness to use microscopes to identify macroinvertebrates and/or benthic algae.
  • Sound quantitative skills.
  • Good written and verbal scientific communication skills.
  • Ability to work as part of an interdisciplinary research team.
  • Willingness to work in remote locations including supervising volunteer field assistants.
  • Current driving licence, preferably with manual or 4WD experience.

 

Applicants should send a CV and Expression of Interest (one A4 page maximum) to either:

 

Associate Professor Leon A. Barmuta (Leon.Barmuta@utas.edu.au) for the scholarship at the University of Tasmania

 

OR

 

Associate Professor Belinda Robson (B.Robson@murdoch.edu.au ) for the scholarship at Murdoch University.

 

Due date for applications is 31st July 2019.

 

Please contact either Leon Barmuta or Belinda for more information about this project.

 

 



 

 

Three Postdoctoral Positions in Freshwater Ecosystem Analysis at the Canadian Rivers Institute

We are seeking candidates in freshwater ecosystem analysis for three postdoctoral positions to be located at the Canadian Rivers Institute, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada.

PDF 1:  This position will focus on the application of DNA metabarcoding in ecosystem assessment. The successful candidate will support ongoing research in a large-scale federal genomics project focusing on river biomonitoring.  Essential skills include: previous field experience in aquatic ecosystems (marine or freshwater) and prior experience in working with large, complex datasets and multivariate statistics (including R coding). This research project is a multidisciplinary collaboration between the Canadian Rivers Institute and several Canadian federal departments. Funding for this position is already confirmed, and will require application to a Canadian federal postdoctoral program, which favours citizens or permanent residents of Canada, details available on application

PDF 2: This position will focus on the application of advanced analytical approaches, including machine learning, to support a long-term project focusing on the application of ecological network analysis (including food web models) in freshwater bioassessment.  Essential skills include R-coding, and the ability to work with high-performance computing systems. Previous experience in artificial intelligence / data mining approaches are advantageous, but not essential. This research project is a collaboration between the Canadian Rivers Institute and the federal government of Canada. Funding for this position is pending, and will require application to a Canadian federal postdoctoral program, which favours citizens or permanent residents of Canada, details available on application.

PDF 3: This position will support ongoing work in wetlands monitoring and the development of spatial assessment models to support a study of wetland ecosystem health in the Alberta Oil sands region.  Essential skills include experience in geospatial analysis, including familiarity with ArcGIS and QGIS software and R-programming. This research project is a collaboration with the Canadian federal government and Alberta Environment and Parks. Funding for this position is pending, and is open to Canadian and international applicants.

The positions, which are available for an initial period of one year but renewable subject to available funding, will be jointly supervised by Dr Donald Baird and Dr Wendy Monk at the Canadian Rivers Institute at the University of New Brunswick (Fredericton).

These positions will remain open until they are filled or re-advertised. Please send an application stating [1] which position(s) you are interested in; [2] your research interests and experience and [3] a CV with the email addresses of three referees to:

Dr. Donald Baird, Environment and Climate Change Canada @ Department of Biology, 10 Bailey Drive, PO Box 4400, University of New Brunswick, Fredericton, NB, Canada, E3B 5A3

Email: djbaird@unb.ca / wmonk@unb.ca


 

 

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