We are seeking a motivated, enthusiastic and dedicated PhD student to
investigate environmental drivers and ecological correlates of fish
productivity estimates.

The focus of the project will combine both field work and analysis of
long-term ecological data from the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area to (1)
generate production estimates for a number of fish populations using a
rich and unparalleled long-term mark-recapture data set, and (2)
evaluate correlates (both environmental/ecological and indicators such
as changes in fish life history strategies) of estimated fish
productivity for testing and application in other environments, such as
the Coordinated Aquatic Monitoring Program used by Manitoba Hydro. Field
work will involve data collection from a contemporary set of lake
ecosystems that vary along a productivity gradient, and the data will be
used to validate productivity estimators generated from long-term
ecological data.

This is a broadly-focused project that will require a organized and
self-starting individual to lead field research and gathering/processing
of appropriate long-term data from the ELA database. The student will be
expected to lead field activities related to this project, including the
supervision of an undergraduate field assistant. There is also latitude
within the project goals to allow the student flexibility to develop
specific research goals aligned with the interests of the student.

Skills that are strong assets (but not a requirement) for this project
would include one or more of the following: statistical analysis
(proficiency in R is particularly desirable), knowledge of
mark-recapture estimation methods (proficiency in Program MARK or
similar, as well as the models used in these programs), size-based
analysis of ecological communities (including analysis and use of
hydroacoustic data and deployment of equipment in the field),
productivity estimation methods in zooplankton and/or fish, effective
project management skills, and experience working with and handling fish
in remote field conditions. Expertise in the lab exists for training in
R, estimation of mark-recapture data (Program MARK), and size-based
spectral analysis including the processing and analysis of hydroacoustic
data.

The PhD student will be based at Lakehead University in the newly-formed
Community Ecology and Energetics Lab, supervised by Dr. Michael Rennie.
The student will also spend a significant portion of their time in the
field at the IISD-Experimental Lakes Area, interacting with ELA
scientists (Scott Higgins and Michael Paterson) and international
researchers visiting the site. Collaborative opportunities also exist to
work through Fisheries and Oceans Canada with Dr. Paul Blanchfield.
Lakehead University is based in senic Thunder Bay, Ontario, a city of
over 100,000 on the shores of mighty Lake Superior. Outdoor activities
abound in the region, from hiking, canoeing and kayaking to downhill and
cross-country skiing, all just minutes away. Thunder bay is within a
day’s drive to Minneapolis and Winnipeg, 3.5 hours to Duluth, and has
multiple daily direct flights to both Pearson and Billy Bishop
International airports in Toronto.

The project is fully funded thanks to generous funding from Manitoba
Hydro. Students will be supported through a mix of project and Lakehead
University funding at a minimum stipend of $21,000 per year. Students
who are competitive for additional external funding (e.g., NSERC, OGS)
are strongly encouraged to apply.

Interested students should outline in a 1-page cover letter how their
skills suit them for the proposed project, and indicate the date when
they can be available to begin work. In addition, a CV and unofficial
transcripts from at least the last two academic years should be
provided, along with names of at least two potential references.
Application information should be directed to: Michael Rennie
(mrennie(AT)lakeheadu.ca). Only suitable candidates will be contacted
for an interview. Ideally, students will be available to be at IISD-ELA
during the summer of 2016, and will officially begin their PhD program
in September 2016 at Lakehead University.

We will begin evaluating applications immediately, but the position will
remain open until a suitable candidate is found.

—————————————
Michael D. Rennie
Canada Research Chair in Freshwater Ecology and Fisheries
Assistant Professor, Department of Biology
Lakehead University, 955 Oliver Rd., Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Office: CB 4050 Lab: CB 3005
Ph: 807.346.7860 Fax: 807.346.7796
@not_klaatu

Research Fellow, IISD-Experimental Lakes Area
http://www.iisd.org/ela
Ph: 807.226.5162 x251 (at ELA)

Adjunct Professor, Department of Biological Sciences
University of Manitoba http://umanitoba.ca/Biology/

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