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opportunities

The Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program here at Trent is broad and varied in its approach to research.  We have a number of graduate student research opportunities available for M.Sc or Ph.D. students.  Every faculty member or adjunct faculty member potentially has projects available and are willing to supervise your research.  We would strongly urge you to review the Faculty Listing from this website and directly contact ANY faculty members whose research may interest you.

Below, you will find additional research opportunities for which some of our faculty are actively recruiting.

There are additional positions available listed on the faculty websites.  Please feel free to browse. You are welcome to contact either the faculty directly or the Program Office to discuss Graduate Studies at Trent.

Still Accepting Graduate Applications for 2015

Are you ready for new Opportunity?

See below new MS.c. and Ph.D.

positions available

 

M.Sc. and Ph.D. Graduate Opportunities

Biogeochemistry and Pollution Impacts

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Environmental pollution from human activities has a profound impact on the environment. We are seeking motivated individuals interested in assessing the impacts of air pollution on our natural environment.  M.Sc. and Ph.D. graduate opportunities are available in a range of projects.

Interested candidates should have a background in environmental science, earth science, soil science, geology, physical geography or environmental chemistry.  Financial support will be provided through a combination of research and teaching assistantships.  All graduate positions will be based at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario through the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program. Please contact Dr. Julian Aherne as soon as possible at jaherne@trentu.ca

Telephone: 1(705) 748-1011 Ex. 7887

 

M.Sc./Ph.D. Graduate position

Contemporary evolution in response to rapid changes in

selective pressures

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Project Description: I am seeking a student to investigate contemporary evolution and demographic constraints on local adaptation among coevolved and naïve disease vectors. These questions are of practical relevance given pronounced climatic changes associated with changing infectious disease dynamics. This research will be conducted with a collaborative team that includes the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Natural Resources DNA Profiling and Forensic Centre that houses high throughout DNA sequencers, a next generation pyrosequencer that enables genome sequencing and transcriptome analysis.

Qualifications:  Bsc. (Hons) with a minimum of 77% on last 10 full university credits (B+ Average)

Start Date(s): Preference: May 2015, however September 2015 also possible

To Apply:  Please submit a cover letter as soon as possible that includes a brief summary of your research experience/interests/goals, CV, unofficial transcripts, and names of 2 academic references to:

Dr. C. J. Kyle, Associate Professor, Trent University

2140 East Bank Drive, Peterborough, ON, K9J 7B8

http://web.nrdpfc.ca/bios/dr_chriskyle.html

Students will also be required to apply to the Environmental & Life Sciences graduate program

 

M.Sc. Graduate Position

Conservation Genetics in the Environmental & Life Sciences Graduate Program in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.

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Project description:  Using a combination of field and lab work, the objective of this project is to quantify population genetic parameters of the eastern flowering doogwood (Cornus florida L.) species (genetic diversity, inbreeding, gene flow), search for possible sources of resistant trees, and contribute to the ongoing mapping of infected trees.  This project will be done in collaboration with personnel from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources. 

Qualifications:  BSc (Hons) or similar degree.  Previous experience in field work and genetic lab work an asset, but not essential. 

How to apply: Application should include (1) a letter stating why the applicant should be considered a strong candidate for the position, (2) a CV, (3) names, with e-mail addresses and telephone numbers, of two referees, and (4) any other documents that the applicant deems relevant. Please send enquiries or applications as soon as possible to Dr. Joanna Freeland at joannafreeland@trentu.ca .

 

Graduate Research Opportunity

Forest Hydrology

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We are currently seeking highly motivated graduate students (both MSc and PhD) who are sought to participate in ongoing research examining the hydrological consequences of forest management and disturbance. Financial support for your graduate studies will be provided through a combination of research (NSERC supported) and teaching assistantships. Interested applicants should have an undergraduate degree in physical geography, geology, environmental science or engineering. Applicants should be able to work as part of an interdisciplinary team, and be willing to conduct research in both the field and the laboratory.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter as soon as possibile that includes a brief summary of your research experience and interests, a CV, and unofficial transcripts to Dr Jim Buttle (jbuttle@trentu.ca).


Graduate Research Assistantship

Biogeochemistry

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 We invite highly motivated Ph.D. and M.Sc. students to apply for two graduate assistantships at Trent University. Successful applicants will examine the effects of physical chemical parameters on dissolved organic matter composition in arctic rivers and seas (for more information go to lab website for on-going projects). Interested candidates should send a CV as soon as possible with a brief description of their educational background and a short statement of purpose demonstrating scientific interests to Dr. Céline Guéguen.

Graduate Research Opportunity

Wind Tunnel Simulation Studies

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The Erosion Research Group (ERG) at Trent University is seeking graduate students to conduct either MSc or PhD thesis research investigating topics related to surficial and atmospheric control of wind erosion and dust emission using Trent's Environmental Wind Tunnel (TEWT). Detailed information about this facility is avalable on the group website

Applicants may apply for admission in May 2015 September 2015 or January 2016. An undergraduate degree in any of the following disciplines is considered appropriate: physical geography, geology, meteorology, environmental science, engineering, or physics.  Please send an email outlining your interests and any questions that you might have in advance of your formal application as soon as possible to Cheryl McKenna Neuman (cmckneuman@trentu.ca)

 

M.Sc./ Ph.D. Graduate Positions

Molecular Parasitology/Biochemistry

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We currently have positions for either M.Sc. or Ph.D. candidates who are interested in the study of molecular biology, biochemistry and molecular parasitology. The research in our laboratory studies the biology of the waterborne parasite, Giardia lamblia, by using molecular and biochemical approaches.  At present, we are focusing on regulators of the Giardia cell cycle, heme-binding proteins, and the identification and characterization of Giardia transcription factors. More information about our lab, projects and current students can be found on our website.

No laboratory experience is necessary but the student must have enthusiasm and willingness to learn.  Full financial support is offered for qualified applicants.

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter as soon as possible that includes a brief summary of your research experience/interests/goals, CV, unofficial transcripts, and names of 2 academic references to Dr. Janet Yee at jyee@trentu.ca.

M.Sc. or Ph.D. Position

Fish population dynamics

We are currently looking for a graduate student position (either at the MSc or PhD level) to work 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.

M.Sc. Position

Fish life history experiments

We are currenlty looking for an MSc graduate student position 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 iinvolves 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.

 

M.Sc. Position

Analysis of Long-term Satellite Tracking of Bald Eagles

Description: We are seeking a student interested in animal movement and statistical analyses for an 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.

 

M.Sc. and Ph.D. Positions

Research on the Fate of Metals in the Environmental

Are you looking to do Graduate Research on the fate of metals in the environment? Dr. Holger Hintelmann’s research focuses on the speciation and fate of metals in the environment, in particular mercury. Graduate studies opportunities at the MSc and PhD level at Trent University are available to study the fractionation of mercury isotopes in environmental processes to unravel the biogeochemical cycling of mercury and includes both laboratory and field work at potentially exotic and remote locales. A second line or research involves investigating the fate of nanoparticles (e.g. silver) in the environment and the development of novel methods to measure nanoparticles in-situ. Accepting applications now, this is your opportunity. Please send your resume and cover letter as soon as possible to Dr. Holger Hintelmann at hhintelmann@trentu.ca

 

M.Sc.Position
Insect Diversity In Barn Swallow Habitat and Diet

We are seeking a student interested in molecular ecology for an M.Sc. position in the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program at Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario. The proposed start date is May 2015. The student will be working with Dr. Erica Nol and Dr.Kevin Kerr (Toronto Zoo) to investigate diet in an aerial iinsectivore, the Barn Swallow. The dramatic decline of aerial insectivores iin general is a major conservation concern in North America. Diet and feeding behaviour of Barn Swallows are highlighted as knowledge gaps in the Province of Ontario Recovery Strategy. This project will involve a variety of methods (including) DNA barcoding) to determine insect abundance and diversity in critical habitats and to identify those iincorporated into Barn Swallow diet. Candidates must have a B.Sc. in a related field and be comfortable working in the field. Previous experience with molecular laboratory methods and invertebrate identification 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 the Toronto Zoo. Interested applicants should e-mail a cover letter describing research interests, CV, and list of two or more references to Erica Nol enol@trentu.ca. Please submit applications by 15 February 2015 or until filled.

 

PhD Positions

NSERC Canadian FloodNet

NSERC Canadian FloodNet is a newly established Strategic Network funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada. The Network involves researchers from 12 Canadian universities and aims to address a range of issues related to flood forecasting, flood frequency estimation, floods in a changing climate, environmental impacts of floods and socio-economic impacts of floods. The Canadian FloodNet has numerous partners including provincial forecast centers, hydropower companies, conservation authorities and government agencies that will work closely with university researchers. Within the theme of environmental impact of floods on aquatic systems, we invite applications from highly motivated PhD students. The overarching objective of this theme is to understand the impacts of flood events, both positive and negative, and, to ultimately provide a comprehensive understanding of the consequences of flooding on ecosystem services that can be incorporated into an enhanced approach to flood management. The graduate positions will be based at Trent University in Peterborough, ON, Canada as part of the Environmental and Life Sciences Graduate Program (http://www.trentu.ca/els/). This is a highly collaborative and interdisciplinary project and interested candidates should have a background in one or several of the fields of ecology, limnology, environmental science, hydrology, statistics, or modeling. Candidates should be able to work as part of a large interdisciplinary team, and with supporting organizations. The projects will be highly iintegrated and can include: effects of flooding or elevated water levels on surface water quality of forested, urban and agriculture catchments; analysis of nutrient budgets of flooded forested and agriculture catchments; analysis of flood frequency events in regulated and non-regulated rivers and their relation to ecosystem condition; linking flooding events or elevated water levels to ecosystem structure (e.g., biodiversity), function (e.g., primary production) and aquatic ecosystem services. There is a possibility to conduct internships with partner organizations.The positions would ideally begin before September 1, 2015. The graduate positions are intended to be funded at the Ph.D. llevel but we will consider exceptional M.Sc. candidates as well. Interested candidates should submit: (1) a cover letter as soon as possible explaining how their background and expertise fits within FloodNet; (2) a complete CV; and (3) names and addresses of three referees; (4) unofficial transcripts. The application material should be sent to the email addresses below.

Contact: Dr. Marguerite Xenopoulos (mxenopoulos@trentu.ca), Department of Biology, Trent University. Only successful candidates will be contacted.

1 MSc/PhD Assistantship

Aquatic Biogeochemistry

A M.Sc/Ph.D. Research Assistantship is available (beginning May 2015 or September 2015) in the Guéguen’s Lab at Trent University (http://people.trentu.ca/celinegueguen/celinegueguen.html). The position will be a part of an interdisciplinary team funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) to study biogeochemistry of heavy metals in mining effluents. The student will focus on characterizing what effect dissolved organic matter has on metal speciation through field and laboratory activities. We seek applicants with a background in aquatic science, preferably with a degree in chemistry, biology, environmental science, or a closely related field. The student will be involved in all aspects of the project, from field work to publication of findings. 

How to apply?
Applicants are expected to have strong academic background (at least B+ or 77%), show evidence of independent work in the field and/or lab, and demonstrate a capacity to contribute to a collaborative research environment. For more information, please email a statement of interest/background and a copy of your CV to Celine Gueguen at celinegueguen@trentu.ca. Note that the application deadline for our graduate program is early January, 2015 or when filled.

1 MSc/PhD Assistantship

Chemical Remediation

A M.Sc/Ph.D. Research Assistantship is available (beginning May 2015 or September 2015) in the Guéguen’s Lab at Trent University (http://people.trentu.ca/celinegueguen/celinegueguen.html). The position will be a part of an interdisciplinary team funded by the National Science Foundation to study the removal potential of biosorbents and their applications in industrial settings. The student will focus on characterizing what effect biosorbents have on heavy metals and radionuclides removal to industrial effluents through field and laboratory activities. We seek applicants with a background in aquatic chemistry, preferably with a degree in chemistry, biochemistry, environmental science, or a closely related field. The student will be involved in all aspects of the project, from field work to publication of findings.

How to apply?
Applicants are expected to have strong academic background (at least B+ or 77%), show evidence of independent work in the field and/or lab, and demonstrate a capacity to contribute to a collaborative research environment.
For more information, please email a statement of interest/background and a copy of your CV to Celine Gueguen at celinegueguen@trentu.ca. Note that the application deadline for our graduate program is early January, 2015 or when filled

1 MSc/PhD assistantship

Aquatic/Marine Chemistry

A M.Sc/Ph.D. Research Assistantship is available (beginning May 2015 or September 2015) in the Guéguen’s Lab at Trent University (http://people.trentu.ca/celinegueguen/celinegueguen.html). The position will be a part of an interdisciplinary team funded by the National Science Foundation to characterize which components of the dissolved organic matter pool make a significant contribution to the biogeochemistry of trace metals in the oceans. The student will focus on developing analytical methods for determination of major organic ligands iin natural waters. We seek applicants with a background in marine or aquatic chemistry, preferably with a degree in chemistry, oceanography, environmental science, or a closely related field. The student will be iinvolved in all aspects of the project, from field work to publication of findings. The graduate student would have the opportunity to participate in a multi-disciplinary cruise onboard an icebreaker every year.
How to apply?
Applicants are expected to have strong academic background (at least B+ or 77%), show evidence of independent work in the field and/or lab, and demonstrate a capacity to contribute to a collaborative research environment.
For more information, please email a statement of interest/background and a copy of your CV to Celine Gueguen at celinegueguen@trentu.ca. Note that the application deadline for our graduate program is early January, 2015 or when filled.

 

Two graduate student positions available at the MSc or PhD level

Aquatic Ecology

 

  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 iinclude 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 as soon as possible detailing experience, CV, and contact information for three references to Nicholas Jones at 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/

 

Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship

Interseeding cover crops in grain corn for improving

soil healthil health

Supervisor: Dr. Mehdi Sharifi, Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental and Resource Studies Program

Location: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario

Project: Interseeding cover crops in corn offers an opportunity to enhance soil health parameters, improve nutrient use efficiency, reduce soil erosion and consequently contribute to long-term profitability of corn production in Ontario. There is limited information on choices of cover crops, seeding strategies, soil health and economic benefits of interseeding cover crops in grain corn production. The overall objective of this project is to assess the contribution of interseeding cover crops to long-term profitability of corn production in Ontario through their effects on soil health, nitrogen (N) use efficiency, and residual soil nitrate reduction at harvest. Three new corn trials will be

established at three sites with different soil properties and corn heat units. These sites include Trent University Sustainable Agriculture Experimental Farm, and University of Guelph Experimental Farms at Elora and Ridgetown. The final outcome of the project would be ranking of the interseeding cover crop treatments in terms of establishment,

biomass production, competitiveness with grain corn, and effects on sensitive indicators of soil health and residual soil nitrate at harvest. The soil health and soil nitrate reduction benefits will be linked with long-term profitability. The interseeder technology will be tested for effective integration of cover crops into corn stands. This is a threeyear

project funded by Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO).

Qualifications:

An MSc degree in Agriculture, Soil Science, Agronomy, Environmental Sciences, Biology or related disciplines with a min.of 85-89% on last 10 full university credits (A average). Preference will be given to Canadian Citizen and Permanent Residents of Canada

Desired start date: May 2015

Application deadline: March 15, 2015 or until a qualified candidate is found

Stipend: As per university funding levels ($21000/yr for three years)

To Apply: Please submit a cover letter that includes a brief summary of your research experience/interests/goals, CV, unofficial transcripts, and names of 2 academic references to: Dr. Mehdi Sharifi, Ph: 705-7481011 ext. 7954; Fax: 705-748-1569;

Email: mehdisharifi@trentu.ca

Students will also be required to apply to the Environmental & Life Sciences graduate program through Trent University at www.trentu.ca/graduatestudies.

Graduate Program Information:

For additional information please contact Linda Cardwell at lcardwell@trentu.caor visit

Trent University graduate studies website at www.trentu.ca/graduatestudies