Working Group in Biodiversity Synthesis: Call for Application

CIEE and BIOS² are co-sponsoring a data-driven working group in biodiversity synthesis. We invite graduate students from CIEE Member Universities and BIOS² Universities to submit an application for a one week working group at UBC May 4-8, 2020. Applications due: March 6, 2020.

The objective of this activity is to provide graduate students the opportunity to get experience in team projects oriented toward biodiversity synthesis and data analysis. Providing students a stimulating training environment is central to the activity. Working groups consist of a small group of researchers who meet in person in a single location, and work intensively and collaboratively on a research question, using best practices in team science and digital collaboration.

Synthesizing fifty years of ecological change in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence

 The abundance and composition of marine animals in the southern Gulf of St. Lawrence changed dramatically in the last 50 years, with the near extinction of large ground fish species like Atlantic Cod, and a rapid increase of invertebrates such as Lobster and Snow Crab. This working group will analyse change in population size and distribution of marine taxa, drawing on a unique long-term database based on yearly bottom-trawl surveys conducted by Fisheries and Oceans Canada since 1971. The working group will be composed of ten graduate students selected from across Canada, and led by Dr. Nicolas Rolland (Fisheries and Oceans Canada) and Dr. Guillaume Blanchet (Université de Sherbrooke). On the first day, Rolland and Blanchet will present the structure of the dataset, explain how to manipulate spatiotemporal data and provide the training you will need on cutting-edge methods in statistical modelling. Following, the CIEE will provide training on the working group method. During the other days, the group will work collaboratively on analysing change in different taxa (fish, invertebrates) in relation to time and potential drivers (e.g. climate, fishing, natural mortality), and co-write a paper summarizing these results for publication in a peer-reviewed journal. By interacting with a Fisheries and Ocean Canada scientist and understanding the data that is gathered by this federal institution, participants will gain insight into the type of research being carried out in this government department. By developing an understanding of past drivers and trajectories of change, this project will help Fisheries and Oceans Canada predict the future of this important marine ecosystem and guide management measures that support sustainable development in a changing environment. 

Application process :  

For information about the application and selection process, visit the CIEE Funding Page:
Or refer to the PDF here.

Participation in the working group, including transportation, is fully funded by CIEE and BIOS².

Applications due: March 6, 2020


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