PhD Opportunity: Monitoring the impacts of climate change on biodiversity

The Government of Quebec’s Biodiversity Monitoring Network is the first large-scale project in Quebec to document changes in biodiversity on a large scale. It was developed through the 2013-2020 Action Plan on Climate Change in partnership with the Ministère des Forêts de la Faune et des Parcs (MFFP) and the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte aux Changements Climatiques (MELCC). Nearly 250 sites have been monitored since 2016, using about thirty indicators and taxonomic groups in a variety of environments (forest, tundra, bog, marsh, lake and river).

We are looking for a PhD student to synthesize the observations and develop interpretation tools.

Specific objectives include

  • Identify metrics to report biodiversity changes and study their drivers;
  • Develop a methodology for an integrated assessment of biodiversity changes at the ecosystem scale;
  • Assessing the distribution of species assemblages in relation to climate envelopes and modeling the impact of climate scenarios.

This project will provide a unique opportunity to join a multidisciplinary and collaborative process that includes partners from the academic, government, parks, conservation and indigenous sectors. The student will become familiar with various sampling methods and related analytical issues. The student will be asked to develop tools to represent the information in order to communicate the results to different audiences using new approaches (e.g. dashboards, podcasts, digital stories) on the Biodiversité Québec portal. The work will be done in collaboration with specialists in biodiversity, communication, design and data science.

Requirements

A M.Sc. degree in biology, forestry, ecology, environmental sciences or biostatistics is required. The candidate must have knowledge and/or previous experience in handling large databases, programming, or at least a strong interest in developing these skills.

Environment

The research activities will take place at Biodiversité Québec at the Université de Sherbrooke under the supervision of Prof. Dominique Gravel, and at the Ministère Forêts Faune et Parcs under the supervision of Anouk Simard. The environment will be enhanced by the BIOS² training program in numerical methods and its entire community of students and researchers. Biodiversité Québec values diversity, equality, equity and inclusion and invites all qualified individuals to apply. Financial support of 22 000$/year is guaranteed for four years.

Instructions

Applications, including a letter describing research interests, a CV, a copy of academic transcripts and information for two references, should be sent to Dominique Gravel (dominique.gravel@usherbrooke.ca) and Anouk Simard (anouk.simard@mffp.gouv.qc.ca) with “PhD Application BDQC – name” in the subject line.

The offer will be open until a candidate is selected. Target start date: September 2022.

PhD position on Key Biodiversity Areas and species range modelling

Wildlife Conservation Society Canada (WCSC) is leading a collaborative effort to identify and establish a comprehensive national network of Key Biodiversity Areas (KBAs) in Canada. WCSC will identify KBAs, which are sites that will contribute significantly to the global persistence of biodiversity, through the application of a new global standard, which is currently being introduced and adapted to the Canadian context.