Division of
Natural and Applied Sciences

PhD projects on spatio-temporal dynamics and conservation of western chorus frogs

In collaboration with Blazing Star Environmental, the Lougheed Lab (Queens University) and the Wilson Lab (Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources), we offering PhD projects on the determinants of distribution and occupancy of western chorus frogs across their Canadian range, where the species is listed as Threatened and thereby needs research into its population status, distribution and trends. The comprehensive program will involve conducting field surveys and analyzing extensive citizen science call survey data (>500 sites) to determine: 1) geographical gaps in surveys and current sampling design needs; 2) variability in species occupancy through space and time; 3) factors determining species detection, occupancy, and abundance; and 4) priority areas for conservation planning and action. The project will also offer the opportunity to collaborate or take the lead on: 5) optimizing application of eDNA and acoustic recording units in population surveys; and 6) critical evaluation and optimization of citizen science surveys for amphibian monitoring. The project team is flexible in terms of student projects within the larger program, and therefore the successful candidates will have the opportunity to tailor their theses based on their interests and expertise.

The funding package includes a competitive stipend, international tuition fee waiver, as well as coverage of all professional expenses. Successful candidates must have an MSc in Biology, Ecology, or a related field, and experience with peer-reviewed publication of past research findings is a high priority. Candidates should have experience in at least one of the following areas: GIS, statistics using R software, eDNA analysis and application, occupancy and habitat modeling, sampling design, analysis of citizen science datasets, conservation planning and prioritization, as well as a strong work ethic and interest in working collaboratively in a large and diverse research group. Additional desirable skills include amphibian field skills and working independently.

To apply, please send: i) cover letter highlighting relevant prior experience and interests corresponding to the above program priorities, ii) curriculum vitae, iii) unofficial academic transcript, and iv) contact information for 3 references to: openpositionsmurraylab@gmail.com. The successful candidate(s) will be co-supervised by Dennis Murray (www.dennismurray.ca) and Tom Hossie (www.thomashossie.ca) at Trent University. See also www.blazingstar.ca for additional information. The graduate positions will begin as soon as possible and the posting will be closed as soon as suitable candidates are found.