lundi 7 février 2011

Ph.D. on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Project description. We are seeking a PhD student to study the impact of trophic interactions onto functioning of forest ecosystems. The overall theme of the project is to compare the role of tree species, phylogenetic and functional trait diversity in (1) maintaining healthy natural and managed forests; (2) contributing to more productive and resilient novel forest ecosystems; and (3) maximizing carbon sequestration. The core approach of this project is the study of a series of world-unique experimental high-density single and mixed native and exotic tree species plantations. The objective of this PHD project is to develop models and methods generalizing the concept of species complementarity to trophic and non-trophic interactions and to test them on the field.

Qualifications. An MSc degree in biology or environmental sciences is ideal, but other fields may be considered. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in ecological complexity and modeling, or at least a strong interest in learning it. Experience in microbiology or entomology is also considered a valuable asset. We especially encourage creative students who are adept at working in teams and have good writing and communication skills.

Instructions. Applications, including a letter describing research interests, a CV, copies of transcripts and the contact information (address, email and phone) for two references, or any questions about the project should be directed to The starting date is either June or September 2011.

The project will be conducted under the co-supervision of Dominique Gravel (UQAR: Université du Québec à Rimouski), Christian Messier (UQAM: Université du Québec à Montréal) and Timothy Work (UQAM). The student will be registered in the shared graduate program in Biological sciences. Dominique Gravel is a theoretical ecologist working on spatial ecology and ecosystem functioning. Christian Messier is a forest ecologist working on development of novel sylvicultural and forest management practives. Timowthy Work is an entomologist working on the effect of forest management practices on biodiversity. Both institutions are francophone and although applicants are not obliged to speak French, they should have an interest in learning it.

Dominique Gravel
Canada Research Chair
Continental ecosystem ecology
Université du Québec à Rimouski
(418) 723-1986 #1752