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Graduate Research Opportunities

Carbon biogeochemistry and metabolism in freshwater aquatic ecosystems

Start date: Spring – Fall 2017

Location: Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Several graduate assistantships (PhD and MSc level) are available in the Aquatic Ecology Group of the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM), as part of the NSERC-funded Chair in Carbon Biogeochemistry in Boreal Aquatic Systems (CarBBAS), as well as with the NSERC Canadian Lake Pulse Network (NCLPN), to explore connections between aquatic C biogeochemistry and greenhouse dynamics, aquatic ecosystem metabolism, climate, hydrology and geography across boreal and temperate regions of Canada.

Potential topics include integrating C dynamics and processing across complex surface water networks, regional-scale patterns in aquatic C processing and greenhouse gas dynamics, links between climate, hydrology and aquatic C biogeochemistry, the influence of network configuration on regional aquatic biogeochemical processes, the links between aquatic and terrestrial C biogeochemistry and ecosystem function, and the role of aquatic ecosystems on regional carbon budgets in the boreal biome. These graduate projects will involve both extensive sampling of streams, rivers, ponds and lakes across the boreal biome of Québec, as well as highly spatially resolved sampling along the entire aquatic continuum in selected boreal watersheds. Another component of the research program involves large-scale comparative studies of carbon and green house gas dynamics, C sedimentation and storage, and whole ecosystem metabolism across hundreds of lakes throughout Canada, part of the largest pan-Canadian study of lakes ever undertaken.

These graduate projects will combine a wide range of cutting edge field and analytical technologies, including advanced approaches to characterize the molecular composition of DOM and the isotopic composition of C and greenhouse gases, and will further incorporate a diversity of physiologic and isotopic approaches to characterize various aspects of ecosystem metabolism, with advanced GIS and landscape ecology, hydrology, climatology and landscape and lake modeling.

We seek highly motivated candidates who are ready to embrace a multidisciplinary challenge and to work in a highly collaborative team context. Our students are part of a dynamic and culturally and scientifically diverse aquatic group in the Département des sciences biologiques of the UQAM, with expertise ranging from nutrient and C biogeochemistry, genomics and bioinformatics, microbial, plankton and ecosystem ecology. The UQAM is a francophone university and knowledge of French is an advantage, but not a requirement. Graduate students have a choice of courses and may submit written works in English.

Those interested should send a letter of introduction, academic resume, and the names of two references to Paul del Giorgio (del_giorgio.paul@uqam.ca, 514-795-7983). E-mail enquiries for further information are welcome.

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