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Graduate positions for Jan. 2021, May 2021 or Sept. 2021

Fully funded M.Sc. and Ph.D. positions

Graduate student recruitment is currently underway in association with three distinct projects pertaining to ecohydrology, hydrobiogeochemistry and hydropedology research.

1) Connectivity modelling project

Short description: Connectivity refers to the ability of a given landscape location “A” to transmit water and other materials (e.g., pollutants or biota) to another location “B”. Given the lack of scientific consensus on connectivity measures, models are seen as pragmatic tools for estimating and testing hypotheses about connectivity. However, most existing hydrological models rely on implicit connectivity simulation approaches. Conversely, explicit connectivity simulation approaches are rare in hydrology but more frequent in ecology. The goal of this project is, therefore, to develop new models targeting the prediction of water and nutrient connectivity in agricultural and forested landscapes. The models to be developed will build on traditional hydrological modelling structures (e.g., grid-based models) as well as ecological models (e.g., agent-based models, graph and circuit theory models), and they will be validated against both ground-based data and remote sensing data. This project is led by Dr. Genevieve Ali (gali@uoguelph.ca)

Number of positions available: 3 M.Sc. or Ph.D. positions based at the University of Guelph

Desired background: This project is computer-based and requires very strong data analysis and programming skills. Students with undergraduate and/or M.Sc. degrees in geography, mathematics and statistics, computer science, environmental science, ecology, biology/bioinformatics or engineering are especially invited to apply. Previous modelling experience and fluency with MATLAB or R will be considered assets.

Start date: September 2020 or January 2021

2) Hydrometeorological risk indicators project

Short description: Hydrological processes, including flooding and hydrologic connectivity, are strong drivers of nutrient transport between crop fields and the major rivers that ultimately flow into Lake Erie. Current and future weather extremes are expected to significantly affect those hydrological processes and, subsequently, water-mediated nutrient export. However, typical climate change impact assessments do not explicitly consider hydrologic connectivity from individual crop fields to aquatic systems. The goal of this project is therefore to establish statistical relationships between risk indicators pertaining to extreme weather, flooding and hydrologic connectivity in the Lake Erie Basin, under historical conditions as well as future climate change scenarios. This project is co-led by Dr. Genevieve Ali (gali@uoguelph.ca), Dr. Ben DeVries (bdv@uoguelph.ca) and Dr. Wanhong Yang (wayang@uoguelph.ca)

Number of positions available: 3 M.Sc. positions based at the University of Guelph

Desired background: This project is computer-based and requires strong quantitative data analysis (including GIS and remote sensing) and programming (e.g., R, MATLAB, Python or C++) skills. Students with undergraduate degrees in geography, mathematics and statistics, computer science, environmental science, ecology, biology/bioinformatics or engineering are especially invited to apply.

Start date: September 2020 or January 2021

3) Agricultural nutrient leaching project

Short description: Nutrient losses via surface runoff, leaching through soils, and tile drainage are known to negatively affect water quality. However, knowledge gaps remain regarding how soil water flow processes and management practices influence leaching. The goal of this project is therefore to perform field measurements to better understand nitrogen and phosphorus leaching in Ontario soils with tillage, compaction, applied manure and cover crops. To that end, soil water content, nutrient concentrations and isotopic ratios will be measured at multiple depths across different soil plots. Blue dye will be applied to the soil plots, which will be subsequently excavated to visualize soil water flow pathways. This project is co-led by Dr. Genevieve Ali (gali@uoguelph.ca), Dr. Merrin Macrae (mmacrae@uwaterloo.ca) and Dr. Laura Van Eerd (lvaneerd@uoguelph.ca)

Number of positions available: as of November 2020, all M.Sc. positions for this project have been filled

Desired background: This project involves field work and data analysis. Students with undergraduate degrees in geography or environmental sciences are especially invited to apply.

Start date: September 2020 or January 2021

GENERAL INQUIRIES

Inquiries on any of these positions may be directed to Dr. Genevieve Ali (gali@uoguelph.ca). Additional information about similar, past or ongoing research projects can be found at: https://genevieveali.uoguelph.ca

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

To apply for a position associated to a particular project, please ensure to:

  • Specify, in the subject header of your email, the title of the project you are interested in
  • Briefly describe, in the body of your email, your interest in the project you selected
  • Attach to your email a single pdf file that includes: a) your curriculum vitae, b) copies of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcript(s), and c) contact information for up to 3 references.
  • Send your application package to all project leaders (email addresses for specific project leaders are listed above)

CLOSING DATE

Applications will be reviewed as they are received, and all positions will remain open until filled. While all applicants are thanked for their interest, please note that only those selected for an interview will be contacted.