Two PhD positions available at Queen’s University, Canada

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Disturbances have the potential to profoundly alter system dynamics, by changing species diversity, structure and function, and by generating significant spatial and temporal heterogeneity in aquatic habitats. However, the variability of ecosystem structure and function is seldom explicitly considered as a response variable and can reveal underlying mechanisms associated with ecological change. These projects will explore this disturbance-variance relationship to examine aquatic ecosystem response across multiple temporal and spatial scales using both high-frequency and long-term monitoring data: 1) among lakes with large “system-wide” disturbances; 2) within lakes (and years) with different mixing and stressor regimes; and 3) experimentally, using mesocosms. The disturbances captured by these datasets include invasive species, algal blooms, climate change and, ultimately, the cumulative effects of multiple stressors, representing emerging issues facing the lake-rich region of Muskoka, Ontario. These projects will explore the most important attributes of both disturbance and ecosystem variability and ultimately improve our ability to manage our freshwater resources.

Students will benefit from opportunities to conduct research at a world-class freshwater research centre in Muskoka, while also being embedded in the exceptional academic atmosphere of Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario Canada. Additionally, students will be given opportunities to collaborate internationally via the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON). These projects will provide a unique mentoring environment where students will be collaboratively trained in academia and government research at a Queen’s University limnological laboratory (Dr. Shelley Arnott) and the Dorset Environmental Science Centre, an Ontario government research laboratory (Dr. James Rusak). Through this initiative, students will build valuable limnological, analytical, and interdisciplinary networking skills, while developing predictive models to reveal community and ecosystem response to some of the most critical environmental threats facing freshwater lakes.

Applications will be accepted until January 31, 2019 or until the positions are filled. Starting date is Spring 2019 (negotiable). For more information, please contact and


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