Supervisors : Dennis Murray (Trent University : http://www.dennismurray.ca)
Gabriel Blouin-Demers (University of Ottawa :
Project : Spatial ecology and ecophysiology of Blandings turtles near Ottawa,
We are initiating a PhD project on the spatial ecology and ecophysiology of
Blandings turtles within the
city limits of Ottawa, Ontario. Blandings turtles are at their northern limit
in southern Ontario, which
presents interesting challenges to turtle ecology, behaviour and population
dynamics. Using VHF and
GPS telemetry, accelerometry, and temperature logging, the student will monitor
turtles in the field and
develop bioenergetics models describing factors limiting survival and
productivity in a northern
environment. Because Blandings are listed as Threatened in Ontario, the work
also has important
conservation implications and there is an applied component that is mandated by
the research contract.
Specifically, the work will document spatial ecology and habitat use of turtles
within the semi-urban
setting and relative to rapid residential development; we will test the
efficacy of mitigation such as road
underpasses and fences on turtle survival. The PhD student will have the
opportunity to develop
additional research questions within the scope of the broader project.
The funding package includes a competitive stipend, foreign tuition waiver (if
the student is not a
Canadian citizen or permanent resident) as well as coverage of field-related
travel and other expenses.
Successful candidates will have an MSc in Ecology, Conservation, or related
evidence of peer-reviewed publications, strong field skills, and an interest in
working collaboratively in a
large and diverse research group. Additional desirable skills include turtle
research experience, GPS
telemetry data analysis, and communication with stakeholders.
To apply, please send a cover letter, curriculum vitae, unofficial academic
transcript, and contact
information for 3 references to Dennis Murray (dennismur...@trentu.ca). The
should begin enrolment at Trent University by January 2017, and we will accept
applications until a
suitable candidate is found, so apply early.