I am looking for two PhD and/or MSc students to join a research team studying population genomics of arctic seabirds (abstract below). Students will be part of an NSERC Strategic project to aid conservation and management of several species. Applicants must have some background in evolutionary genetics. Practical experience with genomics and bioinformatics is an asset. Field work in remote arctic camps will be required. The successful applicants will join a dynamic group of faculty and students studying ecology and evolution at Queen’s University. Please send a resume or curriculum vitae, informal transcript, and contact information for two academic references to Dr. Vicki Friesen (vlf at queensu.ca). Applications will be reviewed until both positions are filled.
Dr. Vicki Friesen, Professor
Department of Biology,
4443 Biosciences, 116 Barrie Street,
Queen’s University,
Kingston, ON
K7L 3N6, Canada
Tel: 613-533-6156
Fax: 613-533-6617
Email: vlf at queensu.ca
Website: http://post.queensu.ca/~birdpop/index.html

As numerically dominant apex predators, seabirds are key components of Canada’s arctic marine ecosystem. Seabirds and their eggs also are important to the culture and diet of indigenous Arctic peoples. However, Arctic seabird populations are facing multiple simultaneous direct and indirect threats from climate change, shipping and industrial development. Unsurprisingly, many populations are showing signs of stress such as reduced reproductive success or declining numbers. To avoid extinction, wildlife populations must adapt through (1) changes in behaviour or physiology, (2) dispersal, or (3) genetic changes. The capacity for seabirds to adapt through these three avenues is virtually unknown, but it is critical to maintenance of healthy populations. New genomic methods, especially when combined with on-going studies of behaviour and physiology, provide powerful opportunities to determine the long-term sensitivities of Arctic seabirds to climate change and industrial developme
nt. We will use genomic, behavioural and ecological data in a landscape context to estimate levels of phenotypic plasticity, dispersal, and genomic variation for seven seabird species that Canada has a global responsibility to protect. Results will help Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) develop science-based policies for Arctic stewardship. Students will be responsible for analyses of one species each, and will gain training in population and landscape genomics, bioinformatics, population modeling and arctic ecology.

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