[ES_JOBS_NET] Graduate student positions in bloom ecology and biogeochemistry

Baulch, Helen helen.baulch at usask.ca
Tue Jun 27 15:52:02 MDT 2017

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As part of the Global Water Futures project FORMBLOOM<http://gwf.usask.ca/science/pillar-3-projects.php#ForecastingToolsandMitigationOptionsforDiverseBloomAffectedLakes>: Forecasting Tools and Mitigation Options for Diverse Bloom-Affected Lakes

We are seeking 2-4 graduate students (MSc and/or PhD) interested in research on the drivers of freshwater cyanobacterial blooms, and options for bloom prediction mitigation. This program links researchers at the University of Saskatchewan, Wilfrid Laurier University, IISD-Experimental Lakes Area, the University of Waterloo, York University and other university networks with industry, government and community partners.

The successful graduate students will work across multiple ecosystems ranging from southern Ontario reservoirs, to a prairie drinking water supply and a long-term experimental lake. Students will perform applied lab and field research, and require good lab skills, quantitative abilities, and a hearty appetite for boat-based field work. Students with experience with sensor-based instrumentation are particularly welcomed.

Project Summary:

Harmful algal blooms (HABs) in lakes and reservoirs constitute a major threat to human health and, by extension, to the Canadian economy. HABs, especially those associated with cyanobacteria (cyano-HABs), have direct impacts on the safety of drinking water supplies by producing a variety of liver and nerve toxins in addition to causing taste and odour problems. Cyano-HABs have been increasing in recent years across Canada from Newfoundland to British Columbia. There is an urgent need to improve the science and to develop risk management tools for cyano-HABs.


Field campaigns in Buffalo Pound, Saskatchewan, Lake 227, Ontario, and Conestogo Lake, Ontario combined with laboratory experiments and modelling exercises will evaluate the contributions of nutrients, metals, and lake structure to the timing and severity of cyano-HABs. Carefully selected samples and datasets from other lakes and reservoirs across Canada (including the 47-year dataset from IISD-ELA) will be incorporated into cyano-HAB forecasting and mitigation efforts.

Graduate student research projects will (1) examine nutrient and trace metal dynamics through bloom progression; (2) assess links between physical conditions, sediment-surface redox and cyano-HAB development; and (3) perform long-term data analysis with a focus on winter conditions and bloom severity.

Graduate students will benefit from working with a multi-university and multidisciplinary research team and will interact with partner organisations and ecosystem managers. Students will have opportunities to participate in enhanced training opportunities associated with the NSERC CREATE in Water Security, and the Global Water Futures program.

Interested Applicants:

Applicants should indicate their areas of research interest to the professors below:

Prof. Helen Baulch
School of Environment and Sustainability and Global Institute for Water Security
University of Saskatchewan
Saskatoon, SK
h<mailto:lmolot at yorku.ca>elen.baulch at usask

Prof. Jason Venkiteswaran
Department of Geography and Environmental Studies
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, ON N2L 3C5
jvenkiteswaran at wlu.ca<mailto:jvenkiteswaran at wlu.ca>

Prof. Sherry Schiff
Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G1
sschiff at uwaterloo.ca<mailto:sschiff at uwaterloo.ca>

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