2 phd positions in grassland ecology (Canada) ~ Bioblogia.net

9 de agosto de 2015

2 phd positions in grassland ecology (Canada)

We are seeking two PhD students for a fully funded project examining the impact of drought and grazing regimes on system wide responses in grasslands. Grasslands provide a host of ecosystem goods and services foremost of which is the provision of forage for livestock, but they also store and sequester carbon. The likelihood of more extreme weather is increasing and one consequence will be more frequent and more extreme droughts in grassland that will reduce overall productivity. Grazing systems (timing, frequency and intensity of plant removal) can alter the plant community and may be used to structure plant communities to be more resistant to drought. Additionally, some grazing systems have been advocated as a means to substantially reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations through biological sequestration but there have been few tests of the widespread applicability of these approaches or investigation of the mechanisms that might lead to these outcomes. This project is designed to investigate the combined effects of drought and different grazing systems on ecosystem functions, and their controlling mechanisms, across a natural precipitation gradient in grasslands.

The first PhD position will focus on above- and below-ground plant responses to drought and grazing systems. The student will reside in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta and will be co-supervised by Drs. JC Cahill and Cameron Carlyle.  http://www.biology.ualberta.ca/programs/graduate/funding-awards-and-scholarships/

The second PhD position will focus on greenhouse gas fluxes and carbon pools in response to drought and grazing systems. The student will reside in the Department of Agricultural, Food and Nutritional Sciences at the University of Alberta and will be co-supervised by Drs. Cameron Carlyle and Scott Chang.  http://www.afns.ualberta.ca/Graduate.aspx

Both students will have the opportunity to develop independent research directions within the broader project. There will be opportunities to incorporate light spectrum sensors, microbial diversity and abundance measures, and other explanatory measures. They will work with a diverse team that includes plant ecologists, microbial ecologists, soil scientists and rangeland scientists. Collaboration between students and collaborators is encouraged as are interactions with a large and growing community of rangeland, plant and soil researchers at the UofA. Candidates should be highly motivated, independent thinkers and be willing to work as part of an integrated team. Candidates should have a background in a relevant field of study, such as ecology, soil science, plant science or environmental science.

The University of Alberta is a leading Canadian research institution with extensive facilities, resources and expertise. We offer competitive stipends and opportunity for teaching assistantships and other scholarships. Successful candidates can begin now or as late as 31 May 2016. Please direct questions or, to apply, send a cover letter detailing your research interests, CV and unofficial transcripts to Cameron Carlyle: cameron.carlyle@ualberta.ca and JC Cahill cahillj@ualberta.ca.

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