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    PhD and Post-Doc positions in forest ecology

     Postdoctoral and PHD positions in forest ecology
    modeling (posted Oct 26, 2012)


    We are seeking a postdoctoral fellow and a PHD student to work on a team
    project on modeling forest growth and dynamics at the temperate-boreal
    forest transition. The successful candidates will work in collaboration with
    a large team of forest ecologists and modelers.

    POSTDOC POSITION. The general objective of this project is to develop a
    suite of forest dynamic models that will be used by natural resources
    managers to better understand (i) the different uncertainties associated
    with climate change and (ii) how current land-use practices can affect the
    diversity and functioning of the transitional forest between the temperate
    and boreal biomes. The current tools that are used to predict its impact on
    forest ecosystems are limited because they lack important ecological
    knowledge. These models are inappropriate for forest ecosystems because they
    do not consider how the complex interplay between dispersal, interspecific
    interactions and forest management will affect migration dynamics and
    productivity. The postdoctoral researcher will develop a modeling suite
    spanning different spatial and temporal scales, from local scales and short
    time horizons (10-25 years) to the large (regional) spatial scales and long
    time horizons (100-200 years). We will focus on forest Eastern Canada at the
    transition between temperate and boreal biomes since we expect the greatest
    impacts of climate change to occur in such forests.

    A PhD degree in biology, forestry or environmental science is required.
    Candidates must also have strong skills in modeling, forest ecology,
    statistics and analyses of large databases. Training in mathematics is
    considered a valuable asset. A fellowship of $ 40,000 per year for 2 years
    is offered.

    PHD POSITION. The challenge of sustainable forest management is to satisfy
    simultaneously economical, social and environmental concerns. This project
    aims to maximize these three objectives by developing silvicultural
    practices that will promote diversity of forest stands. There is now a
    consensus, for several systems, that biodiversity has a positive effect on
    the provision of ecosystem services. Despite the documented advantages of a
    new silvicultural strategy that is explicitly based on the promotion of
    biodiversity, several barriers are preventing the application of this
    concept in current forestry practices. The general objective of this project
    is thus to evaluate operationally the effect of tree diversity on forest
    productivity and on the sustainable annual allowable cut. The project
    consists of developing regional growth and yield models that will account
    for competition and facilitation. The models will be developed from
    temporary and permanent sampling plots and an experimental design of high
    diversity plantations. The growth models will be used to evaluate the impact
    of different silvicultural practices promoting tree diversity on the
    sustainable annual allowable cut of representative management areas of
    temperate, mixed and boreal forests.

    An MSc degree in forestry, biology, environmental sciences or statistics is
    ideal, but other fields may be considered. Applicants should have a
    demonstrated interest in ecological modelling, working with large databases,
    a good statistical basis and some programming skills or at least a strong
    interest in learning it. A fellowship of $ 20,000 per year for 3 years is
    offered.

    INTSTRUCTIONS. Applications, including a letter describing research
    interests, a CV, copies of transcripts and the contact information for two
    references, or any questions about the project should be directed to
    dominique_gravel@uqar.ca. Knowledge of French is not required but the
    student must be open to learn and work in this environment.
    Research activities will be conducted at the biology department at the
    Université du Québec à Rimouski (http://www.uqar.ca). The candidates will be
    invited to join the activities of a dynamic laboratories
    (http://chaire-eec.uqar.qc.ca) and an active team of collaborators from the
    Quebec Center for Biodiversity Science (http://qcbs.ca) and the Center for
    Forest Science (http//www.cef-cfr.ca/). The student will also benefit from
    the resources and training offered by a training program in forest
    complexity modeling (http://www.fcm.uqam.ca/).

    Dominique Gravel
    Canada Research Chair
    Continental ecosystem ecology
    Université du Québec à Rimouski
    300 Allée des Ursulines
    Rimouski, Québec, G5L 3A1
    (418) 723-1986 #1752
    dominique_gravel@uqar.ca
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