Multiple graduate students in fungi-plant interactions at the University of Alberta
11/16/2015 5:57 PM
Seeking multiple graduate students in fungi-plant interactions at the University of Alberta
The research programs of Nadir Erbilgin, Justine Karst, James Cahill (University of Alberta), Suzanne Simard (University of British Columbia), and Jonathan Cale are seeking motivated and collaborative students (3 PhD, 1 MSc) to work on a project investigating questions focused on the roles of soil fungal communities in modulating boreal forest resistance and resilience to biotic and abiotic disturbances. This project seeks to expand our recent findings demonstrating the effects of mountain pine beetle outbreaks on below- and above-ground processes, including decline of mycorrhizal fungi and pine resistance following forest mortality in western Canada (New Phytol (2015) 208: 904-914; Plant & Soil (2015). 390: 29-47; PLOS One (2015) 10 (4): e0124691). All students will be co-supervised by at least two investigators and the others will be in the students’ theses committees. While student projects will use a subset of these, this overall project will employ genomic, metabolomic, and DNA-stable isotope probing techniques in field and greenhouse experiments. Student research topics will include, but are not restricted to: (1) Soil fungal community response to and recovery from forest disturbances (PhD); (2) Fungal communities as drivers of tree insect and disease resistance (PhD); (3) Abiotic gradients and the response of root-inhabiting fungi to pine mortality (PhD); and (4) Fungal community control of tree mineral acquisition and carbon allocation (MSc).
Depending on applicant interest and qualifications, all projects offer flexibility in designing a research project pursuing areas of personal interest while investigating the topics above. Depending on research topic, a background in soil microbial or chemical ecology or plant-fungal interactions will be an asset to successful candidates. Proficiency in spoken and written English is required along with the ability to obtain provincial driving privileges upon arrival. Candidate selection will be based on academic achievements, reference letters, and previous research experience. Strong verbal, written, and computational skills are essential. A standard U of A Graduate Assistantship can be offered for successful candidates.
All positions are available to start in Spring (May/June, 2016) term. Applicants must satisfy University of Alberta Department of Renewable Resources entrance requirements, available for review at: http://www.rr.ualberta.ca/GraduateProgram.aspx
Interested candidates are encouraged to email (1) an unofficial transcript (undergraduate and/or MSc, as appropriate), (2) curriculum vitae, (3) a brief personal statement describing research and career goals, and how this degree would help the student achieve those goals, and (4) names and contact information for three references to Dr. Jonathan Cale, Department of Renewable Resources, 4-42 Earth Science Building, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta T6E 2E3, Canada. Please submit application materials or information inquires to Jacale@ualberta.ca
Department of Renewable Resources – http://www.rr.ualberta.ca/