[MARMAM] PhD student opportunities

Sarah Fortune Sarah.Fortune at dal.ca
Wed Apr 20 06:47:41 PDT 2022

Dear colleagues,

We are looking for two PhD students to join our lab at Dalhousie University to conduct right and bowhead whale foraging ecology research (ad below). Student support and field costs are provided. Please apply if this is of interest and/or help spread the word!

Many thanks,



2 PhD students – Marine Ecology & Biological Oceanography

Project: Evaluating ecosystem impacts on balaenid (bowhead and right) whale foraging ecology

Project description: Climate driven shifts in zooplankton assemblages may affect the movement, habitat-use and foraging success of balaenid whales (right and bowhead) through 1) reduced prey quality, 2) variability in prey abundance, and 3) increased energy expenditure associated with increased time spent searching for and consuming lower quality prey. However, the degree to which both species will ultimately respond to spatiotemporal shifts in prey is unknown. Successful candidates will combine empirical data obtained during field campaigns and simulation modelling to better understand the energetic impact of climate change on present and future populations of North Atlantic right whales and bowhead whales. Using high-resolution, inertial sensing tags, students will quantify whale behaviour and estimate energetic expenditure. Obtaining simultaneous recordings about the quality and quantity of prey encountered, students will quantify energetic consumption and evaluate nutritional balance under current environmental conditions. This research will allow us to combine forecasts of climate induced shifts in habitat conditions and bioenergetic modelling, to assess the energy budget of future populations.

Qualifications: We seek candidates with an MSc in Marine Ecology, Biology or Ocean Sciences, that will help foster a collegial culture that is grounded in diversity and inclusiveness. Demonstrating how you work collaboratively with fellow students, researchers and stakeholders from diverse disciplines, cultures and academic backgrounds is essential.

Research abilities:

  *   Programming (proficient in R and/or matlab)
  *   Statistical modelling (e.g., LMM, GLMM, GAMMs)
  *   Biologging data analysis
  *   Biological oceanographic sampling and/or analysis
  *   Scientific writing and communication

Location: Department of Oceanography, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Start date: September 2022

Field work: Funding for field campaigns provided

To apply: Please send CV with references, Statement of Research Interest (1 page) and unofficial copy of transcripts to Sarah Fortune at sarah.fortune at dal.ca<mailto:sarah.fortune at dal.ca>

Application reviews will begin on May 15, 2022.

Sarah Fortune (She/Her) | Assistant Professor
FACULTY OF SCIENCE | Department of Oceanography
Life Sciences Centre, Room 4664
DALHOUSIE UNIVERSITY Sarah.fortune at dal.ca
Dalhousie University is located in Mi’kma’ki, the ancestral and unceded territory of the Mi’kmaq. We are all Treaty people.

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