PhD opportunity in Fluvial Carbon Biogeochemistry in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières

Carbon fluxes from land to riverine networks have been increasing as a result of human disturbance such as deforestation, agriculture, industrialization or climate change. Accompanying this flux has been a drastic shift in the nature of the organic OM pool delivered to inland waters. For instance, many systems are reintroducing into the modern cycle an ancient carbon pool stored for millennia in soils and peat or exported via wastewater, urban and agricultural runoff (petroleum-based compounds). Recent evidence further suggest that human activities may introduce a chemically distinct OM pool not typically observed in natural systems. This additional OM flux has the potential to not only influence the amount and nature of the OM exported to aquatic networks, but also foodweb productivity and the overall aquatic C cycling with potential feedback on climate. Using novel tools in environmental chemistry, namely Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS), in a landscape limnology framework, the successful candidate will identify, characterize and link the origin, age and molecular composition of mobilized OM pools from watersheds impacted by human activities in the St. Lawrence Valley, Quebec, Canada.

The project will begin in September 2017 under the supervision of Dr François Guillemette (main supervisor) at the Department of Environmental Sciences at UQTR in Trois-Rivières, Canada (www.uqtr.ca/dse), and Dr Jean-François Lapierre (co-supervisor) at the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Montreal in Montreal (http://en.bio.umontreal.ca/home/). A three-year scholarship of 21 000$CAD/year will be offered to the successful candidate. Candidates are invited to apply by submitting (1) a letter outlining their motivation and aptitudes for the project, (2) a detailed CV including academic grades, and (3) the name and email of two references to francois.guillemette3@uqtr.ca. The PhD candidate will integrate the RIVE Research Center at UQTR (www.uqtr.ca/rive), the GRIL Research Group (https://oraprdnt.uqtr.uquebec.ca/pls/public/gscw030?owa_no_site=1272), and potentially the EcoLac PhD program following a successful application (www.ecolac.ca).

DESIRED SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE

  • Candidates will hold, or be finishing, a Master’s degree in a discipline related to the project (Biogeochemistry, Aquatic Ecology, Limnology).

The following skills will considered favorably:

  • Proof of leadership, communication skills
  • Willingness to work in an inter-disciplinar setting
  • Experience in environmental chemistry and/or biogeochemistry
  • Quantitative, modelling and/or GIS skills
  • Chemical characterization of organic matter (i.e., optics, FT-ICR-MS, isotopes)

ABOUT THE EMPLOYER

Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) is a medium-sized university (15 000 student population) located in Trois-Rivières, Québec, Canada.  It holds the Research Center on Watershed – Aquatic Ecosystems Interactions (RIVE center, www.uqtr.ca/rive), which regroups 15 researchers and over 50 graduate students, professionals and postdoctoral researchers working on various environmental issues including water quality, aquatic and terrestrial ecology, and carbon geochemistry. University of Montreal is one of the largest University in Canada and highly focuses on research. A strong group of aquatic researchers from multiple departments (http://www.gril-umontreal.com/) studies the different facets of aquatic ecosystems functioning.

To apply for this job email your details to francois.guillemette3@uqtr.ca

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