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M.Sc. opportunity studying chromium, arsenic, and other metal bioaccumulation in Boreal fish

Graduate & Postdoc
Posted: 
04/03/2019
Expiration Date: 
05/03/2019

M.Sc. opportunity studying chromium, arsenic, and other metal bioaccumulation in Boreal fish across Ontario, Canada at the Cooperative Freshwater Ecology Unit, Laurentian University. We are located within the Leeds certified and award winning Living with Lakes Centre (https://www3.laurentian.ca/livingwithlakes/), on the edge of Ramsey Lake in City of Greater Sudbury, Ontario. Application closing date: May 3, 2019. Start date: Negotiable, May-Sept 2019.

Research topic: A statistical study of the effects of trophic ecology and watershed factors (e.g., geology, anthropogenic disturbance) associated with elevated concentrations of Cr and As in a variety of boreal fish species from northern Ontario, including river and lakes within the massive “Ring of Fire” mineral exploration region. Recently the Ontario Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MOECP), issued new consumption guidelines that identify several locations where muscle tissues of both sport and subsistence fish species exceed guidelines for total concentrations of Cr and As in addition to the expected exceedances for Hg. However, compared to Hg, far less is known about the accumulation of Cr, As, and other metals in freshwater fish. No information exists of what species or form the metals (some toxic, some not) actually existed in these fish and what possible associations to environmental factors (e.g. water chemistry, geology) or life history traits (growth, age, sex, etc.) exist. This project will explore these questions with a large data set assembled by OMOECP, Laurentian University, and Western University. The student will have ample opportunities to work with our team of aquatic ecologists and environmental monitors, as well as government scientists.

The position will be supervised by Dr. John Gunn (CRC in Stressed Aquatic Ecosystems) at CFEU/LWLC. Dr. Gretchen Lescord (PDF, https://www.wcscanada.org/about-us/staff/projectid/-1/currentpage/2.aspx) will be the co-supervisor of this project and Dr. Satyendra Bhavsar of the Ontario provincial government (MOECP) will be a close collaborator.  
 
Ideal candidate: Applicants should have a strong academic background in aquatic ecology and biostatistics and good scientific writing skills. Interest in analytical chemistry also an asset. Competitive NSERC level stipends, guaranteed paid teaching assistantships (for candidates with >75% GPA average) and access to several local scholarships are available.

Please email a letter of interest, your CV, a copy of your academic transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable) and the names of three references to jgunn@laurentian.ca and glescord@laurentian.ca. The M.Sc. position can begin as early as May 2019.