Open PhD position starting summer/fall 2023
The Little Ecology Group seeks a PhD student interested in community ecology, landscape ecology, and/or ecosystem ecology to start in summer or fall 2023. The position will focus on ecosystem functioning, resource subsidies, and community assembly in landscapes, including at least two of the following:
- fieldwork based in British Columbia, with a focus on watersheds;
- laboratory or field mesocosm experiments;
- geostatistical modeling of ecosystem function; and
- data synthesis.
Within this framework of topics and approaches, the group leader Dr. Chelsea Little is excited to work together with students to develop research ideas that inspire them. The PhD student will also have the opportunity to work on collaborative projects in the Little Ecology Group, and potentially external collaborations as well.
The Little Ecology Group values diversity and seeks to build an inclusive lab. Currently, our research group consists of mix of masters students and undergraduate researchers. A PhD student would have the opportunity to hold a senior role in the group, and is expected to contribute to a welcoming and inclusive atmosphere. International students and those from groups that are under-represented in ecology are encouraged to apply, including those with disabilities. You can read our lab values statement here.
Eligibility: The student will be enrolled in the PhD program in the Biological Sciences department at Simon Fraser University. Information about the program, including admission criteria, can be found here. Candidates who have completed a masters degree in a relevant field will have an advantage, but exceptional candidates who hold only a bachelors degree but have relevant research experience are also welcome to apply. (Note: the Biological Sciences admission criteria require that candidates with only a bachelors degree have attained a 3.5 GPA [or equivalent, if on a different scale] in their bachelors degree program.)
Compensation: PhD students will receive $26,000 per year in compensation for at least four years. It is expected that a portion of this will come from teaching assistantships, and that students will apply for appropriate fellowships/scholarships. For example, Canadian applicants are expected to develop an NSERC CGS-D application in fall of 2023, if they are selected for the position. Funding from TAships and fellowships will be complemented with my research funding. The Biological Sciences funding policy can be found here.
How to Apply: To express your interest, get more information, or ask questions about my mentorship approach, please email your CV and a cover letter (maximum one page) that includes a short description of your research interests, a note about your career goals, and contact information for 2 references to Chelsea_little AT sfu.ca. Review of applications will begin on November 15, 2022. Applications will be accepted after that point, but be aware that a decision may have already been made.
As stated in its name, the Little Ecology Group values each little piece that makes up our collective group. Our lab members come from varying backgrounds, including in our positionality and understanding of the world, and we are dedicated to making this a safe place for people of all backgrounds and levels of experience. The Little Ecology Group celebrates these differences, for they enrich what we all share: our curiosity and love for science. We strive to create an environment where people can feel confident and supported in seeking higher learning, regardless of their background or experience, and where we practice kindness and respect for ourselves and others. We seek inspiration from other group members and aim to create a fun and collaborative environment where we can learn in an engaging and supportive way. Although our research is focused on ecology, our work is not limited to only the natural world and we must consider all aspects of natural and social science, including historical relevance, cultural importance, political influence, and scientific method. We recognize the importance of not only doing science, but of understanding it in the larger context of the world, and of communicating it effectively across communities. We are community participants who share our work with local policy and decision-makers to help protect nature. If you align with these values or if you have new views to challenge and improve who we are as a group, the Little Ecology Group welcomes you!
Types of Positions
Graduate students are hosted in the School of Research and Environmental Management or the Department of Biological Sciences. If you are interested in pursuing a masters or PhD in our research group, please make sure that your research interests align with our interests and expertise In my personal experience (please check out the “research” tab); Dr. Little does not take on students that she cannot mentor effectively in their chosen disciplines or career paths. Send a brief statement about your background, research interests, and career goals to Dr. Little. Also watch this space for advertisement of posting of specific graduate positions.
SFU undergraduates interested in research opportunities in the group should get in touch at any time – directed studies and thesis projects are just a few ways that you could join our group.
I do not currently have funding to support postdocs, but I would be happy to help you develop a fellowship application to work in my group. Some postdoc fellowship options are: NSERC, Banting, Liber Ero, MITACS (requires organizational matching funds). There may be others that match your profile, including from your home country or the country where you did your PhD, if you are not Canadian.