Association of Polar Early Career Scientists


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Graduate student position in marine biogeochemistry exploring glacier-ocean interactions in the Canadian high Arctic
Halifax, Nova Scotia or Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
University of Alberta and Dalhousie University
  • Undergraduate
  • Graduate Position

Climate change has accelerated glacial melt in the Canadian High Arctic, and the rapid increase in meltwater discharge can alter the physical and chemical properties of the surrounding ocean. This has impacts on ocean circulation, sea ice cover, and marine ecology at local and regional scales, yet many uncertainties regarding the oceanic response to glacial meltwater input remain. Since 2019, we have collected novel ocean observations in the Canadian Arctic to understand the effects of glacial meltwater on the local physical oceanography and marine ecosystems, and are now expanding the data collection to include year-round seasonal sampling through a collaboration with the Inuit community of Grise Fiord, the most northerly community in Canada.

We seek a highly-motivated graduate student at the Ph.D. (preferred) or M.Sc. level interested in field-based oceanographic research. This position would focus on exploring the marine biogeochemistry of the region. Topics could include investigations of macro- and micro-nutrient dynamics, marine microbial community composition and function (genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics), and/or carbon cycling. Projects will involve analysis of existing datasets and the collection of new data via field and laboratory-based experiments to explore seasonal changes. The student will work under the guidance of Dr. Maya Bhatia (Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Alberta) and Dr. Erin Bertrand (Department of Biology, Dalhousie University). The student could be based at either Dalhousie or the University of Alberta as their home institution, but an extended visit of 3-4 months to the other institution is likely required. Candidates should hold an undergraduate degree in Biology, Chemistry, Earth Sciences, Oceanography, or a related field. Prior experience in computational programming (e.g. R, Matlab, Python) and an interest in exploring high throughput molecular biological datasets would be an asset.

The student will have access to a 3-year regional dataset and partake in field programs to collect novel data covering both the sea-ice covered and open water seasons in the High Arctic. The student will also be joining a collaborative, interdisciplinary team based at the University of Alberta, the University of British Columbia, and Dalhousie University, working across various aspects of ocean sciences. An aptitude for northern field work and a desire to work with Inuit researchers will be key characteristics of a successful candidate. The ideal start date would be January or May 2022, with fieldwork beginning in spring or summer 2022. Applications, including a CV, unofficial transcript and statement of interest, should be emailed to Dr. Maya Bhatia (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) and Dr. Erin Bertrand (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). The review of applications will commence immediately and continue until the position is filled. 

Both the University of Alberta and Dalhousie University are committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workforce. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations; Metis and Inuit; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all


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