Employment, Volunteer and Graduate Positions

Updated: August 15, 2022

Graduate Student Positions






Updated February 14, 2022

Current Postings:

Research Assistant Marine habitat mapping and spatial data analysis.

Applications are invited for a full-time Research Assistant (RA) position in Marine habitat mapping and spatial data analysis funded in part through Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO) and based at the Department of Ocean Sciences (https://www.mun.ca/osc/) of Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) in St. John’s, NL, Canada.

The RA will contribute towards a research program on mapping the distribution and abundance of key marine benthic habitats in coastal Newfoundland and Labrador. The research program involves a literature review, field work (shore- and boat-based), classification of seabed imagery to be acquired with a variety of remote sensors, and spatial data analysis in order to create comprehensive databases and maps of kelp, rhodolith, and potentially eelgrass habitats for the province.

Requirements for the position include:

• Advanced college or university degree in Geographic Information Science or a related discipline or any equivalent combination of experience and training. Desirable skills/experience for the position include:
• Solid knowledge of GIS spatial analysis methods and software (e.g. ArcGIS, ArcPy, ArcGIS StoryMaps, R);
• GIS tool development, Spatial data collation, Data wrangling;
• Creation of geospatial databases;
• Spatial data collection, analysis, and interpretation;
• Processing/classification of aerial/satellite imagery.

The ideal candidate will also have:

• Experience with camera drones, echosounding, and the creation of multimedia content
• Strong interpersonal, leadership, and written communication skills.

The RA will work under the supervision of Dr. Pat Gagnon in the Department of Ocean Sciences and in close collaboration with government and industry partners and graduate and undergraduate students involved in the research program.

The Department of Ocean Sciences of MUN is located at the Ocean Sciences Centre (OSC) in Logy Bay. The OSC is a major facility for marine research on the Atlantic coast and is one of Canada’s largest marine laboratories. By virtue of its location, the department provides Canadian and international scientists and students access to the flora and fauna of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and is uniquely situated for shore-based studies of the cold-ocean processes and subarctic, Arctic and deep-sea organisms. A strategic goal of the department is to carry out world-class research that focuses on organisms and processes in the cold ocean and to provide education and training opportunities at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Memorial University is Atlantic Canada’s largest university. By offering diverse undergraduate and graduate programs to 18,000 students (http://www.mun.ca/), it provides a distinctive stimulating environment for learning in the Province’s capital city, St. John’s which is a safe, friendly city with great historic charm, a vibrant cultural life Page 2 of 2 and easy access to a wide range of outdoor activities. Memorial plays an integral role in the education and cultural life of Newfoundland and Labrador. NL has strong cultural, social and economic linkages to the oceans and fisheries. Therefore, there is great interest, support and engagement in marine research by the public, industry, NGOs and government departments across the province.

Your application package will include 1) a cover letter describing your interest and qualifications for the position; 2) a detailed curriculum vitae with the names and contact information of three references; and 3) a copy of your most recent university transcripts (official or unofficial).

Please send the application package to Dr. Pat Gagnon via email at pgagnon@mun.ca

Start Date: 1 April, 2022

We will accept candidatures until a suitable candidate is identified. All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply. However, Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority. Memorial University is strongly committed to employment equity and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates, including women, members of visible minorities, Aboriginal persons, members of sexual minorities and persons with disabilities.



Postdoctoral Researcher – Boreal Riverine-Coastal Biogeochemistry

The Ecosystem Indicators Team of the Ocean Frontiers Institute at Memorial and Dalhousie University, in collaboration with Department of Fisheries and Oceans and the Nunatsiavut Government, is seeking a highly motivated postdoctoral researcher with a strong background in biogeochemistry to join an interdisciplinary research initiative aimed at (1) uncovering the processes and interactions supporting coastal ecosystems of Newfoundland and Labrador and (2) developing indicators for responses of these ecosystems to climate change.

Research efforts will primarily focus on understanding how climatic changes along the land-sea continuum will impact the chemistry and primary productivity within coastal ecosystems. Specifically, the candidate will design studies to investigate how changes in the chemical composition and isotopic signatures of dissolved and particulate organic matter will impact primary productivity and nutrient cycling across geographically and climatically different watersheds.

The position will be based at Memorial University, located in beautiful, historic St. John’s, Newfoundland (https://www.newfoundlandlabrador.com/top-destinations/st-johns) in eastern Canada, and has a student population of ~18,000. Field sites will encompass rivers and their downstream estuaries within southern and eastern Newfoundland and northern Labrador.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Candidates must have a PhD or be obtaining one by March 31, 2019 from an accredited college or university in earth or environmental sciences, oceanography, or similar program.

Preferred qualifications

  • Ph.D. in biogeosciences or related field such aquatic biogeochemistry, aquatic microbial ecology, or chemical oceanography
  • Experience performing organic matter extractions and spectrometric and biomarkers analyses.
  • Experience collecting and isolating dissolved or particulate organic matter
  • Experience and willingness to work in diverse and potentially remote field settings.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills with significant motivation to publish in the peer reviewed literature.
  • Strong interest in team-based interdisciplinary science, with the willingness and ability to work independently when required.
  • Demonstrated ability to handle and analyze diverse types of datasets using contemporary scripting languages such as R, MATLAB, and/or Python.
  • Willing and able to be involved in outdoor work in rugged environments.
  • Project supervisors. Drs. Susan Ziegler, Canada Research Chair in Boreal Biogeochemistry and Rachel Sipler, Canada Research Chair in Marine Biogeochemistry

Application details. To apply please send CV, including contacts for at least three references and letter describing your background and suitability for this research program to Rachel Sipler (resipler@mun.ca) and Susan Ziegler (sziegler@mun.ca). Position is fully funded for 30 months with some potential opportunity for extension and the preferred start date between November 1, 2018 to March 31, 2019.

Dr. Mark Abrahams

Email: mabrahams@mun.ca

MSc and PhD student positions available in research at the interface of behavioural/ evolutionary ecology and physiological ecology

Ph.D. Student Opportunity ($23,000 p.a. for 4 years)

I have an opening in my laboratory for a Ph.D. student to work on the interaction between sea cage aquaculture and wild fish populations. Student support and research expenses are funded through the Ocean Frontier Institute. The research builds upon earlier research by my laboratory that demonstrates that wild fish aggregate on a large scale in the vicinity of sea cage aquaculture sites. Work currently in progress is seeking to determine whether there is evidence of bottom-up and top-down mechanisms that may be responsible attracting and sustaining these aggregations of fish. The former by identifying the relative abundance of primary and secondary producers in the vicinity of sea cages, the latter by assessing relative risk of predation, and hence the relative abundance of predators associated with sea cage aquaculture sites.

The questions to be pursued for this project will be to assess whether sea cages provide critical habitat that enhances local productivity, their role in creating complexity that enhances antipredator tactics and reducing the risk of predation, and their impact on the landscape of fear within a marine ecosystem. Research methods will primarily rely upon hydroacoustic data provided by our dedicated hydroacoustic research vessel, the Gecho II, and the use of stationary Doppler sonar, and the analysis of these data using Echoview software. While prior experience would be an asset, training and support will be provided.

Interested students should contact Mark Abrahams (mabrahams@mun.ca) for further information.

  Dr. Iain McGaw's Lab

Graduate student positions available for students interested in invertebrate ecophysiology, behaviour and aquaculture/fisheries.

Opportunities in the Dr. Annie Mercier Lab:

Dr. Annie Mercier (amercier@mun.ca):
1. Biology of deep-sea invertebrates. This research involves the use of microscopy and imaging analysis techniques for the study of preserved specimens (possibly new or poorly known species). It may also involve collection of specimens (ship time) and assessment of feeding and reproductive cycles in live animals.
2. Breeding strategies of echinoderms (e.g. spawning periodicity and synchrony, ecology of brooding, fecundity, etc.). This research is based on behavioural observations, experimental trials in controlled environments, histology/microscopy, image analysis, and biochemical analysis.
3. Biology and management of the sea cucumber Cucumaria frondosa. This research focuses on the study of the Newfoundland populations of sea cucumbers with respect to an emerging fishery and potential aquaculture program. It involves the study of growth patterns, tagging and aging methods, diets, prey-predator interactions and various other aspects of the biology and ecology of the species.
4. Various other projects on the general biology and ecology of marine invertebrates (e.g. symbioses, trophic ecology, competition, behaviour, morphology, etc.).