Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE)

Current Opportunities

The University of Lethbridge currently invites applications for the following studentships and postdoctoral fellowships within the Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE).

Dr. Greg Pyle, Biological Sciences | MSc, PhD and PDF Opportunities

Dr. Hester Jiskoot, Geography | MSc, PhD and PDF Opportunities

Dr. Dan Johnson, Environmental Science | MSc and PhD Opportunities

Dr. Matt Letts, Geography | MSc Opportunity

The University of Lethbridge offers PhD studentship/assistantship opportunities in a range of multidisciplinary areas in sciences.

For more information or to apply contact the School of Graduate Studies:

Phone: 403.329.5194
Email: sgs@uleth.ca

Application deadline for PhD programs is February 1, 2014.

Dr. Greg Pyle is an aquatic ecotoxicologist in the Department of Biological Sciences whose research program investigates the effects of environmental contaminants on chemosensory function and behaviour in aquatic animals. He currently has fully funded positions available for graduate students at the MSc and PhD level, and one position available for a PDF.

Research projects include:

  1. MSc student focusing on local fish population adaptation to contaminants associated with bitumen extraction near the oil sands operations of northern Alberta.
  2. MSc (or PhD) student looking at the single and combined (mixture) effects of metals on behaviour and olfaction in freshwater fish.
  3. PhD student to study the physiological response of fish exposed to contaminants associated with oil sands extraction.
  4. PhD student to examine the effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals associated with municipal water treatment on amphibian olfaction and behaviour.
  5. PDF to examine the effects of changing water hardness on freshwater animals. This PDF will be instrumental in drafting a water quality guideline for water hardness—the first of its kind in Canada.

For more information, please contact Dr. Greg Pyle or visit his website.

Dr. Hester Jiskoot is a glaciologist in the Department of Geography and member of the Water Institute for Sustainable Environments (WISE) at the University of Lethbridge. She has funded MSc and PhD student positions and one PDF position to work in a research team on her NSERC-funded research program "Effects of Arctic sea fog on glacier melt", which a main focus on glaciers in Greenland and Arctic Canada.

Research projects include the following:

  1. Arctic coastal fog: Climate station data and analysis (MSc: filled): Knowledge of weather and climate, data selection, statistical data analysis, trend analysis and spatial statistics, graphical analysis and presentation skills.
  2. Arctic coastal fog: Satellite data and analysis (PhD /MSc): Knowledge of optical remote sensing (RS) of clouds, satellite data selection, RS classification and manual interpretation, RS and GIS software use for statistical data analysis with emphasis on trend analysis and spatial statistics, DEM analysis.
  3. Short-term glacier melt, albedo and calving variability (MSc): Knowledge of surface ablation and calving, and remote sensing of glacier systems, semi-automated and manual digitization of calving margins from high resolution images.
  4. Glacier variations of tidewater and land-terminating glaciers (PhD/PDF): Knowledge of glacier system response to climate change and of calving processes, GIS and RS-based glacier inventories, historical glacier fluctuation analysis, satellite image processing/differencing.
  5. Fog parameterisations in spatially distributed melt models (PhD (filled)/PDF): Knowledge of glacier energy balance and ablation processes, data selection of sky and glacier properties, process modelling (GIS-based and numerical), programming skills, model sensitivity experiments, comparisons with published ablation curves and melt observations.

Located in the Alberta Water and Environmental Science Building (AWESB) and affiliation with WISE and the Amethyst Program will provide a vibrant research environment with state-of-the-art facilities and equipment. Between 2-5 students will work simultaneously on overlapping projects in order to create a research environment where exchange of knowledge and research skills are facilitated. Students will participate in weekly to bi-weekly research group/paper discussion group meetings. Some opportunities for participation in fieldwork in the Canadian Rockies exist. Participation in regional and (inter)national conferences will be encouraged and considered integral collaborative HQP training mechanisms. Attendance and participation in research seminars in the Geography Department, AWESB and on campus will also be encouraged. MSc students will complete between 2-4 and PhD students between 0-4 graduate-level courses, one of which is the departmental ‘Graduate Research Methods’.

For more information contact Dr. Hester Jiskoot or visit her website.

Dr. Dan Johnson is currently a Professor of Environmental Science at the University of Lethbridge, with research in biogeography, environmentally sustainable agriculture, entomology, ecological modeling, biodiversity, rational pest management, biological control, ecology, animal movement, biometeorology, alternatives to chemical pesticides, insects as vectors of plant diseases, methods of forecasting, wildlife ecology, environmental safety, data analysis and experimentation. He is currently Principal Investigator and National Coordinator of the Canadian Zebra Chip and Potato Psyllid Monitoring Network. His academic training included research and graduate degrees at the Institute of Animal Resource Ecology at the University of British Columbia. He has conducted research and taught short courses in China, Africa, and Southeast Asia. He currently teaches university courses in biogeography, environmental science, natural resources, and data analysis. He is also interested in environmental law and policy, and served as a member of the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board (2007-2013).

Positions are available at the MSc or PhD levels sustainable agriculture, invasive species, and reductions in use of pesticide. A new project beginning in 2014 will focus on the biogeography of potato psyllids and zebra chip pathogen.

For more information, please contact Dr. Dan Johnson or visit his website.

Dr. Matt Letts is an associate professor of Geography and associate dean of the Faculty of Arts and Science. Dr. Letts is currently recruiting an MSc student in plant ecophysiology. For more information, please contact Dr. Matt Letts or visit his website.