Tuesday, February 2, 2021

MSc position, Bees@School project – Fall 2021

 Changing wild bee species distributions and pollination service shifts

A MSc graduate student position is available in my research group in the Department of Integrative Biology at the College of Biological Sciences - University of Guelph. Research in our group focusses on biodiversity genomics and the development of metabarcoding and metagenomic approaches for biodiversity research. We seek not only information on how communities are composed but also how its members are interconnected and interdependent. In addition to simply counting and registering we explore relationships between community members, to better understand the functional competence of communities, and to model responses to changes in the environment. 


I am looking for an enthusiastic MSc graduate student who wants to work on a research project that is done in close collaboration with schools across Canada and the Centre for Biodiversity Genomics. Each year the Bees@School project teams up with 200 school classrooms to provide critical information on the changing geographic distributions of plant-pollinator interactions across Canada, and be of considerable benefit to everyone as pollinator-dependent foods already make up a third of our diet. By combining state-of-the-art DNA metabarcoding of bees, and the pollen they carry, with distribution and climate change data, we explore how distributions of Canada’s bee species are changing along with climate. The project also determines how pollination services shift across Canada, with impacts on food production and landscape management advice to improve vital species chances of persisting in agricultural landscapes and alleviating pollination deficits.


Desired quali­fications include excellent communication and strong writing skills (interactions with both school teachers and students are part of the project). The project involves extensive molecular laboratory work (metabarcoding), computational approaches that include some programming and the use of high performance computing infrastructure, as well as GIS modelling. No extensive prior experience is required, but applicants must be willing to learn. Attention to detail and an aptitude towards sometimes tedious manual labour is an asset. 


Highly motivated students with a BSc degree and honours research experience (or equivalent) will be considered. Candidates with strong background in Ecology, Molecular Biology, or Environmental Biology are preferred. This position is open to Canadian citizens or permanent residents. Other strong candidates are also welcome to apply. To learn more about this project and the application process, contact me (dsteinke@uoguelph.ca) with your CV, transcript (unofficial is fine), and contact information for two references. 





Dr. Dirk Steinke

Department of Integrative Biology | Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

University of Guelph

E-mail: dsteinke@uoguelph.ca