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MSc opportunity: Effects of microplastics on freshwater plankton food webs

IISD-ELA · Kenora, Ontario
Department IISD-ELA
Employment Type Contract - ELA
Minimum Experience Entry-level
Compensation 17,500/year

We are seeking a motivated, enthusiastic and dedicated MSc student to work on a project investigating how microplastics affect freshwater algae and zooplankton. The student will have an opportunity to develop research goals aligned with their interests and will collaborate with researchers and students from several universities and government agencies during the 2020 and 2021 field seasons as part of a larger mesocosm project at the IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) (www.iisd.org/ela/). 

 The MSc student will conduct their degree at the University of Manitoba in the Department of Entomology, supervised by Dr. Michael Paterson (IISD – Experimental Lakes Area and University of Manitoba). A significant portion of the student’s time will be spent at the IISD-ELA research station interacting with affiliated scientists, graduate and undergraduate students, and international researchers visiting the site. The IISD-ELA research station is located in northwestern Ontario, approximately a four-hour drive from Winnipeg. Room and board while at the IISD-ELA are provided, as are weekly shuttles between Winnipeg and the research facility.  


A minimum stipend of $17,500 per year will be provided for two years. A BSc in biology, environmental science or a related field is a requirement. Skills that are strong assets (but not requirements) include statistical analysis (proficiency in R is particularly desirable), field and/or laboratory experience, and course work in freshwater ecology/limnology. The student will operate small boats, ATVs and motorized vehicles (vans, light trucks); a valid driver’s licence and other certifications are an asset.  


Interested students should outline in a 1-page cover letter how their skills apply to the proposed project and indicate the date when they are available to begin work (ideally in May 2020, with an intention to be officially enrolled in the MSc program in September 2020).


In addition, a CV and unofficial transcripts should be provided, along with the names of at least two references. Application information should be directed to: Michael Paterson (mpaterson@iisd-ela.org). 

Only suitable candidates will be contacted for an interview. We will begin evaluating applications immediately, but the position will remain open until a suitable candidate is found.



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  • Location
    Kenora, Ontario
  • Department
  • Employment Type
    Contract - ELA
  • Minimum Experience
  • Compensation