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Graduate Opportunities in Wildlife Disease Ecology, Parasitology

Masters and PhD students

Application deadline: August 1, 2012


One to four (pending funding confirmation) Graduate Student Positions in Wildlife Disease Ecology with a Parasitology focus are available at the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

Positions begin in January, May, and September, 2013.



1. Emergence of nematode parasites in arctic ungulates:

Two students are required to investigate the ecology of invasion, establishment, and emergence of protostrongylid parasites in muskoxen and caribou in the Arctic. One project will focus on describing the emergence and impact on muskoxen, the second project will investigate the life cycles of the parasites and evaluate the roles of host, parasite, environment, and evolutionary factors on parasite invasion and emergence. Both projects require arctic fieldwork as well as intensive laboratory work. Both may start as MSc level projects, but it is expected that the second will evolve into a PhD.[1]


2. Exploring Pathogen Biodiversity at the Livestock–Wildlife Interface:

Two PhD students are required to join a multi-disciplinary team investigating the biodiversity and ecology of pathogens at the wildlife-livestock interface in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, southwestern Alberta. One student will apply quantitative classical and molecular parasitology techniques together with ecological studies on parasite life histories to evaluate parasite transmission among deer, bighorn sheep and cattle. Field and laboratory work is required. A second student will focus on molecular parasitology to develop and apply novel "next generation" sequencing–based approaches to investigate parasite species biodiversity. 


Qualifications: Candidates should be industrious, passionate about science, and must have demonstrated competence as team players. Strong interests in wildlife conservation, disease ecology, and parasitology are desired. A BSc or similar degree in wildlife ecology or a related field is required. A veterinary degree is an asset, but not essential. Good grades (>3.0 on a 4.0 scale, preferably >3.4) are important.


Stipend:  $20 000/yr Canadian will be available with good potential for top-up funding. There are several additional scholarship opportunities for arctic work specific to Canadian citizens. 


Application Deadline: August 1, 2012, or until suitable applicants are?identified.


Email a letter of introduction describing research interests and experience, a current CV, an unofficial copy of transcripts, and 3 references to:


Project 1 and Project 2 Parasite ecology

Project 2 Molecular parasitology

Dr. Susan Kutz, Ecosystem and Public Health

Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

University of Calgary

Dr. John Gilleard,

Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine

University of Calgary



Dr. Susan Kutz,

Department of Ecosystem and Public Health,

University of Calgary, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine.

[1] Applicants who previously applied for the opportunity in muskox disease ecology are encouraged to re-apply for this position


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