PhD or Postdoctoral Fellow Opportunity Grizzly Bears AB, Canada

Project Opportunity:

Railway mitigation for grizzly bears in the mountain parks

I seek an exceptional Ph.D. student or Postdoctoral Fellow to study habitat selection, movement behaviour, and transportation mitigation in the context of grizzly bear rail strikes in the mountain parks.  The core study area is the CPR line through Banff and Yoho National Parks, with collaborative involvement by adjacent jurisdictions.  This opportunity stems from the Grizzly Bear Conservation Initiative, a joint effort by Canadian Pacific Railway and Parks Canada Agency, and provides salary and research expenses for three years with a base in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Alberta working with Colleen Cassady St. Clair.  Modest additional grant writing may be necessary.  Within a team of other researchers and in a wider collaborative environment with other researchers, the incumbent will have primary responsibility for

  • supervising summer assistants between April and October, annually,
  • refining and conducting protocols to measure environmental variables via ground and remote sensing methods,
  • analyzing and interpreting GPS collar data,
  • placing and maintaining automated recorders to collect visual and acoustic data,
  • assisting with project administration, particularly as it concerns field work,
  • providing timely accounting and performance reports with assistance from other team members, and
  • maintaining regular, proactive, and comprehensive communication about all aspects of the research project.

Beyond working towards existing research objectives associated with these tasks, there is scope for the candidate to develop modest additional research questions and methods, again within a collaborative team-based environment.

The ideal candidate will have an excellent academic background, superb written and oral communication skills, demonstrated leadership ability, organizational prowess, extensive field experience, a background in wildlife ecology, a commitment to finishing tasks, a passion for wildlife conservation, and an affable nature.  Additional relevant, but not essential, attributes include experience with GIS, remote sensing, and GPS technology, advanced statistical aptitude, knowledge of bear biology and mountain ecology, and experience with transportation mitigation.

Interested applicants should send an email with the subject heading “Applicant for bear project” to Colleen St. Clair ( that includes a brief summary of relevant expertise, a CV, and contact information for three references.   Review of applications will begin on February 1 and continue until the position is filled.  Ideally, the candidate will begin in April 2013 or sooner.  With apologies, we may contact in the short term only those from whom we request more information.

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