Opportunity for PhD student to join the Lake Futures: Algal bloom predictors project

Exciting opportunity for a PhD student to join the Lake Futures: Algal bloom predictors project, funded under the Global Water Futures program. 

The successful candidate would be enrolled in the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Earth and Environmental Sciences graduate program under the Collaborative Water Program, supported by the Water Institute at the University of Waterloo. 

Starting date: January 1, 2020

More information

Nuisance and harmful algal blooms represent a major and growing threat to water security across Canada and the world because of their undesirable ecological, economic and health impacts. This project aims to strengthen the predictive understanding and forecasting of the timing, spatial extent and intensity of algal blooms in the Great Lakes. 

The student will have the opportunity to work with remote sensing observations to derive the relationship between algal distributions and environmental drivers, including inland (precipitation and river discharge) and lake (ice cover, temperature, wind speed, solar radiation) meteorological forcings, nutrient sources, water temperature, light penetration, water quality (water colour, DOC, nutrients) and circulation patterns. Statistical relationships will be identified using multivariate analyses. Bayesian probabilistic and neural network models will be used to further narrow down the drivers that best predict the initiation and proliferation of algal blooms. 


Potential applicants should be highly motivated, with the ability to work independently and collaboratively, and possess strong verbal and written communication skills. Applicants should have meaningful experience in remote sensing techniques and understating of numerical models and statistical analysis. 

To be eligible, the applicant must have successfully defended and submitted their MSc thesis prior to the proposed start date. 

Application instructions

Qualified individuals are encouraged to submit their application by email to Dr. Homa Kheyrollah Pour: h2kheyro@uwaterloo.ca, copying Maggie Norris: maggie.norris@uwaterloo.ca

Please attach a single PDF file that contains a letter of research interest, curriculum vitae, transcripts and the names and contact information of 2-3 references. The subject line should read GWF-Lake Future-PhD 2.3 Position 2020

Evaluation of the applications will begin in May 2019, please submit your application by April 30, 2019. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.