*OPPORTUNITY* for a PhD position - fully funded for 4 y

Thursday, June 3, 2021

The Rooney Lab is recruiting a PhD student to study the bioconcentration of pesticides in aquatic biofilms and their risk to freshwater food webs!

Image of students collecting biofilm samples in the field

Background: Recently, aquatic biofilms (the microbial community that colonizes submerged surfaces)  were discovered to bioconcentrate a diverse suite of herbicides, fungicides and insecticides from the surrounding water, providing a critical water purification service.  Yet concentrations in biofilms might reach levels toxic to biofilm community members, compromising their function and shifting their community composition. More, bioconcentration may affect biofilm consumers like grazing invertebrates, tadpoles and larval fish.  The successful PhD applicant will work with collaborators at the University of Guelph to investigate the use of biofilms as a living integrated sampler to determine the occurrence and concentration of pesticides in stormwater and agricultural streams. The student will also investigate whether harmful pollutants concentrated in aquatic biofilms represent a threat to wetland food webs.

Graduate School: the successful student will be enrolled at the University of Waterloo, Biology Dept. starting by Jan 2022. Domestic students are guaranteed a min annual stipend of $27,000/yr. More details: https://uwaterloo.ca/biology/graduate-studies

Requirements: BSc. or MSc. in Biology, Environmental Science, or related field; demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and work outdoors; strong oral and written communication skills; experience or interest in algae and microbial communities, pesticide ecotoxicology and chemistry, bioinformatics, and community metabolism.

Instructions: Email rrooney@uwaterloo.ca, Subject: Pesticides and Biofilms 2021; 1) cover letter stating your research interests and how they align with the pesticides and biofilms project and your reasons for pursuing a grad degree; 2) a short CV noting your cumulative average and your average for the last 2 years of your last degree; 3) unofficial university transcripts;  and 4) contact information for 3 references.  Only short-listed applicants will be contacted.

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