Application instructions

In your application, please include a cover letter identifying the position of interest (SN PhD 1, SN PHD 2, FORMBLOOM PHD 1) and stating your motivation for the position and how your research interests align with it, a curriculum vita, a copy of your academic transcripts, and contact information of three references. All documentation should be sent as a single PDF file to raoul.couture@chm.ulaval.caApplications will be reviewed as they are received, and the positions will remain open until filled.

Laval University is located in Québec City, Canada. Candidates should be fluent in written and spoken English and interested in working in a primarily French-speaking environment. Read more about coming to Laval University as an international applicant

Two PhD positions with the Sentinel North Research Chair in Aquatic Geochemistry

We invite PhD applications for two positions with the Aquatic Geochemistry group at Laval University. The students will take part in the Chair's research program focusing on the feedback between current environmental changes and carbon dynamics in lakes and thaw ponds of the northern landscape, and on the repercussions of such changes on the biogeochemical cycles of key elements.

The first project (SN PHD1) aims to resolve the sources and sinks of carbon and associated elements such as oxygen, iron, and phosphorus in northern lakes selected from the boreal to the arctic zones. The project will benefit from, and improve upon, existing data streams of high-frequency measurements in a range of lakes from Center for Northern Studies existing stations. Field campaigns will aim to sample soil, sediment, lake water column, and pore water to quantify solid and aqueous species of key elements. Of particular interest will be the role of climate, light, metal-organic matter interactions and microbial metabolism in controlling the fate of carbon and oxygen across environmental gradients. Interest and availability for field work in the North, as well as a strong background in a relevant field (e.g., geochemistry, analytical or environmental chemistry, limnology) is required.

The second project (SN PHD2) will focus on theoretical and numerical modelling of biogeochemical processes in lakes and lake sediments. The project will build on multi-components reactive-transport and lake models built in Matlab and Python in our group. The models will be improved to better represent the transformation and fluxes of carbon, nutrient and metals across reactive interfaces, incorporating recent advances in the biogeochemistry of lakes. Simulations will be performed to predict lake water quality at the time-scales of hours, seasons and decades under future climate. Applicants must have a strong quantitative background in a relevant field (e.g., mathematics, bio/eco-informatics, environmental engineering, information technology). Experience with relevant programming and scripting platforms and the ability to manipulate and analyze large data set is desirable. An interest in issues related to water management and environmental quality is a merit.

For both position preferences will be given to applications with a track record of research productivity in relevant natural and engineering fields.

One PhD position in the FORMBLOOM Global Water Future project

Linking national-scale efforts to understand the role of sediment processes in controlling water quality in eutrophic lakes.

Eutrophication, and related harmful algal blooms (HABs), is widely considered the most significant stressor affecting fresh waters. Part of multidisciplinary effort to understand and predict the occurrence of HAB in lakes, we are seeking a highly motivated candidate with strong quantitative skills who can work independently in a collaborative environment. The successful candidate will conduct research to implement, test, and revise numerical models of biogeochemical and diagenetic processes taking place in lake sediments.

The project (FORMBLOOM PHD 1) will advance our understanding of carbon, nutrient and metal fluxes across eutrophic lakes with different underlying geochemistry, and aid in predicting the role of sediments in altering effects of eutrophication, trajectories of eutrophication recovery, and HAB risk.

Background and interest in water quality or reactive transport modelling are preferred, along with a Master’s degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university in a relevant academic discipline. Proficiency with scientific computing environment such as Matlab and Python is required. Candidates should be fluent in written and spoken English and interested in working in a primarily French-speaking environment. Canadian citizens and permanent residents will be given priority.

The successful applicant will be working closely with Dr. Couture and collaborating with Dr. Jason Venkiteswaran (Wilfrid Laurier University) and Dr. Helen Baulch (University of Saskatchewan). The project will bridge activities within the SN Research Chair in Aquatic Geochemistry with those of the FORMBLOOM Global Water Futures project, benefiting from working in a multi-university and multidisciplinary research team, as well as from interactions with partner organizations and ecosystem managers.

The successful applicant will have access to a wide range of datasets from detailed field campaigns such as Buffalo Pound (Saskatchewan, a key regional drinking water source), Lake 227 (Ontario, a well-studied experimental lake at IISD-ELA), Conestogo Lake (Ontario, a recreational water body in a highly impacted watershed), Lake Plesne (Czech Republic, a flagship monitoring site for acidification and eutrophication) and Lake Vansjø (Norway, a drinking water and recreational lake monitored for several decades).