Careers in the Plant Sciences

MSc. student position in Rare Plant Conservation Genetics

Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada - St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Position Title: MSc. student position in Rare Plant Conservation Genetics
Position Type: Research Assistant
Application Review Begins: Monday, April 22, 2019
Application Deadline: Monday, July 01, 2019
Institution: Memorial University of Newfoundland in Canada
Department/Division: Biology
Field (e.g., systematics): Conservation Genetics
City: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
General Information: We are seeking a motivated MSc student to conduct research on the conservation genetics of endangered plant species of Newfoundland in Canada. Two species of Braya (Brassicaceae) and one species of Salix (Salicaceae) are endemic to the Limestone Barrens of Newfoundland ( for more information), and are endangered under the Canadian Species at Risk Act. We aim to elucidate the intraspecific genetic variation and population genetic structure for the conservation and management of these endangered species including the establishment of a genetically diverse seed bank, and the identification of stock for future reintroductions. We propose to use Genotyping-by-Sequencing (GBS), a cost-effective next generation sequencing method that permits the retrieval of millions of short DNA markers, and which we have successfully used in other plant projects at MUN Biology (Podocarpus, Vaccinium, Parajubaea). Other research questions of interest to the student are welcome within the framework of Conservation Biology or Genetics. The MSc student will work under the mentorship of three professors: Dr. Julissa Roncal (plant evolutionary biologist), Dr. Luise Hermanutz (conservation ecologist) and Dr. Lourdes Pena-Castillo (bioinformatician).
Qualifications/Requirements: • A BS degree with Honours in a related discipline (e.g. biology, botany, conservation, ecology, molecular biology, bioinformatics)
• Experience in organismic botany, ecology, conservation science, phylogenetic and/or population genetics analyses, and bioinformatic analysis of high-throughput sequencing data is highly desirable.
• Excellent writing, analytical, organization and communication skills. Attention to detail.
• Written and oral proficiency in English is mandatory for international students. TOEFL test required for admission to the university, but not the GRE tests.
Responsibilities: Project start date is September 2019. The MSc program comprises two years with an annual stipend of $19,000. The student is expected to teach on average 10 hr/wk during the fall and winter semesters but not in the spring. The department of Biology at Memorial University has 29 faculty members and over 100 graduate students. Memorial University is Atlantic Canada’s largest university offering a multicultural environment. Screening will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled. Note this position is subject to funding.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): Interested applicants should send their CV, a one-page statement of research interests and career goals, transcripts, and contact information of 3 references (who have agreed to be contacted) in a single pdf or word file to Dr. Julissa Roncal at Email:
For more information on the research group visit:
For instructions on how to apply to Memorial’s graduate program visit:
Compensation Range: 19,000 annually
Contact Name: Julissa Roncal,