Careers in the Plant Sciences

MSc. or Ph.D student position in Plant Phylogenetic Community Ecology

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

Position Title: MSc. or Ph.D student position in Plant Phylogenetic Community Ecology
Position Type: Research Assistant
Application Review Begins: Saturday, February 29, 2020
Application Deadline: Monday, June 01, 2020
Institution: Memorial University of Newfoundland
Department/Division: Biology
Field (e.g., systematics): Phylogenetic Community Ecology
City: St. John's, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada
General Information: I am seeking a motivated MSc or Ph.D. student to conduct a study that aims to understand the phylogenetic diversity of the flora of Newfoundland, and the phylogenetic structure of different habitat types in this island of the north Atlantic. Knowledge of how phylogenetically diverse the flora is in different areas will inform conservation actions in the province. The role of plant traits on the historical assembly of these plant communities could also be addressed, and other hypotheses of the student’s interest. The student will work under the mentorship of Dr. Julissa Roncal, and collaborate with Dr. Michael Burchinski and Dr. Susan Meades.
Qualifications/Requirements: • A BS degree with Honours or MSc degree in a related discipline (e.g. biology, botany, conservation, ecology, molecular biology, bioinformatics)
• Strong knowledge of phylogenetic and phylogenetic comparative methods, ability to code in R.
• Experience in organismic botany, ecology, and conservation 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: The student will reconstruct a species-level phylogeny of the 1,300 native plants of Newfoundland using publicly available DNA sequences. Conduct all phylogenetic comparative analyses. Research dissemination through oral presentations at scientific meetings and publication in peer-reviewed journals. The student is expected to assist in teaching laboratories for 56 hours during the fall and winter semesters, but not in the spring.
Application Instructions (submission methods, etc.): Project start date is September 2020. The MSc and Ph.D. program comprises two and four years with an annual stipend of $19,000 and $21,000, respectively. 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. Position fully funded by NSERC.

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 or 20,500 (if GPA is >85% student can get an additional $ 5,000)
Contact Name: Julissa Roncal,