Graduate student opportunities in quantitative oceanography, ecology and conservation of North Atlantic right whales


The Davies Lab at the University of New Brunswick in Saint John, Canada, invites applications for two graduate students at the M.Sc. or Ph.D. level starting in May or September 2019. Research in our lab is highly interdisciplinary, bridging oceanography, ecology and applied conservation science, and using North Atlantic right whales and their zooplankton (copepod) prey as model organisms.

Current research projects include: (1) explaining variation in right whale foraging habitat use patterns based on multi-scale oceanographic processes affecting their prey, (2) novel approaches to empirical measurement of copepod distribution, quantity and quality (i.e., lipid- energy), and (3) developing applications of near real-time passive acoustic monitoring and autonomous platform technologies to explain right whale habitat use and facilitate risk mitigation from vessel strike and fishing gear entanglement.

Graduate students are invited to join the Whales, Habitat and Listening Experiment (WHaLE) funded by MEOPAR and other major funding. Students will have the opportunity to conduct research with partners in industry, government, NGO and academic communities in Canada and the US. WHaLE and SWIMM involve field work in the NW Atlantic, with opportunities, depending on student interest, to work with autonomous underwater vehicles and remote sensing technology, and/or participate in joint marine mammal – oceanographic research cruises co-led by UNBSJ, Dalhousie University, Canadian Whale Institute and New England Aquarium. Through MEOPAR students will join the ‘Meo-Peers’ student network and receive specialized job and skills training.

The University of New Brunswick Saint John is located on the Bay of Fundy in the heart of right whale foraging territory. New Brunswick has a diverse range of marine, estuarine, and freshwater habitats, making it an ideal location to study aquatic ecophysiology. Connections with the Canadian Rivers Institute and the Huntsman Marine Sciences Centre enhance research possibilities. The Department of Biological Sciences at UNBSJ is a collegial and research-intensive group with a particular strength in marine biology. Saint John is a vibrant port city with a historical core, great nightlife and restaurants, and access to wilderness and the ocean on its doorstep. Competitive stipend will be provided, and top-ups are available for scholarship recipients.

Please send a brief description of your background and interest, resume, transcripts and contact information for 3 references to

Applications due March 1.


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