Use of acoustic telemetry and First Nations’ traditional knowledge to determine the movements and habitat use of valued aquatic species, and their environmental correlates
Applications are being accepted for up to two students interested in completing a Masters (Science, Environmental Science or related degree) through Dalhousie University. This is an NSERC-funded project seeking to enable better stewardship of marine resources by creating a collaboration among Mi’kmaw technical organizations, Mi’kmaw knowledge holders, academia, and other local stakeholders to increase our understanding of the movements and seasonal habitat use of valued aquatic species in the Bras d’Or Lakes.
Building on Mi’kmaq and Western Knowledge, and in collaboration with the Unama’ki Institute of Natural Resources (UINR), the Mi’kmaw Conservation Group (MCG), Mi’kmaw knowledge holders, and local knowledge holders, acoustic telemetry programs will be designed and executed to document the movements and temporal and spatial habitat use of key aquatic species and link them to environmental correlates. Data and results from the research will flow through Mi’kmaq technical bodies and governance structures, enhancing evolving co-management approaches for marine resources in the study regions. The supervisory team includes Drs. Sara Iverson, Fred Whoriskey, and Megan Bailey at Dalhousie University and the Ocean Tracking Network, as well as Ph.D. candidate Shelley Denny from UINR. Students will also work closely with Mi’kmaw and community partners, as well as Fisheries and Oceans Canada (DFO).
Candidates should have, or be able to readily acquire knowledge on, acoustic telemetry, data analysis, fish ecology, and be willing to work in interdisciplinary teams. Experience conducting field work and performing animal capture and tagging is preferred, but additional training will be provided. While students can be based in Halifax or Cape Breton, travel to field locations and communities in Eskasoni, Nova Scotia and the completion of required coursework at Dalhousie will be expected.
Species selection and research direction will be developed in conjunction with regional experts and community input, but will likely focus on movement and seasonal distribution of American eel (Anguilla rostrata) and American lobster (Homarus americanus).
To apply, please send a cover letter detailing research experience and interests, your CV, current academic transcripts (unofficial is sufficient for now), and the names and reference letters and contact information for 3 references. Please email these documents to Evelien VanderKloet (firstname.lastname@example.org) with the Subject line “Masters Application_Bras d’Or Region” as soon as possible. While we intend to start the positions by Spring 2019, official academic enrolment can coincide with the academic calendar. While we welcome candidates from all ethnicities, preference will be given to Indigenous students. Please contact us directly if you have any questions regarding the project. Minimum admission requirements are based on standards set by Dalhousie University Faculty of Graduate Studies (https://www.dal.ca/faculty/gradstudies.html).