Funded Graduate Student Opportunities

 (via AGU)
University of Waterloo
Waterloo, ON, Canada
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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Watershed scale generation and transport of sediment associated nutrients resulting from forest management strategies at multiple spatial scales.

2 PhD positions are available.

Start date: As soon as possible

The successful applicants will work in the laboratory of Dr Mike Stone at the University of Waterloo and conduct field work at selected watershed research platforms in forested regions across Canada. Students will enroll in the Department of Geography and the Environmental Management and participate in the Collaborative Water Program, supported by the Water Institute at the University of Waterloo. 

About the project 

The drinking water for at least 60% of the largest Canadian urban centers originates in forested watersheds. Because the health of forested regions and waters they supply is under threat from numerous pressures, protection of drinking water sources is of increasing strategic national importance. The focus of this research network is to provide and mobilize new knowledge regarding the impacts of different forest management strategies on water quality and treatability across the major ecozones of Canada and the northern U.S. to assess their suitability as SWP technologies.

The Downstream Effects Propagation Theme of this network will focus on experimental work (field and laboratory) and modeling to describe watershed scale generation and transport of sediment associated nutrients resulting from forest management strategies at multiple spatial scales. The goal is to improve our understanding of physico-chemical processes and refine models to describe hydro-chemical responses in multiple headwater systems as a function of their unique landscape and hydro-climatic attributes on drinking water treatability. The broad research objectives are to 1) evaluate processes that drive of drinking water treatability metrics and proxies (sediment/turbidity, P, and DOC) at both headwater and regional scales and 2) model their downstream propagation in regions with different hydro-ecological characteristics and forest harvest strategies, and 3) assess the impact of forest management technologies on drinking water supplies for selected watershed research platforms across Canada.

Student will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with other members of a large team of Canadian and International researchers at a range of spatial scales to evaluate, refine and develop models to improve our understanding of forest harvesting strategies on water treatability.

PhD Project 1: Field and modeling studies to quantify storage and propagation of fine sediment through the river network

PhD Project 2: Field and modeling studies to quantify propagation of phosphorus and DOC through the river network


Qualifications and skills

To be eligible, PhD applicants must have successfully defended and submitted their MSc thesis prior to the proposed start date. Applicants should have field and laboratory experience and strong interests in fundamental science and related modelling related to downstream propagation of sediment and associated nutrients A strong quantitative background in geochemistry and sediment-associated nutrient dynamics in rivers is preferable. All applicants should be highly motivated, with the ability to work independently and collaboratively, and possess strong verbal and written communication skills.


How to apply

Qualified individuals are encouraged to submit their application by email to Dr. Mike Stone (PhD1 and 2). Please attach a single PDF file that contains a letter of research interest, curriculum vitae, transcripts and the names and contact information of 2-3 references. The subject line of the email should read Downstream Propagation Research.

Evaluation of the applications will begin January 2019. We thank all applicants for their interest in advance but only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.