Research Associate (Biological Sciences)

University of Calgary

Calgary, AB, Canada 🇨🇦

Job ID: 26882

Updated: September 13, 2022

Location: Main Campus

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta. The City of Calgary is also home to MĂ©tis Nation of Alberta, Region III.

Position Overview

The Department of Biological Sciences in the Faculty of Science invites applications for a Research Associate. This Full-time Fixed Term position is for approximately 6 months (based on length of grant funding), with the possibility of extension.

The Research Associates will be members of a collaborative team working collectively on a multi-year research and assessment project supported by the Alberta-Canada Oil Sands Monitoring Program (OSM). The position will be under the supervision of the CAIP Research Chair in Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Svare Research Chair – Integrated Watershed Processes, and will interact with project collaborators/partners at Alberta Environment and Parks, Environment and Climate Change Canada, Knowledge Holders in regional Indigenous communities, and scientific and technical expertise from industry and the private sectors. The role involves collaboration with a multidisciplinary team of water scientists including, aquatic and fish biologists/ecologists, geochemists, hydrologists, water quality/quantity modellers, and water-related engineers within the University and external collaborators. A team-focus mindset and excellent communication skills are expected by the candidates.

The successful candidate will have a MSc or PhD degree in the biological sciences or data science, or a closely related field, including but not limited to toxicology, statistics, and environmental sciences. Experience with statistical analysis, biomonitoring, and analysis of large data sets is imperative. The position requires excellent communication, writing and interpersonal skills, intellectual independence, and willingness to travel outside of campus for extended periods of time.

The successful candidates will contribute expertise to a range of activities contributing to the further development and implementation of an integrated regional aquatic monitoring framework for the oil sands region. Key areas of activities include:  exploration and analysis of data for aquatic components (identification/validation of environmental indicators); development of an adaptive monitoring toolbox for the aquatic component of the program with associated statistical tools/decision support systems; identification of stressor-response (adverse outcome) pathways requiring potential investigations of cause; and targeted analyses/outputs to inform ongoing state of environment public reporting for the aquatic component of the OSM program.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

  • Working with large, diverse datasets of spatial and temporal water quality, water quantity and biological/ecological information
  • Use statistical and spatial analyses and modeling and/or GIS/geostatistical approaches to develop an improved conceptual and quantitative understanding of patterns (magnitude, duration and extent) of environment change in parameters/indicators of water quality, quantity and ecosystem health in the watersheds of the oil sands region
  • Analysis and interpretation of information/data in support of publications, presentations, etc.
  • Present and report research results at relevant conferences/meetings/workshops
  • Provide one-on-one training and support to students in the discipline, both at the graduate and undergraduate levels
  • Maintain a safe, collegial, interactive, and welcoming research environment

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • Must have a MSc in Aquatic Biology/Ecology, Fish Biology/Ecology, Hydro-ecology, Environmental Chemistry, Data Science, or a closely related discipline (e.g., water resources, environmental sciences and/or statistics)
  • Experience in data analysis and visualization using software such as R, SPSS, ArcGIS, or Python, etc. is required
  • Previous demonstrated experience applying data science methodologies with complex environmental data
  • Must be capable of working in a self-directed manner within a team environment with a demonstrated ability to collaborate with diverse colleagues, including industrial, municipal and community partners
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Knowledge of the environmental issues of the Alberta Oil Sands region is desirable
  • Knowledge of the principles of Environmental Effects Monitoring approaches is desirable
  • Teaching experience and demonstrated ability to support graduate student and supervise undergraduate students is desirable

Application Deadline: September 20, 2022

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.

Additional Information

Applications should consist of a single PDF file combining the required documents listed below: 

  • A 1-page cover letter expressing interest in this position
  • A CV with a list of publications
  • A 2-page research statement summarizing previous research experience and qualifications
  • Copies of 2 published papers relevant to this position
  • The names and contact information of at least two references with knowledge of your research and academic experience

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Technical Job Family, Phase 2.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website. For more information visit Careers in the Faculty of Science.

The University strongly recommends all faculty and staff are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

As an equitable and inclusive employer, the University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their academic and professional success while they are here. In particular, we encourage members of the designated groups (women, Indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, members of visible/racialized minorities, and diverse sexual orientation and gender identities) to apply. To ensure a fair and equitable assessment, we offer accommodation at any stage during the recruitment process to applicants with disabilities. Questions regarding [diversity] EDI at UCalgary can be sent to the Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion ([email protected]) and requests for accommodations can be sent to Human Resources ([email protected]).

We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.





IHE Delft Institute for Water Education - MSc in Water and Sustainable Development