Research Assistant I on Microplastics in Freshwater Ecosystems

University of Waterloo

Waterloo, ON, Canada 🇨🇦


Department: Biology 

Employment Type: Temporary 

Time Type: Full-Time 

Hiring Range: $40,831 – $51,039 

Job Category: Research 

Location: CA-ON-Waterloo


Term: 4 months.

The Research Assistant I will work in a supported learning environment to assist the Principal Investigator and other research staff and graduate students as applicable, with various research activities. This position will work in the Biology Department at the University, and perform various field and lab research support duties related to relevant research projects and activities.

Specifically, the research assistant will support field work related to microplastics in freshwater ecosystems, sometimes requiring travel to the Experimental Lakes Area in Northwestern Ontario. They will also support research related to the effects and suppression of invasive Phragmites australis in Southwestern Ontario, which will require travel to Rondeau Provincial Park and the Long Point region on Lake Erie.  Additional research activities may involve sampling in stormwater ponds to study urban biodiversity and pollutants. Lab work will involve processing field collected samples and analysing sediments, water samples, biofilm samples, or invertebrates.

There are 3 positions available.

These roles are contingent upon funding.


Research Support:

  • Work is principally outdoors, working to collect field data and samples from wetlands, lakes or stormwater ponds from research stations or other field study locations.
  • General laboratory maintenance and organization 
  • Assistance in the day to day operations of the Waterloo Wetland Lab
  • Restocking research materials
  • Preparation of materials for experiments according to research specifications
  • Maintains research related records and databases, entering data according to established protocols
  • Carries out simple tests and measurements
  • Assist with routine tasks in data collection, sampling, identification and research preparation
  • Provide general assistance with fieldwork, and collection of specimens/data, as required
  • Assists with special projects and other duties related to the research


  • Completion of post-secondary courses in Ecology or equivalent education and experience, field courses are an asset
  • Preferably possess a degree in the field of Ecology related to wetland or limnological research
  • Demonstrated field experience in ecology research is preferred
  • Demonstrated ability to maintain strict confidentiality
  • Knowledge of University of Waterloo policies and procedures is an asset
  • Full G license, clean driving record and ability to drive University vehicles is required
  • Physical requirements of the job include the ability to walk long distances (> 5 km), walk in uneven terrain, and carry a heavy (40 lbs) load.
  • Must be able to swim and work in boats
  • Experience conducting job hazard analyses and field risk management assessments is an asset
  • Valid first aid (CPR +) is required. Wilderness first aid is an asset
  • Pleasure craft operator’s license is an asset
  • Intermediate computer skills and knowledge of software applications used in an office/lab setting, including word and excel
  • Proven high-quality customer service interactions with faculty, staff and students
  • Proven aptitude for attention to detail
  • Demonstrated decision-making skills, including the ability to ask probing questions and anticipate customer needs.
  • Excellent communication skills, oral and written
  • This position will work primarily in the field in wetlands and on lakes in field camps or out of research stations as well as in a university research laboratory. Hours of work may vary depending on research needs, but will include travel requirements

Equity Statement

The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is co-ordinated within our Office of Indigenous Relations.

The University values the diverse and intersectional identities of its students, faculty, and staff. The University regards equity and diversity as an integral part of academic excellence and is committed to accessibility for all employees. The University of Waterloo seeks applicants who embrace our values of equity, anti-racism and inclusion.  As such, we encourage applications from candidates who have been historically disadvantaged and marginalized, including applicants who identify as First Nations, Métis and/or Inuk (Inuit), Black, racialized, a person with a disability, women and/or 2SLGBTQ+.

All qualified candidates are encouraged to apply; however, Canadians and permanent residents will be given priority.

The University of Waterloo is committed to accessibility for persons with disabilities. If you have any application, interview, or workplace accommodation requests, please contact Human Resources at  or 519-888-4567, ext. 45935.




IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development