Post Doctoral Fellowship

Kenora, ON, CA

IISD Experimental Lakes Area (IISD-ELA) is one of the world’s most influential freshwater research facilities. It features a collection of 58 small lakes and their watersheds in northwestern Ontario, Canada. For over 50 years, scientists at IISD-ELA have conducted whole-ecosystem experiments and made significant scientific discoveries related to issues such as acid rain, mercury from air pollution, algal blooms and pharmaceutical chemicals in water. The facility is operated by the International Institute for Sustainable Development—an independent think tank headquartered in Winnipeg.

IISD-ELA, with support from FortWhyte Alive, is offering a postdoctoral fellowship in the area of Terrestrial Wildlife Ecology.  

The fellow can expect to be a fully participating member of the IISD-ELA science team and an engaged member of the FortWhyte education and outreach team. Potential areas of research at the IISD-ELA field station may include ecology, physiology, adaptive biology or environmental toxicology of small or large mammals, birds amhibians or reptiles.  As a member of the research community at IISD-ELA, the candidate will have opportunities for collaboration with internal IISD-ELA scientists and visiting external researchers and will be afforded access to a 50-year database on IISD-ELA lakes and watersheds, characterizing hydrology, water chemistry and nutrients, primary production, phytoplankton, zooplankton and fish communities (including mark-recapture studies on fishes). In addition, IISD-ELA has a similarly extensive record of local weather and meteorology. These data provide a powerful tool for understanding whole-ecosystem changes and linkages across trophic levels in both experimental systems and unmanipulated long-term monitoring sites. 

We are seeking a candidate who values original research and who has a vision for leveraging the IISD-ELA’s extensive database to address pressing terrestrial wildlife research while maintaining an education and outreach profile at FortWhyte. Specifically, proposals that make strong connections between IISD-ELA’s freshwater research program and its extensive database and the educational program at FortWhyte will be favoured. A small research allowance may be available to support the proposed work; however, candidates who have a demonstrated ability to secure independent program research funds will be viewed favourably.


  • Under the direction of the IISD-ELA Head Scientist, the postdoctoral fellow will be responsible for:
  • Conducting an original research program at the IISD-ELA field station.
  • Identifying and leveraging funding to develop an independent research program.  
  • Establishing and maintaining ongoing linkages between the research program at IISD-ELA and the education and outreach activities at FortWhyte.
  • Communicating and interacting with IISD-ELA staff, collaborators and the public to provide specific advice and general education about environmental issues.
  • Other duties as assigned. 


  • A PhD in biology, environmental science, terrestrial ecology, forestry or other similarly related field
  • Keen and hard-working
  • A strong understanding of aquatic ecology is an asset
  • Experience in developing and leading a research program
  • Experience in managing students
  • Excellence in written and oral communication
  • Experience operating small motorized vessels with an outboard motor
  • Must be willing to work long hours and in diverse weather conditions
  • Ability to work safely in a remote environment that requires flexibility and teamwork
  • Must be willing to live in shared accommodations and to share cooking responsibilities with co-workers as required
  • ATV training certification is an asset
  • Ability to speak French and/or Ojibwa is considered an asset
  • Must possess valid:
    • First Aid/CPR certificate
    • Pleasure Craft Operators Card
    • Driver’s license

Work Conditions: 

The position will be based at the IISD-ELA field site for between 6–9 months per year. Room and board while at the field station are provided, including laundry facilities. Shuttle vans are available to transport people to/from the camp each week (to Winnipeg or Kenora), or the individual may decide to remain on site. More information about the IISD Experimental Lakes Area organization and the ELA research facility can be found at  


One-year term (starting October 2018) with the possibility of extension for an additional 2 years. 

To apply for this position:

The application should consist of a brief (1-page) cover letter indicating the candidate’s interest in the position and the key strengths that they will contribute to the IISD-ELA and FortWhyte teams; a curriculum vitae that includes contact information (names and e-mail addresses) for three potential referees; and a brief description of past research accomplishments (2 pages max.). Applicants should also provide a concise proposal (3 pages max.) that outlines a 3-year plan to: 

  • Conduct an original research program at the IISD-ELA field station.
  • Identify and leverage funding to develop an independent research program.  
  • Establish and maintain ongoing linkages between the research program at IISD-ELA and the education and outreach activities at FortWhyte.
  • Communicate and interact with IISD-ELA staff, collaborators and the public to provide specific advice and general education about environmental issues.

Copies of two of the candidate’s most significant publications should also be provided.

Applicants are encouraged to contact an IISD-ELA scientist to discuss the viability of potential research topics. Information about our science research team, including contact information, can be found below:

Short-listed applicants will be invited to conduct a one-way video interview as part of the selection process, followed by an in-person interview or phone interview depending on the location of the applicant. Please note you will be contacted during the recruitment process only if selected to move onto the next stage. However, all applicants will be notified once the recruitment is closed.

Compensation:  $ 47,000 CAD

The successful application will also have a small research budget available for equipment and supplies.

Application deadline:  September 15, 2018