Graduate Research Opportunities

I’m always happy to chat about research opportunities for students with interests in terrestrial hydrology and/or remote sensing. Positions are available for students at the PhD or MSc level. Several funded positions are typically available to students interested in the applied use of GIS and remote sensing for observation of soil moisture (both passive and active sensors), soil freeze thaw processes, and agricultural land management.  All projects provide excellent opportunities for combining field work, laboratory and computer analysis.  We have field sites in the arctic, within boreal forests, and in agricultural regions.  Students with backgrounds in Physical Geography or Geomatics, Physical Sciences, Engineering or Computer Sciences are encouraged to contact me to discuss available projects and funding opportunities.

Environmental Governance

I am always looking for outstanding graduate students with interests and expertise in environmental governance most generally. More narrowly, my current research funding would support: MA and PhD students focused on any of: novel governance in Canada's mining sector; Indigenous communities, energy transitions, and carbon management; and agri-environmental stewardship in highly productive landscapes.  I am no longer looking for students to begin fall 2021.

The Surface Processes Research Group (SPRG) is looking for enthusiastic scholars to join our research team as a funded MSc candidate in Fall 2020.  In particular, individuals driven by curiosity and a keen sense for understanding the processes that shape the world around us through a geoscience lens.

  • Potential graduate or senior undergraduates interested in how fluvial geomorphology and ecohydrology intersect within the context of disturbed systems (e.g., land use land change, climate variability, pre & post disasters or extreme events) are encouraged to get in touch via email if you have any questions or would like to discuss the topics listed on the SPRG webpage.

I am seeking motivated graduate students with a strong background in Remote Sensing to work on topics relating to optical and SAR remote sensing, ecosystem change dynamics and disaster monitoring. The following position is currently available in my research group:

  • Developing an Eastern Hemlock inventory for Ontario using satellite remote sensing imagery (MSc, Fall 2021)

Please contact me at bdv@uoguelph.ca for a more detailed discussion on this project. Interested candidates are encouraged to send me a resume/CV, a statement of interest and unofficial transcripts

Forest Ecology, Climate Change, Wildfire

Please contact me regarding potential graduate student opportunities (zgedalof@uoguelph.ca (email address) ). I encourage applications from not only biogeographers, but also individuals with backgrounds in ecology, botany, climatology, forestry, statistics, or other related disciplines.

Political Ecology, Marine Conservation, Ocean Governance, and Island Futures

I welcome inquiries from prospective graduate students (MA or PhD) who share my research interests in marine conservation governance, “blue economy” policies and impacts, and/or the science-policy interface in the context of conservation and environmental governance, particularly in islands. Please contact me directly to discuss opportunities; inquiries should include a CV/resume, unofficial transcript, writing sample, and statement of interest.

Funded MA/PhD Opportunity: Global Biodiversity Targets and Indigenous-led Conservation

I seek a student to join a long-term project (the Conservation through Reconciliation Partnership). The student will examine the intersection between Global Biodiversity Targets (especially for protected areas, “other effective area-based conservation measures”, and Indigenous knowledge) and national and local Indigenous-led conservation efforts. Applicants should hold (or be near completing) an undergraduate and/or Masters degree in Geography or a related social science discipline (Anthropology, Political Science, International Development, Environmental Studies, etc). *I particularly welcome inquiries for this project from students who identify as Indigenous.

Students will receive full financial support.  Additional funding is also available to cover some research expenses, including travel to international policy meetings (as applicable).

For more information about this opportunity please contact Dr. Noella Gray at grayn@uoguelph.ca, ideally before submitting a formal application

Everyday Practices of Global Change

I am seeking Masters students for next fall. Applicants with an interest in feminist theory, ethical consumption, critical development studies and the politics of sustainability are encouraged to apply. Students will receive financial support following the policy in the Department of Geography. Research expenses will also be covered. Funded student research projects may include:

  1. Investigating how ethical consumption campaigns contribute to environmental or developmental change
  2. Analyzing how social media is used to share stories of 'development' or ‘sustainability’ with North American audiences
  3. Researching the gendered dynamics of sustainable consumption and environmental activism

Looking for students to begin fall 2021.

GIS, Geomorphometry, LiDAR Remote Sensing, Spatial Analysis, Hydrology

Prof. John Lindsay is looking for 1-2 new Masters students to join the Geomorphometry and Hydrogeomatics Research Group (GHRG) in Fall 2020. These fully-funded students will take on a research project related to the broad range of geomorphometry (digital terrain analysis), spatial hydrology, and LiDAR remote sensing topics actively studied within the GHRG. Specifically, Prof. Lindsay is looking for students to work on projects related to improving information extracted from the newly acquired Ontario LiDAR topographic data sets. Application areas include predictive soils mapping, soil organic carbon, and the study of accessibility in urban areas. Like all graduate members of the GHRG, the incoming students will be involved in the application and development of novel techniques for handling these data in spatial hydrological applications. GHRG students are provided advanced training in GIS and geomatics more broadly and have opportunity to gain experience with terrain mapping equipment, LiDAR data, and spatial analysis software (GIS and remote sensing). Interested applicants are encouraged to email Prof. Lindsay (jlindsay@uoguelph.ca) with a statement of interest and experience and an unofficial transcript.

Faisal welcomes students who are interested in pursuing graduate opportunities in his People, Plants and Policy lab to contact him by email (fmoola@uoguelph.ca). The 3P lab presents interdisciplinary opportunities for students to pursue Masters and PhD degrees focused on conservation policy and practice, forest management, plant ecology (at the species and community level) and ethnobotany in partnership with Indigenous Peoples. Faisal is particularly interested in students with strong academic backgrounds, who are comfortable with field work and are interested in scholarly collaboration and writing.

My research is currently supported by several grants, including a SSHRC Insight Development Grant. I’m excited to hear from prospective grad students who are curious about the intersections of data technologies and environmental governance. Some specific projects we might collaborate on include:

•    Evaluating opportunities and challenges to the use of data technologies in nature conservation. Please see this flyer on my SSHRC-funded project “Digital Conservation Practices and Perspectives” for more details!
•    Visualizing climate and environmental governance data through “counter-data” and “counter-mapping” methods.

Prospective students should be interested in conducting interviews, document analysis, and/or surveys for their research, as well as working critically with data technologies themselves. I can offer training in critical communication skills - including mapping, web design, and public writing - and in the scholarly fields of political ecology, science and technology studies, and digital geographies. 

Please see this flyer on my SSHRC-funded project Digital Conservation Practices and Perspectives for more details.

I encourage interested candidates to email me at enost@uoguelph.ca with a brief statement of interest, an unofficial transcript, a writing / research sample, and a CV/resume.

Food Waste and Food Insecurity

Dr. Kate Parizeau is accepting applications from prospective graduate students interested in the following research topics:

  1. The dynamics of food waste in Canadian households, or at diverse points of the food value chain (e.g. farms, processing, retail, food service, food recovery organizations);
  2. The relationship between food waste and food insecurity in the Canadian context;
  3. The (paid or unpaid) labour implications of food waste in Canada;
  4. The governance of food waste management in Canada.

Conservation through Reconciliation

I am interesting in speaking with any outstanding MA or PhD students interested in Indigenous conservation governance in Canada or the political ecology of conservation more broadly. Inquires from prospective students who identify as Indigenous are particularly welcome. Visit the website.

Dr. Jennifer Silver studies political ecology, ocean governance and fisheries management, and the ways in which digital technology and social media are proposed as ‘solutions’ to environmental change. She welcomes inquiries and applications from individuals interested in a MA or PhD.

Jennifer currently has funding for graduate research in the following areas: 

  • DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE (e.g., why and how are new types of satellite and surveillance equipment being taken up in monitoring and enforcement? what are the implications of social media for environmental politics and debate?)
  • ACCESS AND EQUITY IN COMMERCIAL FISHERIES (e.g., how can we measure and evaluate access in commercial fisheries? how can commercial fisheries management frameworks and decision-making processes be transformed to meaningfully address reconciliation and achieve more equitable outcomes among all types of fish harvesters?)

If admitted to a MA or PhD, students receive funding following Department of Geography, Environment and Geomatics graduate financial support policy. Funds for fieldwork and conference attendance are also available and will be allocated at a level appropriate for the graduate student research project and other professional development objectives.

Interested individuals are encouraged to reach out to Dr. Silver over email. In this message, please indicate as clearly as possible how your background, training and research interests overlap with hers and which research area(s) listed above you would like to know more about.

I am fortunate to be working currently with graduate students on projects investigating a variety of issues and opportunities relating to the production, exchange, and systematic organizing of local food systems and short supply chains, notably in the area of Farm to School Food Programs.  Additionally, I am collaborating on projects pertaining to the rural landscape implications of renewable energy transitions and the role of farm incubator projects in supporting so-called 'next generation farmers'.   While I remain committed to advising duties on these projects, regrettably, I am unable to make commitments on acting as primary advisor at this time for new applicants owing to plans for study leave in 2020/21 and the prospect of retirement from regular faculty before projects commencing in 2021 would be completed.  However, it will be my hope to support grads in other ways via committee memberships or informal mentoring.

GIS and Watershed Management

I am recruiting one Ph.D. and/or one MSc student to join my research program on examining cost effectiveness of agricultural conservation programs (https://weg.uoguelph.ca). My research team members, comprising postdoctoral fellows, graduate, and undergraduate research assistants, have versatile expertise in watershed hydrologic modeling, integrated GIS, hydrologic and economic modeling, watershed evaluation of beneficial management practices (BMPs), and desktop GIS and WebGIS based interface tool development. I welcome students from all related disciplines such as geography, hydrology, soil science, ecology, economics, and forestry. Students will have flexibility in choosing a range of research topics related to GIS-based watershed hydrologic and integrated economic-hydrologic modelling and GIS interface development. Sample projects may include watershed modelling to identify critical source areas on agricultural landscapes for water quality protection, and to examine economic and environmental trade-offs of conservation practices in agricultural watersheds.

Students will receive well rounded training in GIS, watershed modelling, economic analysis, and policy evaluation related to various aspects of agricultural conservation programs. Previous graduate students have gained employment in government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and consulting firms. Interested candidates are encouraged to contact Dr. Wanhong Yang (wayang@uoguelph.ca) to discuss further.