Current Opportunities

We are currently seeking co-op, Masters and PhD students for the following projects.

First project: Marine microbes as recyclers:

Why study the microbes that are associated with aquaculture sites? The composition and metabolic diversity of microbial communities can inform us on the impact of the aquaculture on a specific site. The microbial community composition is key for the ability of the environment to regenerate itself, given high load of organic matter deposited as a result of the fish farming activities. This project deals with the design and application of assays to detect functional gene markers in environmental DNA (eDNA) that are indicative of sulfur recycling in the sediment at the aquaculture sites. The ultimate goal is to provide aquaculture sites with eDNA detection methods that are informative on the overall ecological state of the site and to provide early detection methods to arising problems with organic matter recycling at the sites.

Pre-requisites and qualifications: A BSc. Honours in Biology, biochemistry or microbiology with a keen interest in computational biology and bioinformatics. Start date January 2021

Second project: Detecting HAB in aquatic environments:

Design and application of toxin gene detection assays as early warning system against harmful algal blooms (HABs).  The project will look at ways to develop early detection system for HABs in the context of aquaculture farms. Millions of dollars are lost by the aquaculture industry each because of fish kills due to HABs. In this project we are working with Dalhousie University engineers and the Ocean tech industry to develop and apply novel approaches to detect HABs early, so that fish farmers can mitigate their impact before it is too late. In this project, the student will develop and apply quantitative qPCR assays to detect functional genes that code for the synthesis of known HAB toxins and taxon-specific assays for known HAB species. 

Pre-requisites and qualifications: A BSc. Honours in Biology, biochemistry or microbiology with a keen interest in computational biology and bioinformatics. We expect the candidate to have a keen interest in developing practical application for the environmental monitoring and for the aquaculture industry. Start date: January 2021 or May 2021

Third project: Study of the controls of the biological carbon pump in the Labrador Sea and the Northwest Atlantic.

This candidate’s research will contribute to a large multidisciplinary project to understand the magnitude and control mechanisms of the biological carbon pump in the Labrador Sea and Northwest Atlantic. The project is part sea-going field work and part culture work in the laboratory. The candidate will be involved in the analysis of multi-omics data (metatranscriptomics and metagenomics) collected in the field and during laboratory experiments. For a full description of the project check NWA-BCP.  Start date: January 2021 or May 2021

If you are interested in applying for this graduate studies position, please send your CV, undergraduate transcripts and a letter of interest to Dr. Julie LaRoche