Opportunities

***Up to 2 PhD positions for September 2022 or January 2023 start date***

I am looking to recruit one or two PhD students to join my team next year working on the black-capped chickadee project. We have established a marked population of >200 chickadees equipped with passive integrated transponder (PIT) tags. This marked population, together with our radio frequency identification (RFID) equipped feeders located throughout the study area, allows us to conduct a range of field experiments. For example, how do chickadees respond to different cues or predation risk?, how do they invest in learning about the distribution of food?, etc. Here is an example of work done by a previous graduate student in the group, Josue Arteaga Torres (check out Josue’s paper).

I’m also really excited to announce that with the support of the Canada Foundation for Innovation, we are building a custom environmental room that will allow us to experimentally manipulate environmental temperatures for captive chickadees at temperature ranging from -20oC to 30oC (that’s not quite as cold as the field conditions, but it’s a start ;o). In addition to this custom environmental room, we will also have respirometry equipment, enabling us to measure energy expenditure in both the field and in captivity.

If you are interested in doing graduate studies addressing fundamental questions in behavioural ecology related to foraging ecology (e.g., food sampling, caching, etc.) energetics (metabolic rate, facultative hypothermia, etc.), and predator avoidance – this could be a great project for you. The specific projects that students will do is open because, while I have lots of different project ideas in mind, I am also open to students developing their own lines of questions as long as the project fits within the type of work we are doing in the lab. Typically, students will have a general idea of the direction they are interested in going for their PhD research, and we will work together to refine it into a project that is appropriate in scope for a PhD.

Interested? Please read more about the minimum requirements for graduate school admission in the Department of Biological Sciences at the UofA (UofA info for applicants), and the type of work we do in my group. If you are still interested, please send me an email with the subject line “PhD application for 2022”, and provide me with the following: 1) a ~1 page word document where you describe why you are interested in this opportunity, the types of questions you would like to address in your PhD research, and how your previous experience are relevant to the position, 2) a CV, and 3) unofficial transcripts.

I like to pre-review student applications so that only students with a strong likelihood of being offered a position apply through the University and pay the application fee. I will begin the review of applications in November, and notify all applicants as to whether I will support their full application package. Full applications are due through the University application system in January 2022.

General information about joining the Mathot Lab

My students and I work on a broad range of topics and use a diverse set of methods. If you are interested in the type of research we do (see Research and Publications), are bright, motivated and a team-player, check out the section below that applies to the type of opportunity you are seeking. Still interested? Contact me.

Graduate student opportunities
I accept graduate students through the University of Alberta’s Department of Biological Sciences. Prospective grad students should familiarize themselves with the requirements for grad studies at UofA before contacting me (UofA info for applicants).
If you meet the requirements, and are still interested, please contact me to discuss current opportunities. Please include in your email a brief explanation of why you are interested in joining my lab, a copy of your CV, and your unofficial transcript(s).

Undergraduate student opportunities
There are various opportunities for undergraduates to gain research experience in my lab. If you are looking for undergraduate research opportunities, please include in your email a brief explanation of why you are interested in joining my lab, and a copy of your unofficial transcript and what type of research project you are interested in (e.g., 1 semester course such as BIOL 398/490/498 or 2 semester course  such as BIOL 399/499.

Volunteer opportunities
I do not host volunteers in my lab because this gives people who can afford to take on unpaid work greater opportunities to gain research experience than those who are not in a position to take on unpaid work. If you want to build your research experience, you can do that through a course for formal credit (see above, Undergraduate student opportunities), or talk to me about opportunities to apply for paid research experience (e.g., NSERC USRA or other scholarship opportunities).

Postdoctoral opportunities
I am happy to host postdocs in the lab, however, they must have their own funding for at least part of the postdoc. Grants are available through the University of Alberta which are open to both Canadian and non-Canadian citizens (listed here). Canadians are additionally eligible for NSERC PDF fellowships. Non-Canadians may have a range of funding opportunities available through granting agencies in their home country. Feel free to contact me if you are interested in applying for funding to do a postdoc in my lab. Depending on the value and duration of funding obtained, I am able to provide “top-up” salary either in terms of an increase in minimum salary, or an extension of the funding duration. The best options will be specific to the candidate, so I encourage you to contact me to discuss options if you are interested in applying for funding to work in my group, or if you already have postdoc funding and are interested in working with my group.