Two postdoctoral fellows in forest landscapes and bird modelling

The Boreal Avian Modelling Project (BAM) seeks two Postdoctoral Fellows to join the Cumming lab at Université Laval, Québec City, in collaboration with J.A. Tremblay of Environment and Climate Change Canada. BAM is a highly collaborative, long-term, national research project supporting the conservation and management of boreal breeding birds in North America. Positions are offered for one year, with the possibility of three years, conditional on performance and funding.

The successful applicants will be instrumental to new initiatives in population assessment and avian conservation planning for eastern Canada.  Position 1 will develop species-specific habitat models for forest bird species that are sensitive to regional variation in habitat selection (e.g. Crosby et al. (2019) and Adde et al. (2020)) and to the factors addressed by Position 2, who will apply spatial simulation models to forecast species responses to forest management, anthropogenic disturbance, and climatic change (e.g., Cadieux et al. 2020; Micheletti et al. 2021). One or both of these positions  will also apply spatial prioritization methods to support conservation planning (e.g., Stralberg et al. 2018). This work will be integrated with BAM’s efforts to produce broad-scale avian density models. Both postdocs will lead the writing of manuscripts and represent the project at meetings from local to international, and to diverse research partners. 

Applicants must hold a recent PhD. Essential qualifications include strong quantitative skills coupled with an interest in avian ecology and conservation in general, independent of disciplinary background. Significant experience with advanced statistical or computational methodologies will be an asset, as will past field experience in boreal systems and in multidisciplinary collaborations. Proficiency in French and English, both  written and spoken, is preferred. 

Positions will ideally begin by January 10, 2022. Location of tenure is negotiable given current circumstances. Relocation expenses to Québec may be covered for qualified applicants.  These are lab-based positions, but some field work may be needed or can be arranged. Annual salaries are $55,000-$60,000, with additional funds to cover expenses for software, project travel, scientific conferences (virtual or in-person attendance), and publications. BAM and Université Laval are committed to an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace. We welcome applications from all qualified persons. We encourage women; First Nations, Métis and Inuit persons; members of visible minority groups; persons with disabilities; persons of any sexual orientation or gender identity and expression; and all those who may contribute to the further diversification of ideas and the University to apply. 

To Apply: 

Please provide a letter of interest, CV, an example of your scientific writing, and a list of three referees. In your letter, state HOW you meet the qualifications, WHEN is your earliest availability and WHICH (or both) of the positions you are applying for. Apply by email to with the subject heading “Postdoctoral Fellow in Eastern Forest and Bird Modelling”. Applications will be accepted from 15.10.2021 until the positions are filled.


French Version  

PhD opportunity: species distribution and abundance models of Canadian owls

PhD opportunity: species distribution and abundance models of Canadian owls

(Le français suit)

Applications received by March 15th will receive full consideration.

A PhD position, with three years partial NSERC funding, is available in the Cumming lab at Laval University, Québec City. The position will be instrumental to a new collaboration between two long-standing Canadian research groups in avian ecology, the Boreal Avian Modelling Project and Birds Canada, and researchers in the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Using a new compilation of long-term nocturnal owl survey data from across Canada, the successful applicant will develop species distribution models to explain and predict the occupancy or density of owl species within the Canadian boreal region, and to estimate their total population sizes. Examples of the statistical techniques we have previously used for forest songbirds and waterfowl can be consulted here and here. The applications are to avian conservation and population assessment in Canada’s managed forest lands. Depending on the interests of the applicant, the thesis could also include elements of spatial simulation and forecasting e.g., of owl responses to climate change, or of population ecology.  

The critical qualifications are strong quantitative skills coupled with an interest in avian ecology and conservation in general, independent of disciplinary background. Proficient written communication in English is desirable. This is a lab-based position, but there will be opportunities to take part in nocturnal owl surveys in Québec and/or Ontario. The student will be encouraged to spend a term with Dr. Danielle Ethier at the Birds Canada National Headquarters in Port Rowan, Ontario (expenses will be paid).

The position begins September 1st, 2021. Applicants should submit a short statement of interest, a sample of their scientific writing, a current CV, and names of three referees to the undersigned, by email. Applications received by March 15th will receive full consideration.

Support for relocation expenses is available to qualified applicants

Doctorat: modèles de distribution et d'abondance des espèces d’hiboux du Canada

Les candidatures reçues d'ici le 15 mars seront considérées.

Un poste de doctorat, avec un financement partiel de trois ans du CRSNG, est disponible dans le laboratoire de Steve Cumming à l'Université Laval à Québec. Le poste amènera une nouvelle collaboration entre deux groupes de recherche canadiens de longue date en écologie aviaire, le Projet de Modélisation Aviaire Boréal et Oiseaux Canada, et des chercheurs du ministère des Richesses naturelles et des Forêts de l'Ontario. À l'aide d'une nouvelle compilation de données de relevés nocturnes à long terme des hiboux du Canada, le candidat ou la candidate retenu développera des modèles de répartition des espèces pour expliquer et prédire l'occupation ou la densité des espèces de hiboux dans la région boréale canadienne et pour estimer la taille de leur population totale. Des exemples de techniques statistiques que nous avons précédemment utilisées pour les oiseaux chanteurs forestiers et la sauvagine peuvent être consultés ici et ici. Les applications du projet incluent la conservation aviaire et l’évaluation des populations dans les terres forestières aménagées du Canada. En fonction des intérêts du candidat ou de la candidate, la thèse pourrait également inclure des éléments de simulation spatiale et de prévision, par ex. les réponses des hiboux au changement climatique ou l'écologie des populations.

Les qualifications essentielles du candidat ou de la candidate sont de solides compétences quantitatives associées à un intérêt pour l'écologie aviaire et la conservation en général, indépendamment du contexte disciplinaire. Une bonne communication écrite en anglais est souhaitable. Il s'agit d'un poste en laboratoire, mais il y aura des occasions de participer à des relevés nocturnes d’hiboux au Québec et / ou en Ontario. L'étudiant ou l’étudiante sera encouragé à passer un trimestre avec la Dre Danielle Ethier au siège social d'Oiseaux Canada à Port Rowan, Ontario (les dépenses seront payées).

Le poste commence le 1er septembre 2021. Les candidats et candidates doivent soumettre une brève déclaration d'intérêt, un échantillon de leur rédaction scientifique, un CV à jour et trois références. Les candidatures doivent être envoyées par courriel aux trois chercheurs ci-dessous avant le 15 mars.

Un soutien pour les frais de déménagement est disponible

Steve Cumming
Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt,
Université Laval
Centre d’études de la forêt


Danielle Ethier
Birds Canada
Port Rowan, Ontario.


Philip Dewit
Wildlife Monitoring Program Lead
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry