Graduate Student Opportunities – Enhancing Ecosystem Services in Historic Waterways (Start date May or Sept 2018)



Graduate Student Opportunities

Enhancing ecosystem services in historic waterways

Start date May or Sept 2018

Join a team of dynamic and innovative, Canadian researchers as they partner with Parks Canada to conduct multi-disciplinary studies on the historic Rideau Canal and Trent-Severn Waterways. The Rideau Canal (completed in 1832 connecting the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario) is a National Historic Site of Canada and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Trent-Severn waterway (completed in 1920 connecting Lake Ontario to Lake Huron) is 386 km long and has 45 locks, including 2 hydraulic locks. These unique systems will be used to conduct studies that integrate physical, biological, and social sciences to build resilience, enhance ecosystem services, and inform management. The overall project is led by Dr. Steven Cooke in the Department of Biology at Carleton University (https://www.fecpl.ca/), with individual MSc and PhD projects led by the following people:

Dr. Joseph Bennett – Department of Biology, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

Dr. Gabriel Blouin-Demers -Department of Biology, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Dr. Dany Garant – Department of Biology, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC

Dr. Colin Rennie – Department of Civil Engineering, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON

Dr. Jesse Vermaire – Department of Geography, Carleton University, Ottawa, ON

Dr. Nathan Young – Sociological and Anthropological Studies, University of Ottawa, Ottawa, ON


Potential projects fall into three categories and include aspects of biology, water resource engineering and social science:

(1) Evaluate the influence of dams and lock stations on abiotic (i.e. water, sediment, nutrients) and biotic (i.e., plankton, recreational fish, at risk fish and turtles, invasive species) connectivity at a system and at a reach scale

(2) Identify the effects of shoreline habitat and aquatic macrophyte management strategies on ecosystem structure

(3) Investigate the perspectives of key stakeholders related to waterway management scenarios and communication strategies.


This research will help safeguard the social, cultural, and ecological values of these nationally significant waterways by providing Parks Canada with the environmental and social science evidence needed for effective management and policies.

We are seeking enthusiastic applicants interested in contributing natural/social science knowledge to support conservation decision-making in these culturally and economically important aquatic systems. Applicants should be highly organized, have experience generating peer-reviewed publications, and have the ability to work both individually and as part of a team (including mentoring and supporting other lab members). Applicants are asked to forward a letter outlining their interest to the Project Coordinator, Lisa Donaldson, at Lisa.Donaldson@carleton.ca who will share with relevant PIs.


Application deadline: March 1 2018 but applications will be accepted until all positions are filled.

Our institutions are all committed to equity and diversity such that we hope for a diverse pool of applicants.


Project collaborators proudly include the Rideau Valley Conservation Authority and the Big Rideau Lake Association