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Ph.D. Graduate Research Assistantship 

Environmental and Life Sciences Program

Trent University

Title: Interseeding cover crops in grain corn for improving soil health

Supervisor:  Dr. Mehdi Sharifi, Canada Research Chair (CRC) in Sustainable Agriculture, Environmental and Resource Studies Program, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario

Location: Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario

Project: Interseeding cover crops in corn offers an opportunity to enhance soil health parameters, improve nutrient use efficiency, reduce soil erosion and consequently contribute to long-term profitability of corn production in Ontario. There is limited information on choices of cover crops, seeding strategies, soil health and economic benefits of interseeding cover crops in grain corn production. The overall objective of this project is to assess the contribution of interseeding cover crops to long-term profitability of corn production in Ontario through their effects on soil health, nitrogen (N) use efficiency, and residual soil nitrate reduction at harvest. Three new corn trials will be established at three sites with different soil properties and corn heat units. These sites include Trent University Sustainable Agriculture Experimental Farm, and University of Guelph Experimental Farms at Elora and Ridgetown. The final outcome of the project would be ranking of the interseeding cover crop treatments in terms of establishment, biomass production, competitiveness with grain corn, and effects on sensitive indicators of soil health and residual soil nitrate at harvest. The soil health and soil nitrate reduction benefits will be linked with long-term profitability. The interseeder technology will be tested for effective integration of cover crops into corn stands. This is a three-year project funded by Grain Farmers of Ontario (GFO).

Qualifications:

An MSc degree in Agriculture, Soil Science, Agronomy, Environmental Sciences, Biology or related disciplines with a min.of 85-89% on last 10 full university credits (A average). Preference will be given to Canadian Citizen and Permanent Residents of Canada

Desired start date: May 2015

Application deadline: March 15, 2015 or until a qualified candidate is found

Stipend:  As per university funding levels ($21000/yr for three years)

 

To Apply:  Please submit a cover letter that includes a brief summary of your research experience/interests/goals, CV, unofficial transcripts, and names of 2 academic references to: Dr. Mehdi Sharifi, Ph: 705-7481011 ext. 7954; Fax: 705-748-1569;

Email:%20mehdisharifi [at] trentu [dot] ca ( mehdisharifi [at] trentu [dot] ca)

Students will also be required to apply to the Environmental & Life Sciences graduate program through Trent University at www.trentu.ca/graduatestudies .

Graduate Program Information:

For additional information please contact Linda Cardwell at lcardwell [at] trentu [dot] ca or visit Trent University graduate studies website at www.trentu.ca/graduatestudies

MSc or PhD position: fish population dynamics

A graduate student position (either at the MSc or PhD level) is available at Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada) in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  Potential projects could focus on prey fish population dynamics in Lake Simcoe and involve analysis of hydroacoustic data and/or the building of life history models.  The exact project details can be developed according to the student’s background and interests.  Candidates with excellent quantitative skills are encouraged to apply.  For initial screening and to receive more information about the project, interested students should send a letter expressing their qualifications and interests, a CV, and unofficial transcripts to Erin Dunlop (erin [dot] dunlop [at] ontario [dot] ca).  For more information on the Environmental and Life Sciences graduate program at Trent, please visit http://www.trentu.ca/els/.  Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible but the position will remain open until filled.

 

MSc position: fish life history experiments

An MSc position is available at Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada) in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.  The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Chris Wilson and Dr. Erin Dunlop.  The project involves conducting laboratory experiments on lake trout to examine inherent differences in life history traits among strains stocked in the Upper Great Lakes.  For initial screening and to receive more information about the project, interested students should send a letter expressing their qualifications and interests, a CV, and unofficial transcripts to Erin Dunlop (erin [dot] dunlop [at] ontario [dot] ca).  For more information on the Environmental and Life Sciences graduate program at Trent, please visit http://www.trentu.ca/els/.  Candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible but the position will remain open until filled.