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MSc on ecology and behaviour of Canada Jays


University of Guelph


Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, BC



Last Date to Apply:

15 Dec 2017
Open until filled


MSc position studying the ecology and behaviour of the Pacific race of the Canada Jay (Perisoreus canadensis obscurus/griseus) in Strathcona Provincial Park, Vancouver Island, BC.


Ryan Norris (University of Guelph) & Dan Strickland (retired park naturalist) are seeking a graduate student to join their research team beginning in March 2018 to study the distinct race of Canada Jay resident in west coast subalpine forests.


The project will involve a combination of experimental work to examine the survival of artificial food caches as a function of substrate (tree species) and altitude, as well as observational work to examine group social behaviour and home range fidelity in a marked population. The student will be based out of the Norris Lab (www.norrislab.ca) and receive their degree from the University of Guelph but will primarily work under the field supervision of Dan Strickland.


Field research will involve working in the Paradise Meadows area of Strathcona Provincial Park, on Mount Washington, Vancouver Island, during the late winter and spring (early March–late June) plus shorter visits at other times of year. Activities (mostly on snowshoes or skis) include establishing and monitoring artificial food caches as well as finding and monitoring nests, catching, measuring, and observing birds and recording intra-group dominance relations.


Qualifications: Successful applicants will have a strong demonstrated interest in and knowledge of avian ecology and behaviour. Prior field experience, preferably on birds, and a strong work ethic are required. Good physical fitness is required and cross-country skiing ability a definite asset. Domestic (Canadian) applicants are preferred. Applicants must have an undergraduate degree in science with excellent academic standing, as well as a valid driver’s licence.


Contact Information: Interested individuals should contact Ryan Norris (rnorris@uoguelph.ca) and Dan Strickland (perisoreus1@gmail.com) Dec 15, 2017. Please include your CV, list of references, and unofficial transcripts.