PhD student position in the Département de géographie at the Université de Montréal

I am seeking a motivated PhD student to study carbon, water and energy fluxes in the discontinuous permafrost zone of western Canada using the eddy covariance and chamber techniques. The position is located in the Département de géographie at the Université de Montréal ( and is part of the NSERC-funded project “Influence of changing active-layer thickness on PERmafrost PeatLand trace gas EXchanges and carbon balance” (PERPLEX). The position is open immediately. The project provides a stipend of $20,000 CAD/yr for four years. Additional sources of funding include university fellowships, research assistantships, and teaching assistantships.
The project builds on ongoing work conducted within the Scotty Creek watershed near Fort Simpson, Northwest Territories ( The watershed is located within the discontinuous permafrost zone and is dominated by raised peat plateaus (underlain by permafrost) and bogs (permafrost-free) that drain into a network of permafrost-free fens. The watershed-scale hydrological functioning of these peatlands is well characterized due to a decade-long period of extensive field measurements and surveys. The main findings have revealed an increase in active-layer thickness and continued permafrost degradation. However, no knowledge exists on the implications of these findings on peatlands’ ecophysiological and biogeochemical functioning.
The central component of PERPLEX is a micrometeorological tower equipped with eddy covariance systems to measure the net exchanges of CH4, CO2, H2O and energy between the discontinuous permafrost landscape and the atmosphere. The PhD student will play a central role in tower installation and instrumentation set-up, operation, maintenance and data analysis. Ideal applicants for the PhD student position have
1) a strong quantitative and technical background obtained through a Master’s or Diploma degree in geosciences, meteorology, environmental science, ecology, physics, etc.
2) had previous exposure to some aspects of the project (e.g., northern (peatland) hydrology/ecology, trace gas measurements using eddy covariance and/or chamber techniques, permafrost thawing)
3) (some) wilderness outdoor experience (remoteness of the site!) as the project requires frequent traveling to and extended stays at the site (seasonal field camp consists of basic tents and needs to be accessed by float plane or helicopter in the snow-free period).
4) the ability to work independently and effectively as part of a team setting consisting of researchers from other Canadian universities.
5) proficiency in English (the Université de Montréal is a francophone research university, so knowledge of French is of great advantage but not mandatory).
Please email questions regarding the PhD student position/admission process and application packages consisting of cover letter, curriculum vitae (including a list of publications/presentations), an English writing sample (ideally a publication), copies of academic credentials, and names and contact information of at least two referees to:
oliver.sonnentag *at*
The review of applications will commence immediately until the PhD student position is filled.