Recruitment for PhD Student and Post Doctoral Fellow for 2021

QE3 Research Group welcomes applications for a PhD Student and Postdoctoral Fellow to begin 2021 on “Interactions between Food Web Complexity and Microplastic Pollution in Freshwater Lakes.”

Project Description. Many freshwater organisms are known to assimilate microplastics – an emerging global pollutant. Few studies have investigated the movement of microplastics in aquatic food webs, but transfer of plastics between trophic levels likely occurs. Microplastics are known to elicit sublethal effects through physical and chemical mechanisms, but effects on higher levels of biological organization are poorly understood. This project examines how the fate and effects of microplastics in freshwater ecosystems are potentially modulated by food web complexity. Manipulation experiments to test this hypothesis will be conducted at a new outdoor research facility designed for experimental ecotoxicology located at the Queen’s University Biological Station.

Academic Environment. The successful applicants will join the QE3 Research Group directed by Dr. Diane Orihel, Assistant Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in Aquatic Ecotoxicology. Applicants can be affiliated with either the Department of Biology or School of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University, one of Canada’s top universities.

Funding. This research project is funded by an NSERC Discovery Grant. Guaranteed stipend for PhD students is $24,800 CAD per year. Salary support for PDF is at least $45,000 CAD per year. Applicants are expected to apply for eligible scholarships and fellowships. Positions must be taken up in 2021, but the exact start date is flexible.

Essential Qualifications
1. For the PhD Position, the applicant must have a MSc in Ecology, Limnology, or Ecotoxicology; For the PDF Position, the applicant must have a PhD in Ecology, Limnology, or Ecotoxicology;
2. Experience in designing and conducting field experiments;
3. Advanced quantitative and statistical skills;
4. Track record of publication in peer-reviewed scientific literature.

Application Process
To apply for a position, please send the following to Dr. Orihel by Oct. 1, 2020
via email (to:; exact subject: “QE3 PhD Position 2021” or “QE3 PDF Position 2021”):
(a) Cover letter: stating the position you are applying for (PhD or PDF), explaining why you are interested in this project and our research lab, describing how you meet each essential qualification, plus anything else you wish to share;
(b) Curriculum vitae;
(c) Transcript (most advanced university degree only);
(d) Contact information for three references (must include affiliations with official work email addresses);
(e) PDFs of your scientific publications (accepted or published in peer-reviewed journals).
Incomplete applications will not be considered and only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

The QE3 Research Group strives to be an equitable, diverse, and inclusive research community where everyone is welcomed, supported, and empowered to grow to their fullest potential. We encourage applications from Indigenous, Black, and other equity-seeking persons.

You are welcome to download our poster and share it on your networks: qe3precruitment2021.pdf

Popular Article on the BOREAL Project Published in The Conversation

Jeffrey Cederwall and Sawyer Stoyanovich (UOttawa collaborator on BOREAL – Boreal-lake Oil Release Experiments by Additions to Limnocorrals) have co-authored an article in the Conversation based on the 2017 pilot project conducted at the IISD Experimental Lakes Area and their previously published scientific articles.
Read the article in The Conversation or the original scientific articles in ET&C and CJFAS.

QE3 Research Demonstrates a Green Technology Can Make Tailings Ponds Less Toxic to Fish

Congratulations to QE3 lab members Barry Madison, Jessie Reynolds, and Lauren Halliwell on a new paper in FACETS about a green technology to make oil sands tailings ponds less toxic to fish. This paper is the result of a great collaboration with Frank Gu’s lab that was made possible by Queen’s Research Opportunity Funds. The paper “Can the toxicity of naphthenic acids in oil sands process-affected water be mitigated by a green photocatalytic method?” is available from FACETS.
abstract of NATiOX research study