Research & Job Openings

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Nutrient Management & Greenhouse Gases
Soil Ecology & Nematology
Undergraduate Summer / Co-Op Research

DEPARTMENTAL POSITIONS

Assistant Professor of Soil Chemistry and Fertility

The Department of Soil Science is looking for a full-time, tenure-track position in Soil Chemistry and Fertility at the rank of Assistant Professor. The successful applicant will be a core contributor to the soil chemistry and fertility expertise in the Department. They will develop an externally funded applied field research program focusing on soil chemistry and fertility in an inclusive environment to supervise a diverse group of under and post-graduate students and teach soil fertility within the Faculty’s diploma, undergraduate and graduate programs .

The successful applicant will benefit from excellent research facilities and the intense dedication to research, teaching, and outreach by Department members. Researchers in the Department have access to extensive research infrastructure and facilities, including the Ian N. Morrison Research Farm, a 406-acre facility located 70 km southwest of Winnipeg; and the Glenlea Research Station, a 1,000-acre facility 20 km south of Winnipeg, as well as successful cooperation with farmers for siting field trials across Manitoba. The Department also benefits from collaborations with other institutions and provincial and federal departments, including Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, which has two major research centres in Manitoba. The Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences is home to the National Centre for Livestock and Environment which engages in multi-disciplinary, multi-agency research partnerships focused on furthering the long term economic and environmental sustainability of integrated livestock and crop production systems (READ MORE & APPLY).

GRADUATE STUDIES

The Applied Soil Ecology Lab at the University of Manitoba is seeking highly motivated and talented candidates for training leading to M.Sc. or Ph.D. degrees in nutrient management, greenhouse gas emissions, and soil ecology and nematology.

For more information on a specific project, e-mail Mario directly, using the subject indicated in the research project’s description. Include a detailed CV, statement of relevant experience, your availability, and contact information for three referees.

For more information on the application process, see the Department of Soil Science or Faculty of Graduate Studies Graduate Programs webpages.

Nutrient Management & Greenhouse Gases

Nitrification Inhibitors to Reduce Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Anhydrous Ammonia Applied to Soils

M.Sc. or Ph.D. students will undertake graduate research in 4R Nitrogen Practices to reduce N2O emissions from anhydrous ammonia applied to agricultural soils. The students will lead research on farmer fields examining several newly available inhibitors of nitrification applied with anhydrous ammonia. (READ MORE)

Micro-meteorology of Gas Exchange in Cover Crop Systems

M.Sc. or Ph.D. students will undertake graduate research in the area of development of cover cropping systems in the Red River Valley region of Manitoba and benefit to fertilizer nitrogen use efficiency of crops. Benefits to be examined include reduced emissions of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O), net CO2 uptake by soil, lowered residual fall soil nitrate tests, and improved coincidence of nitrogen mineralization and crop uptake. Methods of N2O flux determination include the flux-gradient, automated chamber and static-vented chamber techniques. (READ MORE)

Micro-meteorological Fluxes of N2O and CO2 on Light Texture Soil

M.Sc. or Ph.D. students will undertake graduate research in 4R Nitrogen Practices to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (N2O and CO2) from agricultural fields near Brandon, Manitoba. The students will assist in the setup and operation of the field site with a micrometeorological flux-gradient approach to continuous monitoring of gas exchanges. (READ MORE)

Benefit of 4R Nitrogen Management on Micro-meteorological Fluxes of Ammonia

M.Sc. or Ph.D. students will undertake graduate research in 4R Nitrogen Practices to reduce NH3 volatilization from agricultural fields near the cities of Winnipeg and Brandon, Manitoba. The students will assist in the setup and operation of the field sites with flux towers and use of the backward Lagrangian Stochastic approach to estimate NH3 losses. (READ MORE)


Soil Ecology & Nematology

Biology and Epidemiology of the Stem Nematode, Ditylenchus weischeri

M.Sc. or Ph.D. students will undertake graduate research in understanding the life-cycle development and reproduction of the stem nematode, Ditylenchus weischeri in a range of horticultural crops. The students will lead growth chamber and greenhouse studies using traditional isolation and identification as well as molecular analyses of nematode populations in plants. In situ staining and visualization of nematode in plant parts will be done to localize the development stages of the nematode. (READ MORE)

Field Studies with the Root Lesion Nematode, Pratylenchus neglectus

M.Sc. or Ph.D. students will undertake graduate research in understanding the crop host preference and damage potential of the root lesion nematode, P. neglectus to crops grown in the Prairies. The students will lead field studies in Manitoba and Alberta using microplots containing varying population densities of the nematode planted to soybean, chickpea and canola. Traditional and molecular analyses of nematode populations in soil and the crops will be conducted. (READ MORE)


UNDERGRAD SUMMER & CO-OP

The 2022 undergraduate summer research technician competition is now closed. However, the lab is currently accepting applications for Fall 2022 Co-Op Program students looking to gain experience in the Soil Ecology and Plant Disease research.

See below to learn more about the Plant Disease Lab Technician and Agronomy Field Technician positions and how to apply:

Plant Disease Lab Technician
The Soil Ecology & Plant Disease Research Program includes projects that examine yield loses from Potato Early Die Complex, a disease complex caused by the fungus Verticillium and root-lesion nematode Pratylenchus, identify host and environmental preferences, yield damage, and control strategies of plant-parasitic nematodes including Pratylenchus and Ditylenchus, and surveys of the Canadian Prairie Provinces for the presence of the parasitic soybean cyst nematode. The program includes major field, pulse, and horticultural crops grown on the Canadian Prairies, and involves microscopic and molecular identification of pathogens and nematodes.

Duties and Responsibilities: Indoor: assist graduate students and senior technicians in laboratory studies; count and identify soil organisms using compound / dissecting microscopes; make culture media and reagent solutions; extract pathogens and nematodes from soils; potentially basic molecular biology analyses such as PCR, qPCR, and gel electrophoresis. Outdoor: soil and plant sampling, visual plant disease ratings. Other duties as required. Successful applicant reports daily to the Soil Ecology & Plant Disease Lab Director.

Qualifications: Enrolled in an undergraduate Agroecology, Agronomy, Biology, Microbiology, Environment, or Soil Science program, or a related field (preference given to those in senior years with excellent academic achievement); highly motivated; organized; able to follow complex instructions and pay attention to detail; good critical thinking skills; can work independently and in a group; excellent verbal and written communication skills; good manual dexterity; able to sit or stand for long periods; prepared for manual labour and strenuous outdoor activity over rough terrain; able to lift and carry 20kg; valid Manitoba Driver’s license necessary. Previous lab experience is an asset.

Click here to see the Undergraduate Plant Disease Lab Technician advertisement for job terms and how to apply.

Agronomy Field Technician
The Greenhouse Gas Research Program studies the relationship between nutrient management and greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of improving fertilizer use best management practices to reduce emissions from soil and animal manures. Projects include studying the effect of cover crops on emissions, cattle diet on manure properties and emissions, and fertilizer placement, timing of application, and/or fertilizer type on emissions.

Duties and responsibilities: Outdoor duties: assist graduate students and Senior Technicians in small scale research field plot maintenance; collect soil, manure, plant and greenhouse gas samples; measure spectral reflectance from crops; adhere to biosecurity protocols. Indoor duties: preparation of gas storage vials; soil grinding and extraction; plant threshing and grinding; proper documentation of soil, plant, and greenhouse gas samples; maintaining field equipment. Other duties as required. Successful applicant reports daily to the Gas or General Lab Director.

Qualifications: Enrolled in an undergraduate Agroecology, Agronomy, Biology, Engineering, Environment, Physical Geography, or Soil Science program, or a related field (preference given to those in senior years with excellent academic achievement); highly motivated; organized; able to follow complex instructions and pay attention to detail; good critical thinking skills; can work independently and in a group; excellent verbal and written communication skills; prepared for manual labour and strenuous outdoor activity over rough terrain; able to lift and carry 20kg; able to sit or stand for long periods; good manual dexterity; valid Manitoba Driver’s license. Enjoys working outdoors and previous farm/field experience is an asset

Click here to see the Undergraduate Agronomy Field Technician advertisement for job terms and how to apply.


Last Updated: January 18, 2022

Welcome to the Applied Soil Ecology Lab at the University of Manitoba