M.Sc Position, Soil and Chemistry, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and University of Lethbridge

Website Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and University of Lethbridge

Lethbridge Research and Development Centre (AAFC - LeRDC)

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) and the University of Lethbridge invite applications from students interested in agri-environmental research. Some research work will be done at the University of Lethbridge in collaboration with Dr. Paul Hazendonk’s Lab, but the majority of the research will be conducted at AAFC, Lethbridge Research and Development Centre (AAFC – LeRDC), Lethbridge Alberta, thus providing exposure to both academic and government laboratory research.

The research will investigate how livestock manure application to cropland affects soil carbon and the formation of stable soil organic C (SOC) fractions. Decomposition of applied livestock manure and stability of SOC will be linked to chemical markers to characterize processes that transform livestock manure into recalcitrant SOC fractions. This research will increase our understanding of key parts of soil C cycling as influenced by livestock manure type and application history, which in turn affect the health and productivity of soils.

The research activities include:

  • Take samples of soil at the AAFC – LeRDC long-term manure (LTM) plot
  • Conduct soil carbon fractionation and chemical analyses on LTM soil and soil samples obtained from other Canadian and international long term study sites, using Dr. Hao’s Lab at AAFC – LeRDC
  • Examine the nature of C compounds in different SOC fractions using NMR and other equipment in Dr. Hazendonk’s Lab at University of Lethbridge
  • Analyze data and prepare manuscripts for submission to meetings and journals
  • Present results at national and international scientific meetings

The successful candidate must have a B.Sc. in Biology, Chemistry, Soil Science or a closely related field. Preferred candidates will also show evidence of creativity, independence, the desire to learn new things, and excellent written and oral communication skills. A start date of Jan 1, 2019 is ideal, but earlier or later dates will be considered and should be noted in the cover letter. All questions about the position and application materials should be submitted to both Xiying Hao (xiying.hao@agr.gc.ca) and Paul Hazendonk (paul.hazendonk@uleth.ca).

Applications should consist of a single file that includes: a brief cover letter (no more than two-pages), a curriculum vitae, university transcript, and names and contact information for three references.

The application deadline for January 1, 2019 admittance is October 1, 2018, but earlier applications will be considered.

Students that attain entrance into the University of Lethbridge graduate program will receive a two-stipend ($10,000 per year) and further qualify for teaching assistantships ($7,000 per year), tuition relief, and the Dean’s Scholarship which will be awarded on a competitive basis.