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Fully funded positions for Colombian PhD students at the Poisot Lab of Quantitative and Computational Ecology (U. of Montreal)

Applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis unless the positions are filled.

At the Poisot Lab of Quantitative and Computational Ecology, its members study a variety of habitats, taxa and processes, with the core elements of using data, math and computational techniques to gain better understanding of ecological systems. The members of the lab are committed to applying what they learn to making the world a better place- by supporting sustainability and productivity in working ecosystems, by making the work they do accessible to the broader community, and by drawing in diverse viewpoints to enhance mutual understanding of science, scientists, and the needs of the world.

The lab is currently involved in a seven years program on using modern artificial intelligence techniques to develop a unified knowledge base for ecology and evolution; this build on previous research on AI for automated ecological synthesis (read it before applying). In addition, please read the lab’s values and philosophy before applying.

The project in a nutshell: with recent advances in artificial intelligence, bridging probability theory and logic theory, we have a chance to (i) formalize our knowledge about ecological systems in quantified statements, (ii) embed these statements in a densely connected knowledge graph that will draw links between distant sub-fields, and (iii) use existing open data to validate and weigh the veracity of these statements. If successful, this will lead to a rich knowledge representation that might reveal there are, after all, general laws in ecology. The research axes identified for this effort will focus on (i) public health concerns related to disease emergence and re-emergence, and (ii) changes in species distributions under climate change and the subsequent re-wiring of species interaction networks.

All positions are fully funded, and come with yearly support for travel, open access publication, and computer equipment. All positions also come with free access to Compute Canada infrastructure, including a GPU cluster, and training sessions on advanced research computing.

Fellows selected as part of this project will also be involved in organizing and TA-ing two intensive classes on artificial intelligence for biodiversity science, and one symposium on the same topic followed by a two-days writing retreat (all activities are fully funded). All applicants will get the opportunity to mentor undergraduate research assistants as well as graduate students from their MSc in Quantitative and Computational Biology.

This research program is by nature pluri-disciplinary. Candidates with only a subset of the preferred qualifications are encouraged to apply. All applicants are expected to have a robust foundation in either applied mathematics or scientific programming, and an interest for biodiversity, or a robust foundation in biodiversity and an interest for mathematics and programming. At no points will grades or journal impact factors be considered as a measure of the quality of an applicant.

Please email the application materials in a single PDF file (named lastname.pdf) to, with the subject “General laws: name of the position”. Review of applications will start immediately, and applicants will be interviewed on a rolling basis unless the positions are filled. Applicants, especially for the PhD fellowships, who do not have published articles, can instead write a short summary of the most exciting research project.

There is a number of fully funded positions for graduate students registered in a Colombian university, working on a topic related to Colombian or tropical biodiversity or conservation, and willing to address this problem using data science, machine learning, or artificial intelligence; project on large scale data curation and deposition are also of particular interest.

All of the candidates for this branch of the program will benefit from access to computing resources and training, a full salary (minimum 20,000$ per annum) for the duration of their stay, and money for travel for both the student and their advisor. All candidates will get access to an intensive class in data management and data synthesis, and to an intensive class in artificial intelligence for biodiversity research, at no cost.

To apply or inquire about these opportunities, please email with a brief description of your research project, and the type of computational skills you would like to acquire.

Two-years PhD exchange

Starting date: Sept. 2020

This two-years internship is aimed at a debuting PhD candidate, wanting to acquire a solid foundation in computational techniques.

One-year PhD exchange (× 2)

Starting date: Sept. 2022, Sept. 2023

These one-year internships are aimed at PhD students seeking to acquire specific skills or expertise. Details for the applications will be announced during the summer of 2020.

Fully funded 5 years PhD fellowship

Starting date: Sept. 2021

This five years fellowship is aimed at a student who will be registered both in Colombia and at the Université de Montréal. Details for the applications will be announced early in 2020.

All positions will be at the Department of Biological Sciences, Université de Montréal.

(Vía @MFTorresJ)

[Boletín SIUN 453, 5/6 de septiembre de 2019]

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