Our research group is recruiting postdocs and students at all levels (depending on funding availability). Please email questions regarding research topics and the admission process to oliver.sonnentag@umontreal.ca.

Research topics with a strong field research component will require some wilderness outdoor experience (remoteness of the sites!) as frequent travelling and extended stays at the research sites will be required. And if you are lucky the north will show its most beautiful side.


  • Closes 16/01/2023

    Funded Ph.D in Anthropogenic Disturbance Mapping

    One fully funded 4-year Ph.D. positions open immediately on Anthropogenic Disturbance Mapping. To start in September 2023, please apply by January 15, 2023: https://www.mcgill.ca/civil/grad/admissions

    The project involves creating and analysing a national map of anthropogenic disturbances in peatlands using publicly available spatial datasets. This Ph.D. position will be based at McGill and the Université de Montréal (UdeM), under the guidance of Prof. Mary Kang and Prof. Oliver Sonnentag.

    The project will involve compiling publicly available spatial datasets on anthropogenic disturbances and their distribution across Canada relative to the country’s main peatland types (e.g., bogs, fens) and their main characteristics (e.g., vegetation composition, carbon stocks, drainage, permafrost conditions).

    This project is part of a large interdisciplinary pan-Canadian project called Can-Peat: Canada’s Peatlands as nature-based solutions to climate change. The universities involved include the University of Waterloo, University of Alberta, University of Montreal, Carleton University, University of Quebec at Montreal, Memorial University, and McGill University. The partners include Environment and Climate Change Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks, Quebec Ministère de l’environnement et de la lutte contre les changement climatique, Alberta Environment, Government of the Northwest Territories, Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development, Nature United, Ducks Unlimited, Viresco Solutions, and Dené Tha First Nation.

    Applicants are expected to hold, or soon complete, an M.Sc., M.Eng., M.A.Sc., or equivalent degree in related engineering or science fields. Students from non-engineering fields are also encouraged to apply. Strong undergraduate students are also encouraged to apply to the Master-PhD Fast Track option. Previous experience with geospatial and data analysis tools (e.g., GIS, Python) are an asset but not required. Proficiency in oral and written communication in English is mandatory.

    We embrace equity, diversity, and inclusion and seek lab members who can contribute to a welcoming, engaging environment for students and researchers of all races, genders, ability, and backgrounds. For further information and to apply, please send a letter of interest to mary.kang@mcgill.ca (Subsurface Hydrology and Environmental Impact Analysis Research Group) and/or oliver.sonnentag@umontreal.ca (Atmosbios Lab). Include resume/CV describing your skills and education, publications, university transcripts, and names of two referees. Positions will remain open until filled.

    Apply Now
  • Closes 30/04/2023

    Two fully PhD positions available in northern land/atmosphere greenhouse gas balance

    Two fully funded 4-year PhD positions are open immediately at the Catchment and Wetland Sciences (CAWS) Research Group (www.caws.ualberta.ca), in the Department of Renewable Resources at University of Alberta, under the supervision of Dr. David Olefeldt, and at the Atmosbios Lab (atmosbios.com), in the Département de géographie at Université de Montréal, under the supervision of Drs. Oliver Sonnentag and Kyle Arndt (Woodwell Climate Research Center).

    Start of program in both universities is January, May or September 2023. We are looking for two talented students with interests in ecosystem greenhouse gas balance, soil biogeochemistry, peatland ecology, and Canada’s northern permafrost region. The projects will focus on the use of eddy covariance techniques to assess the greenhouse gas and energy balances of northern permafrost peatlands affected by wildfire. Field research will be conducted in northern Alberta (north of High Level, in peatlands affected by wildfire in 2007 and 2019) and the southern Northwest Territories (Scotty Creek, destroyed by a late-season wildfire in October 2022, scheduled to be rebuild in November 2022) at research sites with established infrastructure, supported by the Woodwell Climate Research Center through the Permafrost Pathways project. The projects will also be part of Can-Peat; a Canada-wide network for understanding the future carbon balance of peatlands. There is flexibility, and it is encouraged, for the students to focus on specific aspects of interest under the overarching themes.

    Applicants are expected to hold, or soon complete, an MSc degree (or equivalent) in atmospheric sciences, physical geography, soil science, environmental science or similar fields. Previous experience with eddy covariance instrumentation and data handling is favourable. Proficiency in spoken and written English is needed, and, ideally, some French language skills for the position at Université de Montréal. The CAWS Research Group, the Atmosbios Lab and the Woodwell Climate Research Center are committed to the principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We welcome people of any ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or ability to contact us about the positions.

    Full funding for the PhD students is available through Graduate Research Assistant Fellowships. Funding is also available to cover costs for skills workshops, national and international scientific conferences, and field gear. Additional stipends and scholarships are available to apply for from both institutional and national sources, including recruitment awards for students with high GPAs.

    For further information and to apply, please send a letter of interest to olefeldt@ualberta.ca (CAWS Research Group) or oliver.sonnentag@umontreal.ca (Atmosbios Lab) and karndt@woodwellclimate.org (Woodwell Climate Research Center). Include resume/CV describing your skills and education, university transcripts and names of two referees. Positions will remain open until filled.

    Apply Now

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