Graduate Student Position(s)

Area of Focus:

Forage Crops/Ecosystem Services


OAC Department of Plant Agriculture Logo

One or two graduate student positions (MSc or PhD) are available for a motivated candidate to work in the area of regenerative agriculture, specifically relating to either: 1) forage crops and nutrient use efficiency or 2) grazing management and soil organic matter quality.  For project 1, the student will work on a project assessing how different forage species and mixtures perform under varying nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) application rates.  There will be a specific focus on P and the ability of different legume forage species to access less soluble forms of P, including P from struvite, a recovered magnesium ammonium phosphate precipitate from wastewater, that can be used as a source of nutrients for crop production.  Struvite is recognized for helping to recycle waste phosphorus, working towards more sustainable nutrient management.  The work will involve conducting controlled environment pot trials, laboratory analysis, and field work.  For project 2, the student will conduct field work on pastures grazed by beef cattle at the University of Guelph’s Elora Research Station, or on farms, or a combination of the two.  The field work will investigate how grazing management, including adaptive multi-paddock grazing affects soil organic carbon sequestration and soil organic matter quality.  The possibility to combine this with molecular biology work assessing changes in the soil microbiome exists.  The student will have the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary work with partners in other University of Guelph departments including Animal biosciences and School of Environmental Sciences.   Candidates should have an interest in forage crop management, nutrient use efficiency, nutrient dynamics and soil science and have completed a bachelor’s degree in agronomy, crop science, soil science, environmental science, or a related discipline.  Laboratory and or field experience is a desirable asset.

Conditions of employment

The position(s) will be based in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph.  A start date of January 2021 would be ideal, but is negotiable (September 2020 or May 2021 may be possible).  Applications will begin to be reviewed as they arrive until a suitable candidate is found.  Interested candidates should contact Dr. Kim Schneider at for more information and send a statement of their research interests and related past experience, as well as a copy of their current CV and academic transcripts.