PhD Position

Area of Focus:

Carbon Sequestration in Pasture Soils


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PhD Position Available to work on Carbon Sequestration in Pasture Soils

A graduate student position (PhD) is available for a motivated candidate to work in the area of regenerative agriculture. Specifically, the candidate will assess soil organic matter quality in pasture soils under contrasting grazing management systems. The position(s) will be based in the Department of Plant Agriculture at the University of Guelph and supervised by Dr. Kim Schneider, with co-supervision from faculty in the School of Environmental Sciences (Dr. Adam Gillespie). A start date of September 2022 would be ideal, but may be negotiable (May 2023 may still be possible for domestic candidates). Post-doctoral fellows with experience in NMR spectroscopy may be considered if a suitable PhD candidate is not identified.

Position Summary:
The selected student will assess soil organic carbon stocks and soil organic carbon stability under rotational versus continuous grazing treatments from pasture soils at the University of Guelph’s Beef Research Centre (Elora, Ontario). The student will also use other soil health methods and advanced analytical techniques including but not limited to NMR spectroscopy and potentially programmed pyrolysis to assess soil organic matter quality. Additional soils previously collected from 10 beef pastures in southwestern Ontario will also be included in the student’s project. 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 regenerative agriculture, carbon sequestration, grazing and forage crop management, and soil science and have completed a bachelor’s degree and MSc degree in agronomy, crop science, soil science, environmental chemistry, or a related discipline. Related laboratory (including NMR spectroscopy) and or field experience is a desirable asset.

Interested candidates send a brief statement of their research interests and related past experience, as well as a copy of their current CV, academic transcripts, and names of three references to Dr. Kim Schneider at by March 27th 2023..

Department and University Information:

The Department of Plant Agriculture is Canada’s largest and most diverse applied plant biology department in Canada and has recognized strengths in a broad cross-section of plant sciences including agronomy, horticulture, breeding, molecular genetics, genomics, controlled environment systems, plant physiology, post-harvest physiology, plant pathology, and plant-based bioproducts. The Department currently has 32 faculty members and employs 100 staff and more than 100 graduate students. Faculty within the Department have access to modern laboratory, growth room and greenhouse facilities, as well as fourteen well-equipped research stations across the province. As part of the Ontario Agricultural College, Plant Agriculture has a long history of achievement in serving the agriculture and agri-food industries within Ontario and beyond. Department of Plant Agriculture Crop Science Building 50 Stone Road East Guelph, Ontario, Canada N1G 2W1

The University of Guelph is the third largest employer in Guelph, a city of approximately 130,000 people, located about an hour drive west of Toronto, Ontario. University of Guelph is a top-ranked comprehensive university in Canada with an enrolment of more than 30,000 undergraduate and graduate students across over 40 academic units. The University is known for its commitment to student learning, innovative research, and collaboration with world-class partners. It is a unique place, with transformative research and teaching and a distinctive campus culture. People who learn and work here are shaped and inspired by a shared purpose: To Improve Life. Reflecting that shared purpose in every experience connected to our university positions us to create positive change, here and around the world. Our university community shares a profound sense of social responsibility, a drive for international development, and an obligation to address global issues.

At the University, fostering a culture of inclusion is an institutional imperative. We invite and encourage applications from all qualified individuals, including from groups that are traditionally underrepresented in employment, who may contribute to further diversification of our Institution.