PhD Opportunity in Forest Biometrics and Modelling (Deadline: Until Filled)

The Forest Biometrics Lab of the University of British Columbia, Canada, invites applications for a PhD student position under the supervision of Dr. Bianca Eskelson, based on the Vancouver campus. The position is part of Silva21, which is a large multi-year industry and NSERC funded project to provide tools and practical solutions for decision-makers, managers, and planners to adapt forest management practices to improve both resistance to stressors and resilience to disturbance, and thereby ensure the longevity of forest-based communities across Canada.

PhD Position Details

The successful candidate will be responsible for simulating future species distributions and assess projection uncertainty under changing climate. To achieve this goal the candidate will develop a climate-sensitive model of tree mortality for the major tree species in the Province of Québec, Canada. This mortality model will be integrated into a forest growth simulator to conduct the simulations. The key outcome of this work will be model formulations for mixed-species, multi-cohort stands available via open source platforms. The project will be conducted in collaboration with the Canadian Forest Service and the Forest Research Branch of Québec Ministry of Forests, Wildlife and Parks.

  • Start date: September 1, 2021
  • Stipend: CAD 25,000 annually for 4 years
  • Research and travel costs are provided

Position Requirements:

  • MSc degree in Forest Biometrics or a related field; BSc in forestry is an asset
  • 1st class standing (e.g., GPA 80% or above)
  • Experience fitting a model/exposure to growth and yield models; computer programming skills are an asset
  • Fundamental knowledge of descriptive and inferential statistics (e.g., third or fourth year statistics course)
  • Strong written and oral communication skills in English; knowledge of French is an asset
  • Self-motivation and perseverance

How to Apply

Applications will be reviewed as received until the position is filled.

Interested candidates should e-mail Dr. Bianca Eskelson ( including the following information: 1) a letter of intent that describes the candidate’s academic and career goals as well as research interests and relevant experience, 2) a curriculum vitae including contact information for 3 professional references, 3) a copy of  unofficial transcripts of all post-secondary institutions the candidate has attended, and 4) examples of past research publications (peer-reviewed or other).

UBC hires on the basis of merit and is committed to employment equity. All qualified persons are encouraged to apply. Equity and diversity are essential to academic excellence.  An open and diverse community fosters the inclusion of voices that have been underrepresented or discouraged.  We encourage applications from members of groups that have been marginalized on any grounds enumerated under the B.C. Human Rights Code, including sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, racialization, disability, political belief, religion, marital or family status, age, and/or status as a First Nation, Metis, Inuit, or Indigenous person. Please indicate in your application if you are a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada.

Further Information

UBC’s Forest Biometrics Lab –

UBC’s Department of Forest Resources Management –

Graduate programs at UBC’s Faculty of Forestry –

Applicants with international credentials may have to provide the results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. For more information on the minimum requirements of admission see

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