Research Opportunities

Jeff Birchall

Graduate students interested in contributing to research on local-scale climate change impacts, and the decision dynamics around policy and planning response, should contact Dr. Birchall directly for potential volunteer research opportunities.

Case studies:

  • British Columbia
  • Arctic (Alaska, Yukon, NWT)
  • East coast (Nova Scotia, New Brunswick)


  • Excellent academic qualifications (3.5 cumulative GPA or higher)
  • Ability to work independently
  • Skills in qualitative and/ or quantitative social data analysis
  • Ability to write well

Andrew Bush

I would be very interested to supervise graduate students in the following areas:

  • unravelling the dynamical connections linking ENSO and the south Asian monsoon
  • the role of baroclinic instability of the East African jet in spawning hurricanes
  • the history of ENSO in the Quaternary
  • the dynamical history of the tropical Pacific thermocline
  • initiation and maintenance of glaciation

Octavian Catuneanu

I supervise students along the following themes of research:

  • Process sedimentology: paleo-environmental reconstructions in outcrop and subsurface
  • Sequence stratigraphy: applications for petroleum, coal and mineral resources exploration
  • Basin analysis: interplay of tectonism, sea-level change, climate, and sediment supply
  • Magnetostratigraphy: applications for dating and regional correlation

Tom Chacko

Current Research Projects (in collaboration with graduate students & colleagues)

  • Evolution of Precambrian terranes using a variety of geochronological, geochemical and petrological techniques
  • Calibration of stable isotope fractionation factors

Damian Collins

PhD, MA and BA summer positions are available to work on all areas of housing and homelessness research, especially:

  • The human right to housing
  • Vulnerability in the Canadian housing sector
  • Community (non-profit) housing initiatives

Robert Creaser

  • Re-Os geochronology of fluid flow and ore-forming systems using sulfide minerals

Alison Criscitiello

  • Polar and high-altitude ice core glaciochemistry
  • Paleoclimate
  • Sea-ice proxy development in ice cores
  • Global atmospheric teleconnections
  • Influence of tropical dynamics on the poles

Monireh Faramarzi

I am seeking graduate students who would be interested in studying and working in one of the below areas:

  • Assessment of renewable and fossil fresh water resources across landscapes
  • Hydrologic modelling under changing climate (watersheds of Canadian Prairies)
  • Groundwater-surface water modelling
  • Modelling nutrient cycle, loads, and transport in agricultural watersheds of cold regions
  • Crop growth simulation and process understanding in cold regions
  • Analyses of blue and green Virtual Water Trade and environmental impacts
  • Water-food-energy nexus

Duane Froese

  • Tephrochronology of interior Yukon and Alaska
  • Quaternary Stratigraphy and paleoclimates
  • Cryostratigraphy and permafrost studies

Theresa Garvin

Students are required for a research programme on aging in suburban environments.
Students with the following qualifications are encouraged to contact Dr. Garvin directly about research opportunities:

  • Excellent academic qualifications (3.4 cumulative GPA or higher)
  • Undergraduate degree(s) in social or health sciences
  • Ability to work independently
  • Skills in quantitative and/or qualitative social data analysis
  • Interest in working in large, team-based research environments.

Murray Gingras

  • Neoichnological research projects.
  • Core studies of Mesozoic strata in western Canada.
  • Development of Process Ichnological frameworks.
  • Bioturbation in PreCambrian and Paleozoic strata.

Emily Grise

I am seeking students (MSc, PhD, and upper year undergraduate students) who are interested in working in one of the following areas of research:

  • Travel survey design and data analysis
  • Public transit planning and operations
  • Transport and land use interactions
  • Disruptive transport technology
  • Transport infrastructure and neighbourhood socioeconomic change

Interested students should contact me and explain which of these research areas they are interested in. There will also be opportunities for a summer internship beginning in May 2021. 

Chris Herd

I am seeking graduate students in any of the following areas:

  • Martian meteorite mineralogy, petrology, geochemistry and chronology
  • Mineralogy, petrology and organic geochemistry of carbonaceous chondrite samples
  • Advanced curation methods for meteorites and other samples

Britta Jensen

I am always interested in hearing from students who have any interest in the following research themes:

  • Classic tephrochronology and tephrostratigraphy (dating and correlating stratigraphic records using volcanic ash)
  • Examining proximal and distal volcanic ash to build eruption histories, help understand ash fall dynamics and volcanic-climate interactions
  • Cryptotephra deposits in North America and North American ice cores (with the Canadian Ice Core Laboratory)
  • Paleomagnetic characteristics, geochemistry, stratigraphy and sedimentology of eastern Beringia (Alaska/Yukon) loess deposits

Kurt Konhauser

MSc or PhD projects are available that combine lab-based experiments focusing on the partitioning of trace metals to iron oxides, silicates and carbonates with the chemical analyses of Precambrian banded iron formations, cherts and carbonates, respectively, in order to ascertain the composition of the ancient oceans and marine biosphere.

Elena Konstantinovskaya

Current Research Projects (in collaboration with graduate students & colleagues):

  • Fractured reservoirs, fault hydraulic behaviour and mechanical instability
  • Seismic interpretation, structural analysis and reservoir geomechanical modelling: applications for petroleum exploration and field development
  • Tectonic development of continental margins and offshore basins and numerical modelling: contribution to a petroleum systems analysis
  • Structural and kinematic analysis of fold-and-thrust belts: interaction of erosion and tectonic accretion

Stephen Johnston

Current research opportunities include: 

  • Tectonic development and paleogeographic implications of modern and ancient orogenic belts
  • Oroclines: Analysis of bent mountain systems through structural and paleomagnetic studies
  • Convergent Margins: Geodynamics and magmatism 

Long Li

PhD and MSc student positions are currently available to work on the following projects:

  • Characterization of nitrogen isotope fractionations in a variety of geological processes.
  • Constraints of global geological nitrogen cycling.

Tara McGee

I would be happy to speak to potential applicants with an interest in conducting research on the following themes:

  • Social science dimensions of wildfires
  • Indigenous peoples and wildfires or other hazards

Karlis Muehlenbachs

  • Muehlenbachs is seeking graduate students to participate in an ongoing,
  • industry funded initiative to understand the origin of shallow natural gas
  • in the Western Canada Sedimentary Basin.
  • Muehlenbachs is seeking a graduate student to determine rates of oxygen
  • diffusion in minerals and melts at high temperature and pressure
  • Muehlenbachs is seeking a graduate student who would elucidate aspects of
  • microbiological attack on volcanic glass

Paul Myers

I am seeking graduate students who would be interested in studying and working in one of the below areas

  • Development of high and very high resolution ocean general circulation models for ocean climate applications
  • The role of Freshwater in the High-Latitude Ocean
  • Regional Ocean Modelling (Labrador Sea and Subpolar North Atlantic)
  • Links Between the Arctic and North Atlantic Oceans
  • Ocean - Cyrospheric Links (with a focus on the Greenland Ice Sheet)
  • Shelf - Open ocean exchange processes
  • Ocean biogeochemical Modelling and impacts of ocean/climate physics on ecosystem

Graham Pearson

I am interested in attracting graduate students and post-doctoral researchers to work in the following areas:

  • Constraining the thermal history of cratonic lithosphere through conventional and new approaches to thermobarometry and thermal modelling.
  • Petrology and geochronology of the lithospheric mantle beneath Arctic Canada.
  • The origin of Slave craton diamonds.
  • Use of novel laser-sampling methods to trace the origin of diamonds.
  • Statistical methods for differentiating diamond populations.
  • Laser ablation analytical methods

Arturo Sanchez-Azofeifa

My main research interest relates to the study of ecosystem succession of Tropical Dry Forests (TDFs). I conduct these studies using LiDAR), hyperspectral/multispectral remote sensing, and field inventories. I am interested in students (Ph.D.) that would like to work on:

  • Study carbon fluxes and active photosynthetic radiation (PAR) in TDFs.
  • The use of LiDAR platforms to characterize liana and non-liana infested plots in TDFs.
  • Integrate hyperspectral, multispectral, LiDAR, and artificial intelligence approaches to characterize ecosystem succession in TDFs.
  • Use of terrestrial laser scanning to study the difference in tree architecture.

All this work is conducted at the Santa Rosa National Park Environmental Monitoring SuperSite, Guanacaste, Costa Rica. I am interested in Ph.D. students with a background in tropical ecology, remote sensing, physics, and micro-meteorology.

Thomas Stachel

PhD and MSc projects are currently available in the following fields

  • Systematic studies on diamonds and their mineral inclusions from mines in Canada and worldwide
  • The evolution of cratonic roots (the origin of cratonic peridotites, eclogites, and pyroxenites).
  • The mineralogy and geochemistry of the deep mantle (asthenosphere, transition zone and lower mantle)

Bruce Sutherland

My research examines the motion of the atmosphere and ocean, particularly as they are influenced by density changes with height as occurs at an atmospheric inversion or an oceanic thermocline. The research involves laboratory experiments, numerical modelling and/or theory. Presently I am seeking MSc and PhD students interested in projects involving:

  • transport and settling of clay and microplastics in estuaries
  • the evolution of atmospheric and oceanic waves
  • excitation of waves from turbulence

Applications are encouraged from students with a background in environmental science preferably with experience in introductory physics and in applied mathematics at a level including introductory partial differential equations. 

Kristof Van Assche

Interested students are always welcome to inquire about research possibilities. We are open to many creative ideas (though not all). Some topics of interest are:

  • Resource communities
  • Environmental governance and planning
  • Rural development and planning
  • Comparative planning and governance
  • Theory of planning
  • Policy and administration
  • Innovation in planning and planning for innovation
  • Learning in systems of planning and governance
  • Self-organization
  • Sustainability and transition

John Waldron

I and my graduate students work on the deformed sedimentary basins preserved in orogens (mountain belts) including:

  • Provenance and tectonics of early Paleozoic basins in the Appalachians and Caledonides of eastern North America and northern Europe
  • Strike-slip and salt tectonics of Late Paleozoic basins in Atlantic Canada
  • Deformation and subsidence in the foreland basin of the Himalaya