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Potential MSc position: Study juvenile salmon habitat preferences in the Fraser River estuary

We are seeking a Research Assistant, with the potential to become a Master’s student, to study juvenile salmon ecology in marsh habitats of the Fraser River estuary, BC. The successful applicant will join the field project team in late February / early March and will apply to the Department of Biology at the University of Victoria in spring 2017 for a MSc. position supervised by Dr. Julia Baum at UVic’s Baum lab.

The project is a partnership between UVic’s Baum Lab and the Raincoast Conservation Foundation.  Field work will be conducted out of Ladner Harbour with potential for local accommodation. This project is funded by the Pacific Salmon Foundation as part of the Salish Sea Marine Survival Project.

Estuaries connect marine and freshwater environments for anadromous Pacific salmon, providing important habitats during a crucial transition period for juveniles where feeding opportunities are abundant and the risk of predation is relatively low. Growth during estuarine residence may be an important factor influencing survival to maturity for some species, as size at ocean entry is known to be a key determinant of early marine survival. Juvenile salmon originating from throughout the Fraser system migrate through the estuary each year, but little is known about timing and habitat preferences of different populations.

This project is a continuation of efforts initiated in 2016, and will include repeat sampling of our established sites, with additional sampling added to answer new questions. In 2017, the project will focus on juvenile salmon use of marsh habitats, including initiating a sampling protocol conducted in 1978 to create a historical comparison.

Interested applicants should hold a BSc degree in Biology or related field, and meet or exceed the admission requirements for UVic’s Biology Graduate program. Familiarity with coastal ecology and local species, field experience, and prior research experience are strong assets. Applicants must be competitive for future awards and grants: please read the Baum Lab’s letter to prospective students before applying.

To Apply:

Please send a brief statement outlining your research interests, a copy of your unofficial transcripts, and a detailed CV to:

David Scott ( and Misty MacDuffee (

Applications will be evaluated as they are received and will be accepted until February 10th, 2017.

Also Note: If you are interested in volunteering with this project please contact Misty or Dave at Raincoast.