There is a funded MSc research opportunity at Prof. Dr, Azim Mallik’s Plant Ecology Lab at Lakehead University, ON, Canada.

If you are excited in discovering how wildfires change forest vegetation and whether prescribed burning can emulate such disturbance in a protected area along with changing climate, then this project is for you.  The project is implemented in beautiful and unique setting of Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada on the northern coast of Lake Superior representing a transition of vegetation from mixed-wood plains to conifer dominated boreal shields. Using already available fire history and remote sensing data (satellite images, aerial photos) you will model post-fire vegetation change in Pukaskwa National Park, Ontario, Canada. You will have the opportunity to collect additional data (as required for the research) from
post-burn sites in and around the park and also for model ground truthing (keep in mind that most of the park is only accessible by a helicopter!). You will be working/camping with the park personnel in most cases. You will work toward achieving the following two specific objectives:

1. Investigate post-fire stand development under natural fire regime of the past and project changes in dominant cover types in relation to the predicted climate change.
2. Evaluate the effectiveness of prescribed burns (PB) to achieve land management goals of the park.

You can also bring in your own research idea(s) as long as they are in line with the funded project. Course(s) done in GIS and remote sensing, and experience of handling remote sensing data, interpreting aerial photos, GIS mapping would be an asset but not an absolute requirement. However, the student would be required to learn/get trained on these skills before starting the project. An orientation to boreal forest ecosystem will also be helpful.

The position is open to both Canadian and international students. However, the student is responsible for covering respective tuition and health insurance. The student will receive aprrox. $22,000 annually for two years. In addition, the student will be eligible to apply for several departmental scholarships and awards that are competitive and often awarded first-come-first serve basis. Please consult the graduate funding opportunities @

To apply:
Send your CV, transcripts (unofficial is fine at this stage), English proficiency statement (for non-native speakers) and a cover letter explaining your interest and fit to the project, all in one pdf document, as soon as possible to
First review of the applications will be done in March 02, 2015 and continue till the position is filled. Only short-listed candidates will be contacted.

Selected student will have to apply separately for admission as per the University regulation(s), available@
Expected start date is Spring session (May 2015) or as soon as possible afterwards. It is possible to join the lab immediately as a volunteer/part-time student. For further inquiry you may send an email to:
Dr. Azim Mallik
Email: or

Postal address:
Professor Azim Mallik
Department of Biology, Lakehead University
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada P7B 5E1
Saif Khan, Phd Student