Graduate Research Assistantship

University of Guelph

Agriculture Pesticide Pollinator Risk Assessment

The Department of Plant Agriculture is seeking applicants to fill a GRA position at the PhD level to oversee an independent risk assessment of neonicotinoid exposure to honeybees in a corn/soybean ecosystem where seed treatment use predominates. The assessment will compare two data sets. The first was collected during a period of high exposure resulting in a robust, comprehensive data set for neonicotinoid residues in numerous matrices from commercial fields from 2013-15. The second data set will be collected during 2016-18 during a period of transition to reduced exposure as a result of restricted and mitigated use. We are seeking a highly-motivated and objective scientist to use these Tier 3 data to conduct this critically important risk assessment under the guidance of a team of independent scientists from the University of Guelph, Michigan State University and the University of Manitoba.

Qualifications include an MSc, preferably in ecotoxicology and risk assessment with some combination of undergraduate experience in analytical chemistry, apiculture, field crop protection, agronomy, and/or entomology. A minimum annual stipend of $20,000 will be provided for 3 years. To qualify, students must demonstrate a high academic standing during the last two completed years of study in addition to the admission requirements of the University (see link below). Additional support may be available subject to qualifications and awarding of departmental scholarships. The candidate will be located at the Ridgetown Campus with some of the course work conducted at the Guelph main campus.
The ideal candidate will be self-motivated, an excellent communicator, objective, open- minded, articulate, diplomatic, of pleasant character, a leader and a consensus builder. The candidate must be able to work confidently in the field with honeybees in and outside the hive, and to take field samples under inclement conditions, at odd hours when required. The candidate must also be comfortable, patient and precise to work in the lab running analytical samples of trace pesticides by high performance LC-MS/MS. The candidate must be comfortable with handling and analyzing large and complex data sets using sophisticated modelling tools. The candidate must be comfortable interacting and communicating with multiple stakeholders in a highly polarized and contentious environment, employing grace, diplomacy and tact.

Screening of applicants will continue until a successful candidate is identified. For information about graduate school admissions visit please visit and send letters of inquiry to Prof. Art Schaafsma

Art Schaafsma
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