A postdoctoral fellow is sought to work on a research program examining factors determining the abundance of yellow perch larvae in Lake Saint-Pierre (St. Lawrence river, Québec, Canada). The yellow perch stock experienced a strong collapse in the mid-90s and exhibited no improvement even though there was a complete moratorium on commercial and sport fishing and measures were taken to protect its reproduction. Among the potential mechanisms behind the failure of yellow perch recruitment is a reduction in the survival of larvae; this stage is often neglected in stock assessment (PLOS ONE, 2012: 7, e50239). The aim of this project is to understand the factors determining the abundance of yellow perch larvae in Lake Saint-Pierre, the largest lake of the St. Lawrence River system. By focussing on the role of spatial heterogeneity, we will explicitly analyze the distribution of submerged vegetation and its role in modulating the vulnerability of larvae to predators. The candidate will have access to an existing database (2002–2012) and will participate in the field surveys planned for 2013–2014 in parallel with an ongoing project on the role of submerged aquatic vegetation on aquatic productivity realized by the Interuniversity Research Group in Limnology and Aquatic Environment(GRIL). This Ph. D. project will be done in collaboration with Pierre Magnan and Andrea Bertolo from UQTR, and Philippe Brodeur and Marc Mingelbier from the Ministère des Ressources Naturelles du Québec. The position will also provide ample opportunities for interaction with other members of the Research Centre for Watershed - Aquatic Ecosystem Interactions, which currently includes 14 faculty members in the fields of aquatic ecology and physical geography as well as 25–35M.Sc./Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows. A strong background in remote sensing, image analysis, and aquatic ecosystems is required.
Factors determining the abundance of yellow perch larvae in Lake Saint-Pierre