MSc Opportunity in Fish Movement Ecology

Long range Walleye movement across the Lake Superior north shore

The Community Ecology and Energetics lab at Lakehead University ( is currently seeking a domestic MSc student (Canadian citizen or resident) to investigate long-range movement patterns of Walleye across the north shore of Lake Superior, using acoustically-tagged fish and an acoustic telemetry array that spans from the Canadian/US border to include Thunder Bay, Black Bay and Nipigon Bay. The full array (to be completed fall of 2022) can be viewed at

Walleye have been an important component of the north shore ecosystem historically but suffered historically from habitat alterations and overfishing. As Walleye populations recover along the north shore, a better understanding of the degree of habitat use is critical in the proper management of this species. In partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Parks Canada, the student will examine movement data during the 2023 calendar year to evaluate long-range movement patterns of Walleye. This work builds of recent work conducted in Black Bay, Lake Superior that demonstrates high rates of Walleye migration out of Black Bay and into Lake Superior (

Opportunities exist for students to develop independent research questions within the project related to fish life history strategies and food web ecology. Prior experience with data analysis using the statistical program R and/or experience with spatial or movement analysis would be an asset, but are skills the student can develop during their training.

The student will be supervised by Dr. Michael Rennie at Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, ON. Minimum funding for the position is $21,000 per year through a combination of research stipend support and a teaching assistant position (135 hours per semester), but will be augmented if the student is successful in securing internal or external scholarships. Funds are also available to support field work and presentations by the student at scientific conferences. Ideally, the student would be able to begin their studies in September 2023, but a January 2024 start could be negotiated.

Interested students should send the following via e-mail to Michael Rennie (

  1. A (maximum) one-page cover letter outlining the students interest and qualifications for the proposed project;
  2. A resume or curriculum vitae;
  3. A copy of unofficial transcripts indicating the student’s average over the last 20 courses taken (include this information in your cover letter if not clearly outline on the transcript).

Only suitable candidates will be contacted for an interview. Evaluation of applications will begin immediately as they are received but the position will remain open until filled.