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Impact of COVID-19 lockdown on the bioenergetic of snow geese

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Research teams:

Cristoforo Silvestri, Département de Médecine, Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Québec.

Pierre Legagneux, Department of Biology & Centre d’Études Nordiques, Université Laval, Québec.

Context: We are looking for a passionate student with training in microbiology who wishes to pursue his or her master’s degree in order to conduct a multidisciplinary project on the bioenergetics of Greater Snow Geese, a migratory species that naturally fattens in the spring in Quebec before breeding in the high Arctic. In 2020, COVID-19 confinement reduced disturbance, which appears to have benefited geese that reached body condition earlier than control years.

Objective: Compare feeding behavior, lipid physiology, gut microbiome composition, endocannabinoid and related lipid levels and bioenergetic markers from geese captured before (2019), during (2020) and after (2021) confinement. Some validations on different tissues will be performed beforehand.

Laboratory analyses: Several approaches will be favored during this project: gut microbiome composition will be measured using 16S rDNA sequencing, endocannabinoids and related lipid mediators will be assessed using LC-MS, blood cortisol and lipid levels will me quantified using immuno-assays and liver, muscle, adipose mitochondrial levels will be quantified by QPCR.

Desired skills: Autonomy; Strong interest in laboratory work; Interest in ecology; sense of initiative; ability to work in a team; good knowledge of English;

Location of studies: The student must be registered at Université Laval, Quebec City.

Scholarship: The student will be offered a scholarship of 18 000$/year for 2 years. We encourage students to apply for scholarships from external organizations.

Deadline to apply: December 1st, 2021. Project start date ideally January 2022.

Contact:

Please send your CV, transcripts and a brief cover letter showing your interest in this specific project to

cristoforo.silvestri@criucpq.ulaval.ca

and

pierre.legagneux@bio.ulaval.ca