M.Sc./Ph.D. Opportunities

MSc position to study the relationship between host genetics and pig gut microbiome  

Dr. Brandon Lillie (Pathobiology), Dr. Khurram Nadeem (Mathematics and Statistics), Dr. Vahab Farzan (Pathobiology and Population Medicine) 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The microbial colonization of the neonatal and adult gut plays a key role in function of immunological and metabolic pathways that influence disease resistance, health, and performance of pigs. Indeed, the mechanism-of-action of many commercially available intervention strategies and products designed to promote health and performance in pigs and replace antibiotics, is associated with their demonstrated ability to modify the composition of the gut microbiome. The application of molecular and bioinformatics methods has demonstrated that the gut microbiome is abundant, complex, and highly dynamic, partly influenced by host genetics.  The overall goal of this MSc project is to investigate the relationship between host genetics and the swine gut microbiome. The project is specifically aiming to identify the single nucleotide variants with known roles in innate immunity and host resistance to microbes, as well as SNPs spaced across the entire genome, using a genome wide association study (GWAS) approach.   

JOB DESCRIPTION: The successful candidate will develop and utilize bioinformatics pipelines to model various outcomes related to microbiome (Ex. alpha and beta diversity, microbiome composition) against single nucleotide variants through statistical modeling and genome wide association study.  

Selection of the successful candidate is based on a combination of academic criteria, relevant experience, and referees’ evaluations. Previous experience in programming (e.g., R or Python) and knowledge of statistical methods such as regression analysis will be considered an asset. Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. The interested candidates should send a CV, a copy of undergraduate transcripts, a code example, a writing sample, names of three references, and a cover letter stating interest in the above-mentioned research topic to Dr. Vahab Farzan at afarzan@uoguelph.ca.   

The University of Guelph is committed to an Employment Equity Program that includes special measures to achieve diversity among its faculty and staff. We therefore particularly encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups.  


Gaze Tracking: MSc student(s) projects related to gaze planning and tracking

Dr. Maz Fallah (Human Health & Nutritional Sciences)

POSITION DESCRIPTION: They say the eyes are a window to our souls. We continue to show how the eyes intrinsically reflect other brain functions. To this end, we are seeking a graduate student to study how eye movements reflect underlying cognitive and perceptual processing, in health and disease. The candidate will investigate how gaze reflects feature- and object-based visual processing, decision-making, target selection, and cognitive strategies. The research involves designing experiments using infrared eye trackers, analyzing gaze metrics, and using the results to advance our understanding of how we process the world around us to be able to act upon it. There is the potential to advancing our computational models and develop neural network models. The successful candidate will have a relevant background (e.g. neuroscience, human kinetics, psychology, cognitive science, biomedical science, informatics, etc) and preferably some programming skills (e.g. Matlab).

HOW TO APPLY: All interested MSc candidates please contact: mfallah@uoguelph.ca

The University of Guelph is committed to equity in its policies, practices, and programs, supports diversity in its teaching, learning and work environments, and ensures that applications from members of underrepresented groups are seriously considered under its employment equity policy. All qualified individuals who would contribute to the further diversification of our University community are encouraged to apply.


Browse previous M.Sc./Ph.D. opportunities that have been filled.