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MSc position on spillover of a livestock zoonosis into wildlife populations

Coxiella burnetii is a zoonotic bacterium that causes Q-fever in humans. C. burnetii is an important infection in sheep and goats, often causing abortion in those species. We have recently discovered C. burnetii in six of seven wild rodent species in a natural environment park in Ontario, Canada, suggesting that wildlife may serve as a reservoir for this disease-causing organism. We are seeking an MSc student to pursue a study of C. burnetii at the interface of infected and non-infected dairy goat farms and surrounding wildlife. The student will be co-supervised by Dr. Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde (Canada Research Chair in Applied Evolutionary Ecology – Laurentian University) and Dr. Claire Jardine (University of Guelph) and collaborate with researchers in the Department of Population Medicine at the University of Guelph, the Centre for Microbial Genetics and Genomics (CMGG-Northern Arizona University), and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Prospective students should be able to work independently, have some experience with genetic techniques, and a willingness to engage in extensive fieldwork.
Start-date is Sept 2013 with a competitive salary. Interested students should contact Dr. Albrecht Schulte-Hostedde (aschultehostedde@laurentian.ca; website) or Dr. Claire Jardine (cjardi01@ovc.uoguelph.ca; website) and provide transcripts, a CV and the names of two references. Selection of the successful applicant will be based on a combination of academic criteria, relevant interest and experience, referees’ evaluations, and an assessment of to the candidate’s career goals and motivation.

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