Graduate students

We are looking for one PhD student interested in how biodiversity influences grassland carbon stocks. This position will be co-supervised between Dr. Hongjie Zhang at the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Swift Current Research and Development Center ( ) and Dr. Jon Bennett at the University of Saskatchewan ( Time will be split between AAFC in Swift Current and the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, SK. The successful individual will join a set of highly collaborative and well-funded projects on grassland ecology and identifying management interventions that can enhance grassland ecosystem services, including carbon storage. This PhD position will take advantage of multiple ongoing large scale surveys and experiments to explore how changes in grassland biodiversity at multiple trophic levels affects organic, inorganic and total carbon stocks via temperature-dependent combustion on a brand new SoliTOC autoanalyzer. There will be considerable opportunity to collaborate with researchers across an array of fields (ecology, plant breeding, soil science, entomology, and artificial intelligence), and to integrate data generated by other groups into wholistic analyses. While there are defined deliverables for these projects, student positions can be shaped to some extent by the interests of the successful applicant. We are looking for individuals who excel in both team environments and independent roles. Strong oral and written communication skills are essential.

We would like to fill this position as soon as possible but start dates as late as January 2025 will be considered.

Minimum qualifications:

  • Master’s degree, or equivalent, from a recognized university in a relevant academic discipline such as environmental science, soil science and so on.
  • Language Proficiency Requirements: Proof of English proficiency may be required for international applicants and for applicants whose first language is not English. A minimum overall TOEFL score of 86 is required with a minimum score of 20 in each area, or a minimum overall IELTS score of 6.5 with a minimum score of 6.5 in each area.
  • A cumulative weighted average of at least a 70% (USask grade system equivalent) in the last two years of study (i.e. coursework required in master’s program)


Minimum of four years of funding at $29,000/year

To Apply:

Interested candidates must submit the following documents electronically to

  • A cover letter outlining past research experience and career goals
  • An updated curriculum vitae
  • A copy of your undergraduate/graduate transcripts
  • Contact information for two individuals willing to provide reference letters


Undergraduate students

Getting students involved in research early is important, and there are many opportunities for undergraduate students to join the lab. I am currently looking for 1-2 additional students to work in the lab this summer. Students will have to reside in or near Saskatoon to fill these positions. Interested students are encouraged to contact me with a CV and unofficial transcripts as soon as possible to discuss potential fits.

I take a number of thesis students each year. Students looking to do their thesis work within the lab are encouraged to contact me well in advance (Winter term the year before).

Postdoctoral fellows

We do not currently have any funded positions. We are willing to help develop funding applications with strong candidates whose interests match the lab. Those wishing to develop these applications can contact Dr. Bennett with an up to date CV. 

Technical staff

There are no current openings.