Research project

Towards Multifunctional Urban Landscapes: Using Synergies Between Ecosystem Services and Ecosystem Resilience to Structure Habitat Conservation Planning


The proportion of the Canadian population living in cities has already reached nearly 80% and will continue to increase in the coming decades, which will accentuate development needs. However, urban development is often carried out to the detriment of natural ecosystems, despite the fact that these ecosystems support the well-being of local citizens by helping to maintain ecosystem service provision. In order to find a balance between maintaining the well-being of the population and development needs, it is essential to clearly identify habitats patches that will be protected or restored. Given that cities cannot conserve all of their remaining habitat patches, there is an urgent need to develop more effective conservation planning approaches that can overcome contemporary challenges inherent to the urban context.

The overall objective of this research project, carried out in collaboration with the City of Lévis, will be to adapt a systematic planning approach to conservation (SCP) to include new components for habitat resilience management as well as to ensure that equity is better taken into account when making conservation choices. First, an approach based on the principles of complex functional networks will be adapted and integrated into SCP tools to promote, when planning the conservation network, better resilience of urban habitats in the face of global changes. Second, the project will involve understanding the socio-ecological factors which (i) influence the vulnerability of citizens to the effects of climate change, (ii) influence their accessibility to natural environments and (iii) generate inequalities in conservation choices. Thus, the SCP approach developed will also be adapted to resolve potential inequalities in access to the benefits provided to citizens by urban ecosystems. Candidates must be willing to learn how to use software such as ArcGIS, R and Marxan with Zones.

Research Field

- Conservation
- Restoration
- Ecosystem services
- Systematic conservation planning
- Equity
- Resilience
- Biodiversity

Research Supervisor

Jérôme Cimon-Morin

Research Environment

Laval University, Department of wood and forest sciences, which is part of the Faculty of forestry, geography and geomatics

Web Site

Financial Aid Available by Program of Study

Doctorate in Forestry Science

Program description

Financial Aid Available*

Financial Aid Related to Research Project

$24000 per year for 4 years.

Mitacs PhD scholarship for 4 years

Program-Specific Financial Aid

Graduate Studies Awards

Milestone Amount
Doctoral exam and submission of research proposal by the end of the 4th semester
Favorable report from the supervising committee by the end of the 7th semester
Initial dissertation submission by the end of the 9th semester
Publication of an article in a scientific journal by the end of the 6th semester
Total $10,355

Université Laval: Student Financial Aid

Funding source Amount
Leadership and Comittment Scholarship (Canadians & permanent residents)
Citizens of the World Scholarship (International students) $30,000
Mobility Grant for Out-of-Province Internships or Research Visits (in French)
$1,000 to $2,000
Graduate Scholarships from Granting Agencies   
$20,000 to $70,000$
Online Directory of Graduate Scholarships (in French)
$500 to $50,000

Supplemental Tuition Fee Exemption Scholarship Program: Entitles international students to pay Canadian student tuition fees, for overall savings of around $40,000. If you are benefiting of this scholarship program, the doctoral admission scholarship will go toward paying your supplemental tuition fees. You will not receive the $2,000 scholarship amount directly; rather it will be applied over your first two semesters to the supplemental portion of your tuition fees.

* Amounts shown represent maximum financial aid available. Certain conditions apply. Subject to change without prior notice. For further information, contact sponsoring organizations directly.

Desired Profile

- Agroeconomics
- Agronomy
- Land-Use Planning and Regional Development
- Agroforestry
- Biology
- Agrifood Engineering
- Wood Engineering
- Geography
- Natural and landscaped environment
- Forest Management and Environment
-  Sustainable development of the territory
- Environment and Sustainable Development
-  Sustainable development

Requirements and Conditions

- Have a bachelor's degree and a master's degree (MSc or currently completing one) in biology, geography, forestry or any other related fields.
- Show an interest in and ability to think through complex issues and summarize research results effectively.
- Have strong scientific writing skills.
- Possess Knowledge of systematic conservation planning and other optimization tools (an asset).
- Possess knowledge of statistical analysis and the use of R software (an asset).
- Be available to start the project no later than January 2025.

Required Documentation

- Text about research interests
- Lettre de recommandation
- Cover letter
- Curriculum vitæ
- Student transcript
Anyone interested in the project should apply. The lead researchers will use general, clear and flexible criteria to assess all applications. Only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted following the posting period for the position.

Application Deadline

March 1, 2024

Find Out More

Jérôme Cimon-Morin
Professeur adjoint
Département des sciences du bois et de la forêt