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Postdoctoral Scholar - Optimizing Wastewater Sampling for Effective Wastewater-Based Epidemiology, Environmental Engineering or Science

Job ID: 24191
Location: Main Campus
Updated January 12, 2022

This job posting is no longer active.

We would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the traditional territories of the people of the Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta.
The City of Calgary is also home to Métis Nation of Alberta, Districts 5 and 6.

Position Description

Area:  Optimizing Wastewater Sampling for Effective Wastewater-Based Epidemiology

Duration:  One-year

Start Date:  December 2021

Salary:  55,000 $CAD plus Alberta Blue Cross Plan C Health Insurance


The Department of Geoscience in the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary is accepting applications for a Postdoctoral Scholar (PDS) in Environmental Science/Engineering.

Job Description:

The successful candidate will be part of an interdisciplinary research project that is seeking to use wastewater to track the epidemiology of COVID infection rates in Calgary. The position requires working directly with researchers in the Faculties of Science, Engineering, and Medicine on the main and Foothills campuses, and at the University’s Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets (ACWA) facility in SE Calgary, and the City of Calgary’s municipal employees at their facilities.

Reporting to the Primary Investigators (PIs), Drs. Cathy Ryan (Faculty of Science) and Gopal Achari (Schulich School of Engineering), the Post-Doctoral Scholar (PDS) will primarily focus on collecting, analysing, and interpreting field samples as well as their geochemical analyses at various points within the wastewater collection system to optimize Wastewater-Based Epidemiology (WBE). Molecular analysis of WBE samples can be critically dependent on chemical inhibitors in wastewater, which need to be understood. This work may include evaluation of the chemistry and interaction between various components of wastewaters, data trend analyses, research on designing optimized sampling for plans and locations, and studying the impact of various wastewater treatment components on its chemistry. The incumbent will review existing literature and methodologies, analyse existing data, strategically collect, and analyse additional samples, and prepare presentations and manuscripts for publication. In addition, the PDS will mentor junior students and staff working on the project. The principal investigators will regularly review work to ensure quality and completeness and to advise on complex matters and to provide feedback.

This is a full-time, fixed term position for approximately one year. The period of employment may be extended depending on available funds and satisfactory performance.


  • Recent PhD* in Environmental Science/Engineering or related field.
  • Field sampling and laboratory experience.
  • Experience with laboratory methods, particularly in analytical chemistry and biology.
  • Working knowledge of ArcGIS Pro and scientific programing experience.
  • Training in water sampling, flow measurement, geochemistry and/or microbiological methods.
  • Ability to drive university vehicles (e.g., Class 5 Alberta driver’s license or equivalent and appropriate driving record).
  • Must be able to work in a team environment and interact with diverse stakeholders.
  • Strong communication skills (both written and verbal), as well as strong listening skills are required.
  • Strong organizational, time management and problem-solving skills, while maintaining accuracy and attention to detail.
  • Must be highly goal-driven and exhibit the ability to interact effectively with internal and external stakeholders at all levels of the organization.
  • Able to work within a collaborative setting with others to set clear priorities while managing multiple timelines and objectives.
  • Computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Office suite of programs.

*Please review the Postdoc Eligibility Guidelines for more information prior to applying for this position.

Application Details:

Please submit your application on or before January 15, 2022, 11:59 PM MDT via email to Dr. Rhonda Clark from the University of Calgary’s WBE team at [email protected].

Please submit your application as a single PDF file with the subject line: Postdoctoral application – [Your name].

All applications must include:

  • A brief cover letter outlining your interest in this project, and detailing any additional qualifications or related experience that you have and your career goals
  • current curriculum vitae (CV); 
  • official or unofficial copy of diploma(s)/university certificate(s); and
  • contact information including email addresses for three (3) references to support the application.

The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a successful candidate is hired.

Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted further. In accordance with Canadian Immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.

Additional information:

The terms and conditions of employment are covered under the UCalgary and PDAC Collective Agreement. To find out more about postdoctoral scholar program at the University of Calgary visit our Postdocs website.  

Additional Information

To learn more about postdoctoral scholar opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Postdoc Careers website. For more information about the Faculty of Science visit Careers in the Faculty of Science.

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

To succeed as one of Canada’s top universities, where new ideas are created, tested and applied through first-class teaching and research, the University of Calgary needs more of the best minds in our classrooms and labs. We’re increasing our scholarly capacity by investing in people who want to change the world, bringing the best and brightest to Calgary to form a global intellectual hub and achieve advances that matter to everyone. For more information visit

About Calgary, Alberta

Calgary is one of the world's cleanest cities and has been named one of the world's most livable cities for years. Calgary is a city of leaders – in business, community, philanthropy and volunteerism. Calgarians benefit from the strongest economy in the nation and enjoy more days of sunshine per year than any other major Canadian city. Calgary is less than an hour’s drive from the Rocky Mountains and boasts the most extensive urban pathway and bikeway network in North America.

The University of Calgary has launched an institution-wide Indigenous Strategy in line with the foundational goals of Eyes High, committing to creating a rich, vibrant, and culturally competent campus that welcomes and supports Indigenous Peoples, encourages Indigenous community partnerships, is inclusive of Indigenous perspectives in all that we do.

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here.