Research Opportunities

Last update: October 2018

Academic Opportunities



I supervise a total of 2-3 Honours and Directed Study students each year. Interested students are encouraged to contact me to discuss opportunities. The best time to do so is in the late fall or early winter semesters of your 3rd year – in other words 4-8 months before starting a project. I may still accept students in late winter or spring. Potential topics for student projects fall into two fields of research:

1. Marine invertebrate ecology and biology

A few examples ofproject topics: Causes of juvenile mortality; predator-prey relationships; Impact of climate change on juvenile invertebrates; Link between feeding preferences and distribution; Links between the abundance of co-occurring species of a same trophic level, larval development and settlement cues.

Location: these projects are carried out at the Bamfield Marine Science Centre on Vancouver Island, usually during the summer months.

2. Ecology of invertebrates inhabiting saline ponds of the B.C. interior

Potential project topics: Diversity and distribution of dormant stages (e.g. rotifers, brine shrimp, nematodes, copepods); mechanisms of dispersal among ponds; “island” biogeography: relationship between pond properties and invertebrate species diversity.

Location: these projects take place in the Kamloops area; field work takes place in the diverse saline ponds of the region, including those of Lac du Bois Park. Research is carried out during the summer or fall, depending on the project. Lab work is carried out in my lab at TRU.

For further information:
Honours & Directed Study programs
Options for undergrad research in biology at TRU


Graduate opportunities in invertebrate ecology

I am always interested in hearing from individuals who wish to pursue graduate studies on the ecology of benthic marine invertebrates. Most research work in my lab is carried out at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre and in spectacular Barkley Sound, on the West Coast of Vancouver Island. I am particularly interested in supervising research projects on issues such as:

  • role of the early juvenile stage in determining population abundance and distribution;
  • relative role of specific mortality factors (predation, UV radiation, disease, etc.) on survivorship through the early juvenile stage;
  • impactsof climate change on early life history stages;
  • conservation of invertebrate species at risk;
  • adaptive significance of early juvenile traits;
  • ontogenetic transitions;
  • mechanisms that control the abundance and distribution of benthic marine invertebrates.

Please view my “Research interests & Publications” webpage to learn more about my field of research and recent projects in my lab.

Note that acceptance into the TRU MSc program is based on whether there is evidence that the applicant has a high likelihood of succeeding in the program. So, for those applying to do a MSc in my lab, I am first and foremost looking for individuals who have an enthusiasm for the marine environment and who are consideringa career in some field ofmarine biology or aquatic ecology. I also look fora strong background in ecology-related courses and in statistics during the BSc.

Additional coursework specifically inmarine biology, aquatic ecology, or marine invertebrate biology is not a requirement, butthese do prepare you for research in marine ecology and so they are certainly an asset. Finally, any research experience you may have acquired, for exampleby completingan Honours or Directed Study program during your bachelors degree or by working as a research assistant with a professor at your university or in a government laboratory (e.g. Fisheries and Oceans, Environment Canada), is viewed very favourably.

To international students: Please note that all graduate students are responsible for payingtheir own tuitionfees; I do not have funding to paythe tuition fees of my graduate students, unfortunately. Also, tuition fees for international graduate students are higher than for domestic (Canadian) students. Consequently, international students wishing to undertake graduate studies in my labneed to be holders of a major scholarship (e.g. from yourhome country) to cover all of their tuition fees for the duration of the MSc degree.

If interested, please contact:
Dr Louis Gosselin
Dept of Biological Sciences
Thompson Rivers University

For further information:
MSc program
Thompson Rivers University
Kamloops information