The lab conducts research on coastal regions in Atlantic Canada, particularly in Nova Scotia, with collaborators at the Nova Scotia Department of Lands and Forestry (NS DLF), Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), and Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC).
At the Beaubassin Field Station near Amherst, Nova Scotia, students have been studying the temporal phenology of aquatic macroinvertebrate abundance in different types of constructed wetlands, as it relates to waterbird use. At the same site, other students are examining bioaccumulation of trace elements in constructed wetlands and the aquatic food webs they support, as well as comparisons of water chemistry in managed impoundments of this region.
At the Eastern Shore Islands, students are studying habitat change and populations of breeding coastal marine birds, from traditional breeding and habitat surveys, experimental nest structure design, examination of biotransport of trace elements, and corticosterone deposition to eggs in different habitats.
In addition to these sites, our lab has been working with Environment and Climate Change Canada, DUC and NS DLF on issues of common eider survival and movements, black duck survival and movements, wintering black ducks and mallards, and connectivity of breeding tern populations in the Maritimes.
A truly magnificent and still largely unknown part of Canada is our Arctic, in particular Nunavut. This region supports more than 50 million birds during the brief Arctic summer (as well as the odd mammal and insect ...), including at least 10 million marine birds. Marine birds are strong bioindicators of the condition of marine environments, and thus we study aspects of their breeding ecology as an index of the status the Arctic environment.
Research in the Arctic has focused along several themes:
- Understanding marine bird breeding ecology
- Predicting the effects of climate change on marine birds
- Determining key marine habitat sites for marine birds and other wildlife using miniature telemetry technology and at-sea surveys
- Using remote sensing to identify key wildlife habitat, and assess temporal changes
- Examining contamination of food chains for marine birds, and the effects of that contamination on the breeding colonies where those birds defecate