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Friday Philosophicals - Fall Semester 2019

Grace Carscallen: Arthropod diversity of Boreal peatlands: Flies, spiders, and wasps, oh my! Jackson Kusack: Addressing potential bias in waterfowl management: a stable isotope approach to establish the origin of harvested ducks

Grace Carscallen: Arthropod diversity of Boreal peatlands: Flies, spiders, and wasps, oh my! Jackson Kusack: Addressing potential bias in waterfowl management: a stable isotope approach to establish the origin of harvested ducks9

Friday Philosophicals run most Fridays in Kresge 103 (check the schedule). Seminars start at 3:30 pm and are expected to end by 4:20 pm.

October 25, 2019

Grace Carscallen: Arthropod diversity of Boreal peatlands: Flies, spiders, and wasps, oh my!

Grace Carscallen photoSupervisor: Dr. Zoe Lindo

Peatlands are important wetland systems, but dominant macroarthropod groups endemic to peatlands and the environmental factors that affect them are poorly represented in the literature. I examined the richness, abundance, and community composition of soil and surface dwelling macroarthropods using emergence traps, peat sorting, and pitfall traps in two Ontario fens, differing in water table, nutrient level, and vegetation. Altogether I found 218 arthropod morphospecies, with each site having a similar richness of emergent arthropods, however patterns of community composition differed between the two sites. The Carex (sedge) dominated site had twice as many emergent individuals, and total abundances declined dramatically over the growing season, while the Sphagnum (moss) dominated site had a much less variable arthropod community. Seasonal changes in soil moisture and daily maximum temperature were important correlates of arthropod abundance. As Canadian peatlands face increasing climate warming, this study provides baseline information on the resident macroarthropod communities in different peatland types.

Jackson Kusack: Addressing potential bias in waterfowl management: a stable isotope approach to establish the origin of harvested ducks

Jackson Kusack photoSupervisor: Dr. Keith A. Hobson

To avoid overexploitation of waterfowl populations, harvest strategies must incorporate accurate information on connectivity between breeding and harvest areas, which necessitates efficient assignment of origin for harvested individuals. Current estimates of breeding metrics rely on wing samples and band returns which are assumed to be representative of a continuous breeding population, but this is unlikely accurate for some species. Stable hydrogen isotopes (δ2H) are naturally occurring intrinsic markers that can be used to infer geographic origin on a continental scale without the need for initial marking. My objective is to utilize ratios of stable isotopes within feathers to determine probabilistic origin of harvested waterfowl in the Great Lakes region and evaluate current knowledge on connectivity. Feathers were collected from wings submitted to the species composition survey. Probabilistic origin was determined using likelihood-based assignment algorithms. Results from this integrative approach will be useful to evaluate and improve adaptive harvest management.

Schedule for the Fall Term 2019 - 2020

Date First Speaker Title Second Speaker Title
25 Oct. Grace Carscallen Arthropod diversity of Boreal peatlands: Flies, spiders, and wasps, oh my! Jackson Kusack Addressing potential bias in waterfowl management: a stable isotope approach to establish the origin of harvested ducks
22 Nov. Brendon Samuels Bird-window collisions from an avian visual perspective Nikita Frizzelle Exploring a hierarchy of fear in African mammals
29 Nov. Christopher Posliff Consistency of movement behaviour over multiple scales in Song Sparrows Jacob Lasci Evaluating diet niches of Lake Huron salmonids using eDNA metabarcoding and stable isotope analyses
6 Dec. Leanne Grieves Chemical communication in songbirds: Variation in preen oil chemical cues and behavioural responses to preen oil odour Madelaine Anderson Mercury’s journey from litter to soils in the boreal forest
10 Jan. Dong Lee Metschnikowia mitochondria Liam Brown Does long-term exposure of soil to benzalkonium chlorides influence the integrome?
17 Jan. Emma Churchman Understanding the mechanisms that underlie paternity assessment and adaptive parental care in male sunfish Jack Goldman TBA
24 Jan. Breanne Craig Long term vs. transient responses to warming and nitrogen addition in a temperate old field HaeWon Kim TBA
31 Jan. Andrew Pitek Potential for probiotics to mitigate environmental stress in Western honey bees Haylee Dyck The influence of similarity at MHC Class I on mate choice in song sparrows
7 Feb. Marnie Demand Cadmium uptake in plants as influenced by selenium uptake and sulphate availability Kumkum Azad TBA
14 Feb. Farhaan Kanji TBA William Laur A multi-scale analysis of predator-prey interaction strength under warming
28 Feb. Scott Walters Does availability of marine-derived fatty acids affect avian consumer performance? Marianna Wallace TBA
6 Mar. RoseLynn Savage Exploring the diversity and specificity of zooplankton parasites in coastal marine ecosystems Lucas Khodaei Discovering the genetic and neurological basis of agression behaviour in Drosophila larvae
13 Mar. Samuel Rycroft Freezing tolerance of herbaceous legumes in the northern temperate zone Shayla Kroeze Conservation genetics of the endangered Mottled Duskywing (Erynnis martialis)
20 Mar. Colleen Wardlaw There must be something in the water: Investigating microplastics in fish of the Thames River, Ontario Keon Park Post-extinction colonizers: tracking the variation at Pgi locus
27 Mar. Rebecca Howe TBA Vonica Flear TBA