Aquatic Food Web Ecology Lab, Dalhousie University

Research in the Aquatic Food Web Ecology Lab based at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, focuses on the consequences of biodiversity loss to the functioning and stability of aquatic food webs. All of our work is done in a food web context, which means that its not just the numbers of species that we are interested in, but also the structure of the food webs in which those species are embedded. Most of our work is done in aquatic microcosms, small container ecosystems in which we can assemble food webs and then subject them to various types of disturbance regimes . We also use mathematical models to run "in silico" experiments, otherwise known as computer simulations, to study problems that are too complex or just not possible to conduct in natural systems.

Joining the Food Web Lab

Students and researchers in the "Food Web Ecology Lab" do both experimental and theoretical work centered around how global changes such as climate change affect food-web structure and stability.

I supervise graduate students at both the MSc. and PhD levels, postdoctoral researchers, undergraduate students (Honors and NSERC USRAs), special topics students, and volunteers.

I am also interested in recruiting PhD students and postdoctoral fellows who are interested in collaborating with other PEaCE lab scientists (check out:

Dalhousie is a great university (it was recently ranked the #1 university in North America for postdocs) and has an extremely active faculty in fisheries ecology, food-web ecology, and biological modelling. Funding is typically provided from external sources such as NSERC or internal sources such as Killam (see links below and info on funding for non-Canadians on the home page). The majority of my students bring their own funding from NSERC.

Some current and recent thesis and research topics include:

PhD: Inverse modeling of Arctic polynyas (Olivier Berreville)
PhD: Salt marsh food webs (Jennifer Frail-Gaultier)
MSC: Climate change and the robustness of ecological communities along a latitudinal gradient (Constance Tuck)
MSC: The dynamics of species extinctions (Veronik Campbell)
MSC: Polar food webs (Mather Carscallen)
MSC: The relationship between connectance and stability
Honors: Comparing stable isotope and binary calculations of trophic position (Kristen Vandenburg)
Honors: Sequential species invasions (Cashelle Farley)
PDF: Climate change, metabolic theory, and community structure (Dr. April Hayward)

For 2012 I am recruiting MSc and PhD students, PDFs, Honors and USRA students.