I am currently
pursuing my MSc Science in Chemical and Environmental Toxicology at
of Ottawa. I am
co-supervised by Dr. Ian Clark (Earth Sciences), who is an
exceptional hydrogeochemist and who I have dubbed “The Isotopes
Man” and Dr. Jules
Blais (Biology), who I would consider to be a biolimnoecotoxicologist
who has conducted excellent research on contaminants in the
let me tell you a little about my project…
year sea-run chum salmon leave the North Pacific to reach their
spawning grounds, the Fishing
located in northcentral Yukon,
Branch River headwaters remain open year-round. This unusual hydrological feature
in surrounding permafrost terrain, studied by Nich
Utting (PhD candidate), allows for annual spawning of chum salmon.
salmon are semelperous, which means they die right after spawning. This
represents a huge carcass loading event in a focused geographic area.
The fertilizing role of anadromous fish has been well established in
the literature. More recently, studies have demonstrated that
spawning salmon are also effective contaminant biovectors. Due their
behaviours of anadromy and semelparity, chum may surpass other contaminant
transport mechanism (wind current, grasshopper effect) within the
local spawning ecosystem.
therefore intend to look at the role of chum salmon as biological
transport agents of nutrients and contaminants to the Fishing Branch
ecosystem. Several members of
the receptor aquatic food web will be investigated as potential sinks
of salmon biomass. The endpoints for salmon-derived fertilization
will be stable isotope ratios of N and C. Contaminant concentrations
of total polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) and congener patterns as
well as total mercury will be determined. If contaminant concentrations
should correlate with stable isotope enrichment, this will further
corroborate the role of salmon in ecosystem health.
project ties nicely into the definition of my program of study by
including “aspects of chemical transport, fate, persistence and
biological accumulation of toxic substances and their effects at the population
and community levels”.
I will still have some time to do what I love: sports, spending time
with family and friends, and international travel!
have any questions with regards to my project, do not hesitate to contact
me: email@example.com I’d be glad to hear from you.
modified: Jan 2009
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