Starting in August 2017, I conducted my own research under Neil Rooney surrounding the effects of agricultural intensity on stream metabolism on the north shore of Lake Erie. I used ecological indicators such as cotton strip assays and periphytometers to measure bacterial respiration and primary production as indicators of carbon cycling of stream function.
I am interested in anything insect related. I am specifically fascinated in areas of the world where we have a limited understanding of insect diversity and distribution, and this interest has led me to conduct research in Canada, Asia, and Central America.
I completed an MSc in the Smith Lab at the University of Guelph on the phylogenetic community structure and diversity, across an elevation gradient in Costa Rica, of an extremely diverse group of organisms, the rove beetles.
I completed an MSc in the Robinson Lab at the University of Guelph where my research focused on understanding contemporary evolutionary processes and their ecological context in natural populations. Some of my past work includes assessing assortative mating in a population of pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) that has diverged to occupy two different lake habitats; littoral (nearshore) and pelagic (open water). To better understand how genes could be exchanged between subpopulations in different lake habitats, we undertook a one year mark-recapture study. We also investigated the factors that influence whether an individual moves or stays where they are.
Currently with the Nature Conservancy of Canada as Program Manager for the Weston Family Science Program.
Previously with the Norris lab (norrislab.ca) managing two monarch butterfly projects. Research suggests that recovery of declining monarch butterflies (a species-at-risk in Ontario) depends on the availability (both quantity and quality) of milkweed plants, the only food plant for monarch butterfly caterpillars. The objective of the first project is to develop optimal management strategies for milkweed in right-of-ways for monarch butterflies. Evidence that neonicotinoid pesticides are a threat to many pollinator species has made it also important to understand the effects of these pesticides on monarchs. For the second project, I was studying the effects neonicotinoids on monarch breeding and migration in an agricultural setting with milkweed growing alongside neonicotinoid treated corn.
I completed my Bachelors of Science at the University of Waterloo, focusing my classes on ecology and environmental biology. During my time there, I was lucky enough to participate in some research projects and completed my own undergraduate thesis on Goldenrod taxonomy. Through these academic experiences, coupled with my involvement in nature and outdoor clubs, working in various environmental and agricultural labs, and an amazing experience in Ecuador learning about sustainable agriculture – I found a niche I wanted to be a part of – this being ecology, specifically areas involving restoration, ecosystems, and agriculture.
In early 2019, I completed my M.Sc. with Dr. Andrew MacDougall. My thesis research was in collaboration with ALUS Canada at the University of Guelph looking at the various factors that control ecosystem services - specifically soil carbon differences and accumulation between croplands and marginally restored native tallgrass prairie in agricultural landscapes.
Annalisa's website: http://
Annalisa on Twitter: @acmazzorato
Evan K. Pacey
I received my BSc from the University of Western Ontario in 2010 and my MSc from McMaster University in 2013. Towards the end of my Masters I started analyzing genome size databases for physiological trends. One trend that became apparent was that polyploid organisms often inhabit more resource-limited environments than their diploid progenitors or relatives. I hypothesize that this trend exists because polyploids can store more per unit volume than diploids. I recently completed my PhD where I tested this hypothesis in the labs of Hafiz Maherali and Brian C. Husband using numerous accessions and cytotypes of Arabidopsis thaliana.