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Bernal Arce

Bernal Arce, MSc student


MSc student under the supervision of Andrew MacDougall. Working thesis title: Determining how plant structures drive arthropod predator establishment and community compositionMSc student.

Jamie Bauman


I am an MSc student in the School of Environmental Sciences working under the supervision of Neil Rooney. My current research focuses on phosphorus loss from agricultural land to stream ecosystems within the Lake Erie watershed. I am interested in understanding the influence of agricultural intensity on surface water and groundwater quality, and the relative contributions of groundwater discharge and surface runoff to excessive phosphorus loading in streams.

Carling Bieg


I am a PhD student in Integrative Biology with Kevin McCann and Evan Fraser using theoretical techniques to broadly look at how different human impacts, such as climate change and land use/modification, interact to affect food web stability and function.

Danielle Bourque

Danielle Bourque, Graduate student

I'm a graduate student working under the supervision or Dr. Robert Hanner and Dr. John Fryxell.  My research is looking at aspects of "the ecology of environmental DNA (eDNA)". Using the Limnotron facility, my aim is to elucidate the utility of eDNA as a bioindicator.

Interest in using eDNA for population and biodiversity monitoring is growing exponentially. While applications of eDNA have surged, knowledge gaps still exist concerning how eDNA interacts with aquatic environments. "Can eDNA predict organism abundance?" and "How does eDNA move in space and time?" are questions I'm addressing in my M.Sc.

Oliver Carroll

Oliver Carroll, PhD student


PhD student under the supervision of Andrew MacDougall. Working thesis title: Resource co-limitation of grassland communities in changing landscapes.

Anibal Castillo

Anibal Castillo, PhD student

I am studying the relationship between above-ground and below-ground biodiversity, if and how they influence soil health. Is biodiversity a key indicator of soil resilience and health? Does plant diversity increase microbial and invertebrate diversity? I will apply High Throughput Sequencing, qPCR and conventional taxonomy to answer these questions.

I am co-advised by Dr. Kari Dunfield at SES, and Dr. Bob Hanner from Integrative Biology. I hold a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from the Republic University in Uruguay, with emphasis on molecular phylogenetics. I completed an M.Sc. in Zoology at IB, studying whole genome duplications and phylogenetics in salmonid fish. I then worked for eight years at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, where I initially produced, and then curated, DNA barcodes of all taxonomic groups.


LinkedIn: Anibal H. Castillo

Twitter: @anibalhcastillo

Research gate: Anibal H. Castillo

ORCID: 0000-0002-1537-0528



Adam Deleeuw

Adam Deleeuw

Previously, I completed a Bachelors of Science at the University of Guelph specializing in marine and freshwater biology where I furthered my education and passion for fish ecology. I also completed an undergraduate thesis where I used hydro-acoustic technology to quantify thermal preferences and spatial patterns of fishes in southwestern Georgian Bay. My prior experience in this project and working with research on Unionid mussels in the summers reinforced my decision to continue my education into a Masters degree.

Currently, I am an M.Sc student in Integrative Biology under the supervision of Dr. Beren Robinson at the University of Guelph where I study habitat selection of individuals in lake systems. More specifically, I will be experimentally manipulating movement in the field and testing how individual pumpkinseed sunfish (Lepomis gibbosus) of polymorphic populations are selecting habitats using a mark-recapture study with PIT tags. I hope to answer important evolutionary and ecological questions regarding directed movement and gene flow and how this will influence the further divergence of this species. 

Research Gate:


Aleksandra Dolezal

Aleksandra Dolezal, graduate student

My curiosity about plant and animal interactions, as well as my natural scientific curiosity, is what led me to pursue research in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. My research interests are focused on conservation efforts, environmental assessment, and all things insect related.

My MSc position with Andrew MacDougall has given me the opportunity to delve deeper into my insect interests and ask the question: how do restored prairies on agricultural landscapes affect arthropod community structure? Our labs' research focuses on how we can reduce effects of intensive agriculture through "precision agriculture"; a strategy that includes conversion of marginal lands (i.e., unproductive lands on farms) to native species-rich prairie grassland. This conservation strategy seeks to reduce problems of food security while being a sustainable farm practice that is compatible with wildlife. My research specifically deals with arthropods which link these two issues (conservation and food security) given their abundance, diversity, and role as providers of ecosystem services. We are voicing the benefits available to producers of enhancing biodiveristy.

In collaboration with ALUS, my project will investigate how restored prairie grassland areas adjacent to crop fields affect the abundance and diversity of beneficial insect functional groups (pollinators, parasitoids, predators) that provide vital ecosystem services.

Christine Dulal-Whiteway

Christine Dulal-Whiteway

I completed my BSc. in Marine and Freshwater Biology at the University of Guelph. Following this, I went on to complete my Master’s in Biology at Western, where I studied the effects of environmental parameters on the toxicity of a harmful algal species. My Master’s experience was crucial in the development of my interest in water quality and its effects on ecosystems and human communities. I am currently a PhD student working with Dr. Merritt Turetsky and Dr. Neil Rooney. My project is part of the Food from Thought initiative at Guelph and will focus on the effects of agriculture on the biogeochemistry and metabolism of stream ecosystems within the Lake Erie watershed.

Carolyn Gibson

Carolyn Gibson, PhD student

Having completed her Masters at the University of Alberta, Carolyn joins the department of Integrative Biology for her PhD with Merritt Turetsky, working to improve the prediction of permafrost sensitive landscapes to aid decision makers and communities in the north. This work aims to improve our capability to predict permafrost thaw vulnerability lands over large areas and increase our understanding of how permafrost thaw affects the provisioning and access to ecosystem services for northern communities. This work is done by taking a trans-disciplinary approach by combining community observed changes in permafrost, terrain stability, and vegetation with geospatial modeling approaches. This work will allow us to improve permafrost vulnerability models and maps and link local perceptions of change with scientific climate-model projections in order to forecast how availability of subsistence resources will change in the future. 

Twitter: @CarolynG_22

Brandon Graham


MSc student with Dr. Kevin McCann.

Chris Greyson-Gaito

Chris GG1

I am fascinated by systems; how they function, what structures them, and what causes them to fail. My favourite systems are ecological systems and my specific research focus is ecological food webs. However, I see myself as highly interdisciniplinary and am interested in the intersection of ecology with evolution, politics, and economics. My main research tool is mathematical modelling, but I also collaborate with empiricists regularly.

For my PhD, I am examining the interactions of ecological processes across scales in a variety of systems. One part of my PhD will examine how the stabilization of farming yields through fertilization and pesticide use can translate into instability in farming profits. Another part of my PhD will examine the dynamics of resident gut microbial communities (microbiomes).


Twitter: @cgreysongaito

Jennifer Gleason

Jenny Gleason, PhD student

I am a PhD candidate in the Integrative Biology department co-supervised by Karl Cottenie and Bob Hanner. My major research interests are community ecology and aquatic insects, with a focus on bio-indicator taxa in freshwater systems. I am currently exploring the influence of farming intensity on aquatic insect communities in riverine systems and developing protocols to use environmental DNA (eDNA) for both bio-assessments and community analyses.

Marie Gutgesell

Image not available

PhD student with Dr. Kevin McCann.

Kevin MacColl

Kevin MacColl, PhD student

I started a PhD program in Integrative Biology in 2018, in the lab of Hafiz Maherali, where we study evolutionary ecology. I use these ALUS farms as model systems to study how nutrient loading affects relationships between plants and soil micro organisms. Mycorrhizal fungi are a type of micro organism that associate intimately with plants by forming nutritional mutualisms. In this mutualism, mycorrhizal fungi exchange scarce soil nutrients with plants for photosynthetically derived carbohydrates. These partnerships are decoupled by nutrient loading because plants are more able to obtain soil nutrients by their own means, without the carbon cost of supporting the mycorrhizal fungi. So in areas affected by fertilizers, plants decrease their association with mycorrhizal fungi, and the abundance of the fungi declines.

For my project, I will be answering questions like: Have mycorrhizal fungi been reduced in prairie grasslands affected by fertilizers? Are certain species of mycorrhizal fungi more tolerant to nutrient-enriched soils? If so, what functional traits have protected these species from local extinction? Are there functional shifts in mycorrhizal fungi as a result? And under these conditions, can we expect long-term ecological feedbacks on plant communities, and ecosystem functioning?

Dan Noble

Dan Noble, MSc student

I am an MSc student under the supervision of Andrew MacDougall in the Department of Integrative Biology, and Jana Levison in the School of Engineering. My research focuses on nutrient dynamics and ecohydrology in marginal lands of intensively managed farms. My research hopes to address scientific questions including:

  1. How can we increase water quality in watersheds where intensive agricultural practices occur?
  2. What ecosystem services do prairie filter strips provide along the vadose zone and groundwater flow path in row-crop landscapes?

Answering these questions will provide greater insight into possible strategies to offset the environmental footprint intensive farming practices have on the Lake Erie watershed.

Stephen Van Drunen

Stephen Van Drunen, Master's student


A graduate of both Fleming College’s Ecosystem Management and the University of Guelph’s Environmental Science programs, I continue to build upon my interests and experience by pursuing an MSc in the Norris Lab at the University of Guelph. My research investigates population demography and habitat use of the endangered Jefferson salamander (Ambystoma jeffersonianum) and their unisexual dependents (A. laterale - jeffersonianum). Results from this work will provide baseline information for conservation management and work towards filling gaps in our basic knowledge about these species.

Connor Warne

Connor Warne

I am a PhD student in the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of Guelph co-supervised by Neil Rooney and Kevin McCann. In general I am interested in the influences of climate change and agriculture on freshwater systems.

My research focuses on how long-term warming shifts the timing of ice formation and breakup in lakes and how it may also modulate the adult size of various fish species. I am also interested in how short-term climate variation and agricultural land use may change the phenology, structure and diversity of freshwater invertebrates. 


Twitter: @connorpwarne