Physiological tracers of environmental impacts - Nick Bernier

May 17, 2017


Dr. Bernier looks at how environmental impacts affect fish physiology

Examining the physiological aspect of creatures can provide insight into how environmental impacts affect them. Organisms are wired to respond to nature’s changing cues, and researchers like Dr. Nick Bernier use the physiological responses of fish to better understand how organisms are affected by environmental stressors. Bernier’s work effectively uses physiology as a tracer of human impacts and his work promises to aid our ability to monitor biodiversity.

Born and raised in Quebec, Bernier attended McGill University for his baccalaureate and University of British Columbia and University of Ottawa for his masters and doctorate, respectively, before starting work as a professor at the University of Guelph. Currently, Bernier, alongside another BiRN researcher, Dr. Fred Laberge, are exploring the potential of cortisol in fish scales as a means to biomonitor stress in fish. This physiological research is also importantly tied into the simultaneous whole ecosystem research on streams, rivers and lakes of other BiRN member including Karl Cottenie, Neil Rooney, Merritt Turetsky and Kevin McCann.