By observing the responses of zooplankton and algae under controlled experimental conditions the Ecosystem Services team will  develop models of food web dynamics that allow us to better manage aquatic ecosystems challenged by rapid environmental change.  


Establish a quantitative link between evolution and ecosystem services to enhance the management of Canada's freshwater resources.

Using the unique facilities at the University of Guelph  (The Limnotron and Aqualab)  and the University of McGill  (LEAP) , the Ecosystem Services team are testing how aquatic communities respond to exposure to high temperature, fertilizer addition, and pesticide exposure at different spatial and temporal scales. 


Scroll down to find out more about each project. 


Individual Fitness

Daily tracking of individual growth, survival, and reproduction under controlled conditions.

Current research is looking at: 

Variation in Daphnia fitness in relation to climate change and food availability.

How does climate change, food availability, and pesticide exposure affect Daphnia movement?

Matrix projection models to estimate demographic parameters for the population.


Food Web 


Testing models of the effect of climate change, nutrient loading, and pesticide exposure on  food web dynamics.

Current research is looking at: 

 Daphnia population dynamics in relation to environmental DNA. 

Effects of temperature and nutrient loading on Daphnia and green algae.

The structure of plankton populations over space and time.

Structured models of Daphnia populations in relation to environmental perturbations. 

Competition between cyanobacteria and green algae in relation to climate change and nutrient loading.

Eco-Evolutionary Dynamics

Can rapid evolutionary change rescue ecosystems from the effects of climate change, nutrient loading, and pesticides?

Future research will look at:

Clonal competition by Daphnia under seasonal conditions. 

Genomic responses by Daphnia to climate change, food availability, and pesticides. 

Evolutionary constraints on the ability of Daphnia to control harmful algal blooms. 

Rapid evolutionary change in algal communities exposed to pesticides. (LEAP)


This research was undertaken thanks in part to funding from the Canada First Research Excellence Fund.

Food Fom Thought link
Canada First Research Excellence Fund Link