My thesis research involves using multivariate analyses to determine the key environmental predictors of mountain lake phytoplankton communities as well as exploring the effects of warming and drought on alpine pond communities in an in-vitro order of exposure experiment.
Christopher holds a BSc (’22 Biological Sciences / History) from the University of Alberta and is a research technician in his second field season with the Vinebrooke Lab. In this role, Christopher supports ongoing research at the lab through tasks such as in-field sample collection, statistical analysis, and logistical support. His interests in ecology stem from memorable experiences camping and backpacking in western Canada. In the immediate future, he hopes to continue working in ecology to better understand and conserve wild spaces.
I first started in the lab as an undergraduate summer research assistant in 2015 after having enjoyed an undergraduate research project (BIOL 499). From there I transitioned into doing a Master’s project focusing on the effects of nutrient deposition on alpine lakes and ponds through an experimental approach. Currently we are also working on a manuscript investigating environmental drivers of phytoplankton communities using pigment and more specific genus level data in lakes of the Canadian Rockies.
My current role in the lab, having completed my Master’s, is Research Technician. My main focus is on providing cyanobacterial cell counts for Alberta’s beaches through a partnership with Alberta Health and Alberta Health Services. We also plan to investigate what the key climate drivers of cyanobacterial blooms are, based on a 10 year historical data set of cyanobacterial cell counts.
The focus of my research is to examine the individual and cumulative impacts of non-native sportfish (Rainbow Trout) and increased water temperature on montane stream communities. Impacts of both stressors will be measured based on changes within the macroinvertebrate and periphyton assemblages present in our experimental stream mesocosms.
I graduated in april 2022 with a BSc in biological sciences and a minor in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences. I Joined the Vinebrooke lab during the same time period. My roles in the Vinebrooke Lab include, geospatial analysis, Field sample collection and Graduate project support. I’m particularly interested in understanding how the biosphere is interacting with climate change. I plan to continue down the path of an environmental scientist.
As one of the summer students affiliated with the lab, my primary role is to serve as a research technician for the Masters students during the field data collection period. I also had the opportunity to design and create scientific figures intended for future publication.
Ecology interests me because there’s so many diverse ways to study the discipline. I find behavioural ecology, wildlife community ecology, and broad scale landscape ecology to be the most fascinating aspects of our field. I also love how ecology provides us with unique opportunities to get outside!!
Following the completion of my bachelor’s degree, I hope to continue my academic career by pursuing graduate studies. While I am not 100% certain where the road will lead afterwards, I hope that I will provide meaningful contributions to environmental conservation and get to spend lots of time outdoors!!
My research focuses on algal communities living within alpine streams of the Canadian Rockies. Using a combination of observational and experimental approaches, I am interested in how glaciers shape algal community structure in alpine streams, and how will glacial loss alter the functions algae provide to alpine ecosystems? When I’m not on campus, you can find me on my mountain bike or snowboard further exploring Canada’s beautiful Rocky Mountains!
The dominant primary producer in rivers and streams is contained within biofilms, or “periphyton” that grow attached to various surfaces. Here, algae occupy a position at both the environmental-biological interface and the base of aquatic food webs making them ideal for studying the cumulative effects of multiple stressors on streams and rivers. My doctoral research aims to improve how algal communities can be used to predict and understand the cumulative impacts of multiple human stressors on stream biodiversity and ecosystem function over both space and time
Rolf Vinebrooke is an aquatic community ecologist focused on the cumulative impacts of multiple stressors (e.g., climate change, eutrophication, invasive species) from alpine to prairie lakes and streams. He uses an array of scientific approaches, which include experimental mesocosms and natural ponds, multivariate analyses of environmental gradient and long-term lake monitoring data sets, and paleolimnology. He focuses mainly on trophic dynamics among pelagic and benthic primary and secondary producers, and their resilience to environmental change. His current h-index is 28, having published a total of 67 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals of which 42 involve mountain limnology. He has consistently been awarded NSERC Discovery and Alberta Conservation Association funding over the past 20 years in support of his mountain-based research. He is the biodiversity theme leader for both a proposed NSERC Strategic Network entitled “Alpine Freshwater Futures,” and also an international group of mountain limnologists working on an invited Mountain Continua Mosaics Concept for the Ecological Society of America journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. He has taught international mountain limnology field courses in Austria and Sweden, and is a contributing resident researcher at the University of Calgary Biogeosciences Institute of Kananaskis mountain field station. Over the past five years, his HQP stats total 26 individuals, having mentored two PDFs, five Ph.D., seven M.Sc., and 12 B.Sc. students. He is also on the scientific advisory board of the Alberta Cyanobacterial Monitoring Network and the Board of Directors of the Alberta Lakes Management Society.