Jennifer Provencher, a PhD student, co-supervised by myself and Grant Gilchrist (NWRC), went to a workshop that was sponsored by the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Program (AMAP) which is a working group of the Arctic Council. The workshop was in Saint Petersburg Russia from April 22-24. The meeting was themed “Action Adaptations for a Changing Arctic (AACA-C)”. The meeting’s purpose was to bring together climate model scientists, natural scientists, especially those with a marine focus, and others stakeholders (Governments, oil and gas producers etc.) to discuss the feasibility of strategies to maintain valued areas under projected climate change scenarios. The workshop focussed on three pilot regions (Barents Sea, Davis Strait-Baffin Bay, and the Beaufort-Chukchi-Bering Sea). All climate models predict moderate changes over the next 30 years regardless of scenarios and actions taken today, but show that strategies taken today on limiting carbon emissions over the next 80 years might greatly change how the planet will look. The report from the meeting goes back to the Arctic Council at its May ministerial meeting for final approval for the project to go ahead.
This past Thursday April 18th, Julia Mlynarek delivered a talk entitled “Why do different hosts respond differently to parasites? Damselflies and their parasites may hold the key” at the Ottawa Entomology Club. The Abstract of the talk follows below: Host-parasite associations are rarely restricted to one host species and one parasite species. A host species will tend to be put under pressure by several parasite species and/or parasite groups. Likewise, a generalist parasite species will have to cope with overcoming defences from multiple potential host species in a community. The aim of my PhD thesis is to determine which host species characteristics explain the differences in prevalence, intensity and resistance of internal and external parasites. Damselflies are excellent hosts for these types of studies because they are infected by many types of parasites including gregarines (internally) and water mites (externally), they are able to resist water mites and this can be easily assessed, they are easily collected, and closely related species can be collected at the same sites. My collecting has taken me to Eastern Ontario, Southwestern Quebec to look at local parasitism levels in marshes, bogs and Southern Alberta to look at host-parasitise associations in lakes. I have been looking at different aspects of gregarine and water mite parasitism especially in the context of host characteristics.
Professor & student