The area of study of our research group is environmental toxicology. We investigate how chemicals released into the environment affect terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. This involves investigations at a wide range of biological levels of organization, e.g., metabolites within an organism and all the way to biological communities within an ecosystem.
Left: Female wavyrayed lampmussels (Lampsilis fasciola) using a lure display to attract a fish host for their larvae (glochidia). Baby mussels spend the first weeks of their life on the gill or fin of a fish host going through metamorphosis. These beauties were found in a tributary of the Grand River in Ontario, Canada.
Right: Various freshwater mussel species collected during a survey of a site in the Grand River, Ontario. All of these mussels go back into the river after we identify the species and estimate their age using the shell structure and measure their length. These surveys are critical to tracking the diversity and abundance of freshwater mussels in Canada's rivers.
Left: Scanning electron microscope image of the mandible of a springtail (Folsomia candida). An important fungivore found in soil across the globe. This little critter is readily used in soil toxicity testing.
Right: Tetrahymena glochidiophila feeding on a glochidium (larval mussel) of freshwater mussels (Lampsilis siliquoidea, fatmucket mussel). This tiny ciliate was described for the first time by Dr. Ryan Prosser and Dr. Denis Lynn. This means that Denis and I got to name the little critter, we decided on the species name "glochidiophila" (lover of glochidia).