Small but mighty: Understanding the role of nutrients in the Upper St. Lawrence River
What changes have you noticed in the St. Lawrence River over the last 50+ years? Whether its shifting fish populations, algal bloom frequency, or water clarity, nutrients are one common factor influencing all these changes. Nutrients come from various sources including urban and agricultural activities and influence the entire food web from plants and algae up to predatory fish. As part of the Great River Rapport project, broad-scale nutrient trends in the Upper St. Lawrence River were explored and related to various changes in human activity. Additionally, local trends in Lake St. Francis and its tributaries will be examined to find out where nutrients may be coming from and how they are impacting the lake ecosystem. Attend to learn more about nutrients in the river and their impact on overall river health and join in the conversation.
Bio: Dr. Erin Smith is a freshwater ecologist currently working on a Mitacs Elevate Post-Doctoral Fellowship jointly at the River Institute and in the Kirkwood Lab at Ontario Tech University in Oshawa. Dr. Smith completed her PhD in 2022 at Ontario Tech University and her B.Sc. (Honours) with a biology specialization at McMaster University in 2018. Her research work focuses on water quality and using the lower aquatic food web to better understand lake and river health. Some key components of Dr. Smith’s work are collaboration and communication; she works with various research scientists, community scientists, policymakers, conservation authorities, and non-profit organizations and enjoys sharing her work with all these groups and the general public whenever possible.
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