Most of our work deals with using biological indicators, such as diatoms, chrysophyte scales and cysts, and invertebrate fossils (e.g., chironomids, Chaoborus, protozoans, cladocerans, etc.). PEARL also uses a suite of geochemical techniques, and collaborates with workers using different approaches.
A large number of research programs are currently underway. In general, they can broadly be divided into the following categories, although significant overlaps exist. In addition, many smaller, independent projects are also underway. PEARL's research is undertaken across Canada, as well as many other parts of the world.
- Using paleolimnological techniques to study problems related to lake and river management, such as eutrophication, acidification, contaminants, pollution, etc.
- Tracking long-term trends in global climatic and environmental change, again using primarily paleolimnological approaches. This is a global program, but has recently been focused primarily on high arctic, sub-arctic, and semi-arid regions.
- Using paleolimnological techniques to track long-term changes in Pacific sockeye salmon populations.
- Defining the environmental optima and tolerances of aquatic organisms to environmental variables, which can then be used in environmental assessments.
- Taxonomic descriptions of indicators, including new morphotypes, such as chrysophyte stomatocysts.
- Development of new approaches for biomonitoring and the study of global environmental change.
Prospective graduate students are invited to contact either
John Smol or
Brian Cumming for more details.