I am PhD candidate in the Integrative Biology department co-supervised by Karl Cottenie and Robert Hanner. My main research interests include community ecology and aquatic entomology, with an emphasis on freshwater ecosystems and bioindicator taxa. My PhD research focuses on the local and landscape-scale influence of agriculture on the composition of stream macroinvertebrate communities in southern Ontario. I am interested the relative importance of space and environment on the assembly of groups with different dispersal capabilities and feeding strategies. I use a molecular approach to macroinvertebrate identification (e.g., metabarcoding) and one part of my thesis focuses on comparing the effectiveness of bulk tissue versus environmental DNA (eDNA) metabarcoding for bioassessments.
Prior to starting my PhD, I completed a BSc in Biology (Zoology major) at the University of Guelph in 2012. I first became involved in research through the undergraduate thesis program, where I completed a project exploring the functional morphology of damselfly nymphs under different predation regimes. After that, I worked as a lab and field technician for three years at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario where I was responsible for collecting insects in National Parks across Canada, sorting and identifying specimens, and collaborating with researchers at other insect collections. Interested in developing my skills as a researcher, I left to pursue graduate school and in 2017, I completed my MSc in wetland ecology at the University of Waterloo. My MSc thesis examined the effect of agricultural land use and wetland permanence on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities and diversity patterns in Alberta’s prairie pothole wetlands