The River and Stream Ecology Lab focuses on the ecology and management of flowing waters. Understanding rivers requires a multi-disciplinary approach that incorporates various levels of spatial- temporal resolution. We combine many fields including fisheries science, geography, hydrology, physiology - we are really diverse which keeps things interesting!

Overall, we are interested in understanding the nature of flowing waters.  We focus on characterizing stream networks by their thermal, hydrological, and nutrient regimes so as to understand the relationship between these characteristics and the ecological traits and life history of their biota (e.g., fishes, invertebrates). 

We are also interested in the downstream and upstream importance of connections with lakes, with particular focus on resource subsidies and system productivity. Ontario has many lakes that are interconnected by countless streams and rivers.  

Since 2004 we have been studying the ecological influence of hydropower dams and developing a monitoring framework for Ontario. 

Much of our research is applied in nature which serves to better the understanding and management of Ontario's flowing waters. Basic science is needed in many cases to answer applied questions.

Aside from a full compliment of field sampling gear, we have  a 1000 sqft well equipped laboratory and an additional fish processing room where things can get messy. We also have fish aging and stable isotope prep capability.  We offer considerable in-kind support to collaborators and partners in terms of ecological understanding, field expertise, equipment, and analytical knowledge e.g., GIS and programming.

Current Areas of Research
- Development of a broad-scale monitoring program for Ontario’s flowing waters
- Aquatic ecosystem classification
- Size spectra in streams: useful indicator of ecosystem status?
- Spatial and temporal thermal characteristics of stream networks 
- Disconitinuities in stream networks
- Predictive models for conductivity and turbidity in Ontario's flowing waters
- Resource subsidies in Lake Superior rivers: the importance of adfluvial fishes

Past Projects: see publications for more details
- Observed trends and predicted changes to the timing of high flow events in Canada
- Influence of flow and environmental variables on fish migration in a regulated river
- Ecological classification of flow regimes in Canada
- Observer bias and subsampling in rivers using Dual-frequency IDentification SONar
- Growth and spatial distribution of fishes in hydropeaking rivers of northern Ontario 
- The longitudinal distribution of benthic invertebrates in regulated and natural rivers 
- Do extremes in flow and temperature influence stream fish communities? 
- Stream fish community stability and our ability to detect change  
- Regional and temporal variation in the thermal habitat of Great Lake streams 
- Spatial patterns of benthos in relation to natural and regulated flow regimes 
- Influence of hydropower peaking on invertebrate drift 
- Flow regimes and the productive capacity of semi-alluvial streams in Ontario 
- Fish species traits and communities in relation to a habitat template for Arctic rivers 
- Development of a netting protocol for large rivers in Ontario 
- Aquatic resources in Ontario’s Far North: State of knowledge 
- Incorporating Lakes within the River Discontinuum 
- Survival, growth and emigration of stocked Atlantic salmon in Lake Ontario streams 
- Thermal regime spatial variation and the classification of streams in the Great Lakes Basin 
- Evaluation of single-pass backpack electric fishing for stream fish community monitoring. 
- Long-term trends in stream water temperatures in Ontario 
- The influence of climate change on the thermal diversity of fishes in Ontario streams 
- Evaluation of single-pass electrofishing to monitor Ontario’s redside dace populations 
- Evaluation of single-pass electrofishing for monitoring stream fish communities 
- Restoring a brook trout population using F1 splake