is by definition a multidisciplinary field, which integrates ecology and toxicology.  My lab focuses on integrating many important aspects of organism and community ecology, to better interpret exposure and understand effects of various environmental pollutants such as insecticides (eg. neonicotinoids), PCBs, PBDEs, PAHs and Hg.  Birds are visible, well studied and often highly sensitive to environmental change and are therefore regarded as excellent indicator species. As such, our work tackles applied questions about how birds respond- physiologically and behaviourally – to pollutant exposure during key stages in the annual life cycle such as reproduction and migration. Since environmental pollution can also lead to changes in food availability, we also study the indirect effects of pollutants on invertebrate communities.  A holistic understanding of chemical threats remains an essential conservation need to preserve biodiversity.


“To conduct applied research to understand anthropogenic threats from pollution and other stressors to migratory birds and aquatic ecosystems in Canada’s Prairie region and beyond. The goal is to inform conservation policy and actions to protect biodiversity through scientific curiosity, creativity, collaboration, and integrity.”

Ecotoxicologists today... are at the forefront of informing a public that has become complacent about the dangers of chemicals.

– Morrissey in Environmental Health News

Big Problems Need Creative Interdisciplinary Solutions

I am further motivated to find alternatives to harmful chemical use using solutions that represent the pillars of sustainability- environmental, economic and social.  This means that designing sound solutions to big ecotoxicology problems often relies on interdisciplinary and participatory approaches. Check out our network of talented researchers as part of the Canadian Prairie Agroecosystem Resilience Network (CPARNet).