Research Experience

Here’s a condensed list of some of the research I’ve worked on and helped out with over the last few years.

Research Assistant to Dr. Chris Ernst (Summer, 2016)

  • Supervisor: Dr. Chris Ernst & Dr. John Reynolds, Simon Fraser University & Hakai Institute
  • Goal: to understand how marine nutrient subsidies alter the theory of island biogeography and to describe the community of terrestrial arthropods along the Central Coast of British Columbia.
  • Tasks: (A) collecting terrestrial arthropods using pitfall traps and beatsheeting; (B) recording relative abundance of major plant taxa; (C) recording physical structure of plots (substrate, coarse woody debris, canopy cover, shrub height, etc…); (D) sorting & extracting leaf litter samples; (E) identifying & sorting insects to family; (F) organic matter determination using the LOI method; (G) setup and takedown of camp (10-12 days camping at a time); (H) maintaining camp organization and tending to camp chores (cooking meals, dishes, cleaning camp toilet); (I) driving a 10ft zodiac between camp and islands 4-6 times a day.
  • Grant: NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Award

Research Assistant to Dr. Jessica Forrest (Summer, 2015)

  • Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Forrest, University of Ottawa
  • Goal: assess mason bee nest progress and flowering plant species phenology.
  • Tasks: (A) setting up and maintaining trap-nests for solitary bee nesting; (B) recording abundance of flowers for various species; (C) measuring and recording mason bee nest construction progress and parasitism; (D) marking and identifying individual bees; (E) recording development of bees in an incubator.

The roles of specialist and generalist pollinators in the reproduction of Lathyrus lanszwertii (Summer 2015)

  • Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Forrest, University of Ottawa
  • Goal: describe the pollination ecology and reproductive biology of L. lanszwertii.
  • Tasks: (A) setting up pollinator-exclusion systems plants; (B) hand pollination to test for self-compatibility and the autogamy; (C) pollinator observations; (D) collection and identification of pollinators.

Research Assistant to D.r Jessica Forrest (Spring, 2014)

  • Supervisor: Dr, Jessica Forrest, University of Ottawa
  • Goal: Quantify the phenology of wildflowers and insect pollinators in Gatineau Park, Quebec, immediately after snowmelt.
  • Tasks: (A) counting wild ephemeral flower buds, flowers and fruit; (B) catching, identifying, photographing and releasing bumble bees; (C) sampling bee & wasp populations using pan-traps; (D) recording the construction of solitary native bee nests (genus: Osmia); (E) pinning and pointing Hymenoptera specimens obtained from trap-nests throughout the Ottawa Greenbelt; (F) quantifying pollen amounts after pollinator visits using an Elzone particle counter.

Research Assistant to Adam Groulx (Summer, 2014)

  • Supervisor: Adam Groulx & Dr. Jessica Forrest, University of Ottawa
  • Goal: assess rates of parasitism in mason bees with different nesting densities or different resource availability.
  • Tasks: (A) setting up trap-nests for solitary bee nesting; (B) observations of solitary bee and parasitic/kleptoparasitic wasp behaviour; (C) recording the construction and parasitism of solitary native bee nests (genus: Osmia); (D) controlling nesting density by moving nests; (E) controlling floral resource abundance using floating row covers.

Foraging habits of solitary bees (Winter, 2014)

  • Supervisor: Dr. Jessica Forrest, University of Ottawa
  • Goal: To study the foraging habits of solitary bees in the Ottawa area to determine the extent to which bees travel in order to obtain floral resources within habitat mosaics.
  • Tasks: counted the abundance of different pollen types in pollen provisions and frass of trap-nesting solitary bees; analyzed data to determine the variation in the pollen content at different nesting sites.
    Grant: Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program
  • Grant: Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, University of Ottawa
  • Poster: click here