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Department of Biological Sciences

The Department of Biological Sciences is the largest and one of the most diverse on campus in terms of the research interests of its academic staff. The Department currently has over 70 professors, 20 adjunct professors and 20 professors emeritus, along with a graduate student population of nearly 300 and 70 departmental support staff. Over 95% of the academic staff in the Department have NSERC or CIHR funding, with the average grant monies being in excess of $200,000 per investigator.
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  1. Respiration and Excurrent Velocity DATA for 5 demosponges - Data associated with: Ludeman, Reidenbach and Leys, JEB 2017 The energetic cost of filtration by demosponges and their behavioural response to ambient currents [Download]

    Title: Respiration and Excurrent Velocity DATA for 5 demosponges - Data associated with: Ludeman, Reidenbach and Leys, JEB 2017 The energetic cost of filtration by demosponges and their behavioural response to ambient currents
    Creator: Sally Leys
    Description: Abstract: Sponges (Porifera) are abundant in most marine and freshwater ecosystems and as suspension feeders they play a crucial role in filtering the water column. Their active pumping enables them to filter up to 900 times their body volume of water per hour, recycling nutrients and coupling a pelagic food supply with benthic communities. Despite the ecological importance of sponge filter feeding, little is known about how sponges control the water flow through their canal system or how much energy it costs to filter the water. Sponges have long been considered textbook examples of animals that use current-induced flow. We provide evidence that suggests that some species of demosponge do not use current-induced flow, rather they respond behaviourally to increased ambient currents by reducing the volume of water filtered. Using a morphometric model of the canal system, we also show that filter feeding may be more energetically costly than previously thought. Measurements of volumetric flow rates and oxygen removal in five species of demosponge show that pumping rates are variable within and between species, with more oxygen consumed the greater the volume filtered. Together these data suggest that sponges have active control over the volume of water they process, which may be an adaptation to reduce the energetic cost of filtration in times of high stress.
    Subjects: Porifera, Filtration, Ecophysiology, Demosponges, Sponge, Energetics
    Date Created: 2017/02/14
  2. Cost of filtration DATA for 5 demosponges - Data associated with: Ludeman, Reidenbach and Leys - JEB 2017 The energetic cost of filtration by demosponges and their behavioural response to ambient currents [Download]

    Title: Cost of filtration DATA for 5 demosponges - Data associated with: Ludeman, Reidenbach and Leys - JEB 2017 The energetic cost of filtration by demosponges and their behavioural response to ambient currents
    Creator: Sally Leys
    Description: Abstract: Sponges (Porifera) are abundant in most marine and freshwater ecosystems and as suspension feeders they play a crucial role in filtering the water column. Their active pumping enables them to filter up to 900 times their body volume of water per hour, recycling nutrients and coupling a pelagic food supply with benthic communities. Despite the ecological importance of sponge filter feeding, little is known about how sponges control the water flow through their canal system or how much energy it costs to filter the water. Sponges have long been considered textbook examples of animals that use current-induced flow. We provide evidence that suggests that some species of demosponge do not use current-induced flow, rather they respond behaviourally to increased ambient currents by reducing the volume of water filtered. Using a morphometric model of the canal system, we also show that filter feeding may be more energetically costly than previously thought. Measurements of volumetric flow rates and oxygen removal in five species of demosponge show that pumping rates are variable within and between species, with more oxygen consumed the greater the volume filtered. Together these data suggest that sponges have active control over the volume of water they process, which may be an adaptation to reduce the energetic cost of filtration in times of high stress.
    Subjects: Porifera, Filtration, Ecophysiology, Demosponges, Sponge, Energetics
    Date Created: 2017/02/14
  3. Grizzly Bear Data Set [Download]

    Title: Grizzly Bear Data Set
    Creator: Auger-Méthé, Marie
    Description: This the data associated with the manuscript: Auger-Méthé, M, AE Derocher, DA DeMars, MJ Plank, EA Codling, MA Lewis. Evaluating random search strategies in three mammals from distinct feeding guilds. Journal of Animal Ecology. In Press. The data is the step lengths and turning angles measured from caribou, grizzly bears, and polar bears.
    Subjects: Caribou, Grizzly bear, Polar bear, Movement, Step length, Turning angle
    Date Created: 2016/06/10
  4. Polar Bear Data Set [Download]

    Title: Polar Bear Data Set
    Creator: Auger-Méthé, Marie
    Description: This the data associated with the manuscript: Auger-Méthé, M, AE Derocher, DA DeMars, MJ Plank, EA Codling, MA Lewis. Evaluating random search strategies in three mammals from distinct feeding guilds. Journal of Animal Ecology. In Press. The data is the step lengths and turning angles measured from caribou, grizzly bears, and polar bears.
    Subjects: Caribou, Grizzly bear, Polar bear, Movement, Step length, Turning angle
    Date Created: 2016/06/10
  5. Caribou Data Set [Download]

    Title: Caribou Data Set
    Creator: Auger-Méthé, Marie
    Description: This the data associated with the manuscript: Auger-Méthé, M, AE Derocher, DA DeMars, MJ Plank, EA Codling, MA Lewis. Evaluating random search strategies in three mammals from distinct feeding guilds. Journal of Animal Ecology. In Press. The data is the step lengths and turning angles measured from caribou, grizzly bears, and polar bears.
    Subjects: Caribou, Grizzly bear, Polar bear, Movement, Step length, Turning angle
    Date Created: 2016/06/10
  6. Conserving Alberta’s Biodiversity Under a Changing Climate: A Review and Analysis of Adaptation Measures [Download]

    Title: Conserving Alberta’s Biodiversity Under a Changing Climate: A Review and Analysis of Adaptation Measures
    Creator: Schneider, Richard R.
    Description: As a province and a nation we have committed to conserving our native biodiversity. In this discussion paper I examine this goal through the lens of climate change. The intent is to draw attention to issues that need to be addressed and to illustrate options for adapting our current system of biodiversity management to the new realities we face. The report is divided into three main sections: a review of the risks that climate change poses for biodiversity; an examination of how conservation objectives can be defined in a world of constant change; and a review and analysis of adaptation measures, ranging from management actions through to planning and supportive measures.
    Subjects: Climate change, Protected areas, Biodiversity, Planning, Adaptation
  7. Data access for the 1,000 Plants (1KP) project [Download]

    Title: Data access for the 1,000 Plants (1KP) project
    Creator: Matasci, Naim
    Description: The 1,000 plants (1KP) project is an international multi-disciplinary consortium that has generated transcriptome data from over 1,000 plant species, with exemplars for all of the major lineages across the Viridiplantae (green plants) clade. Here, we describe how to access the data used in a phylogenomics analysis of the first 85 species, and how to visualize our gene and species trees. Users can develop computational pipelines to analyse these data, in conjunction with data of their own that they can upload. Computationally estimated protein-protein interactions and biochemical pathways can be visualized at another site. Finally, we comment on our future plans and how they fit within this scalable system for the dissemination, visualization, and analysis of large multi-species data sets.
    Subjects: Viridiplantae, Biodiversity, Transcriptomes, Phylogenomics, Interactions, Pathways
    Date Created: 2014/10/27
  8. The location and translocation of ndh genes of chloroplast origin in the Orchidaceae family [Download]

    Title: The location and translocation of ndh genes of chloroplast origin in the Orchidaceae family
    Creator: Lin, Choun-Sea
    Subjects: CYCLIC ELECTRON FLOW, ONCIDIUM GOWER RAMSEY, MITOCHONDRIAL GENOME, NADH DEHYDROGENASE, PHOTOSYSTEM-I, DNA-SEQUENCES, EVOLUTION, NUCLEUS, ARABIDOPSIS, IDENTIFICATION
  9. Genome-wide assessment of worldwide chicken SNP genetic diversity indicates significant absence of rare alleles in commercial breeds [Download]

    Title: Genome-wide assessment of worldwide chicken SNP genetic diversity indicates significant absence of rare alleles in commercial breeds
    Creator: Muir, William M.
    Subjects: alleles, biodiversity, poultry
  10. Superfluid Critical Behavior in 4He-Filled Porous Media [Download]

    Title: Superfluid Critical Behavior in 4He-Filled Porous Media
    Creator: Wong, GKS
    Subjects: superfluid