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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. Differentiating the Lévy walk from a composite correlated random walk - Code [Download]

    Title: Differentiating the Lévy walk from a composite correlated random walk - Code
    Creator: Auger-Méthé, Marie
    Description: Source code for an R package that can be used to simulate and apply various search strategy models to movement data. This is the code used in the manuscript entitled: Differentiating the Lévy walk from a composite correlated random walk. See  https://github.com/MarieAugerMethe/CCRWvsLW
    for any changes made after the publication.
    Subjects: Correlated random walk, Area restricted search, Lévy walk, Polar bear, Hidden Markov Model
  8. Microbial succession in glacial foreland soils [Download]

    Title: Microbial succession in glacial foreland soils
    Creator: Kazemi, Sina
    Description: Although viable microbial communities have been shown to exist beneath glaciers, the impact of glacial retreat on these communities and development of the resulting foreland ecosystem is not well understood. This study investigated how microbial communities respond to changing conditions brought on by glacial retreat and whether a pattern of succession, such as those found in well characterized plant systems, occurs along a soil foreland in these microbial communities. Effects of glacial retreat on the composition of microbial communities along a glacial foreland chronosequence were examined in two glaciers, Duke Glacier and Trapridge Glacier, located in the St. Elias Mountain Range, SW Yukon. Sampling of soil along either side of the glacial forelands was conducted in May and July 2011. Five subsamples were collected at each site to account for any within-site variation of communities. Due to time constraints, only one subsample at each site along the Duke left chronosequence (C1-C7) sampled in July 2011 was examined. DNA extraction results indicate an increasing trend in DNA yield of microbial communities with distance from the glacier terminus. Denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis of partial 16S rRNA genes revealed that communities nearest the glacier terminus (C1) were distinct from all other sites. Microbial communities at sites C2-C7 (excluding C3) clustered together. These results suggest there is a rapid stabilization of microbial communities at C2, and a steady increase in biomass occurs thereafter.
    Subjects: soil, succession, microbe, foreland, glacier
    Date Created: 2011/11/01
  9. Induction of Vacuolar ATPase and Mitochondrial ATP Synthase by Aluminum in an Aluminum-Resistant Cultivar of Wheat [Download]

    Title: Induction of Vacuolar ATPase and Mitochondrial ATP Synthase by Aluminum in an Aluminum-Resistant Cultivar of Wheat
    Creator: Hamilton, C. A.
    Description: Two 51-kD aluminum (Al)-induced proteins (RMP51, root membrane proteins of 51 kD) were recently discovered in an aluminum-resistant cultivar of wheat (Triticum aestivum) cv PT741 (Basu et al., 1994a). These proteins segregate with the aluminum resistance phenotype in a segregating population arising from a cross between Al-resistant cv PT741 and Al-sensitive cv Katepwa (Taylor et al., 1997). The proteins have been purified by continuous elution electrophoresis and analyzed by peptide microsequencing. Sequence analysis of the purified peptides revealed that they are homologous to the B subunit of the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) and the alpha- and beta -subunits of the mitochondrial ATP synthase (F(1)F(0)-ATPase). To confirm that these ATPases are induced by Al, ATPase activity and transcript levels were analyzed under Al stress. Both V-ATPase and F(1)F(0)-ATPase activities were induced by Al and responded in a dose-dependent manner to 0 to 150 muM Al. In contrast, plasma membrane H(+)-ATPase (P-ATPase) activity decreased to 0.5x control levels, even when plants were exposed to 25 muM Al. Northern analysis showed that the transcript encoding the B subunit of V-ATPase increased by 2.2x in a dose-dependent manner, whereas levels of the transcript encoding the alpha -subunit of F(1)F(0)-ATPase remained constant. The effect of Al on ATPase activity in other cultivars was also examined. The Al-resistant cultivar, cv PT741, was the only cultivar to show induction of V- and F(1)F(0)-ATPases. These results suggest that the V-ATPase in cv PT741 is responding specifically to Al stress with the ATP required for its activity supplied by ATP synthase to maintain energy balance within the cell.
    Subjects: Polyacrylamide Gels, Barley Roots, Oxidative Stress, Induced Genes, Possible Involvement, H+-Atpase, Plasma-membrane, Triticum-Aestivum L, NaCl Stress, Proton-Transport Activity
    Date Created: 2001
  10. Differentiating the Lévy walk from a composite correlated random walk - Data [Download]

    Title: Differentiating the Lévy walk from a composite correlated random walk - Data
    Creator: Auger-Méthé, Marie
    Description: This the data associated with the manuscript entitled: Differentiating the Lévy walk from a composite correlated random walk. It is the step lengths and turning angles of two bears collared in the Hudson Bay. The data is the step length and turning angle measured at regular time intervals (every 30 min).
    Subjects: CCRW, Movement, Lévy walk, Turning angle, Polar bear, Step length