Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability

My research focuses on understanding how nutrients delivered to coastal ecosystems by wind-driven upwelling events influence the effect of herbivores on algae, and the trophic flow of energy on tropical rocky shores.

 

-Andrew Sellers

My project aims to understand what would be the best practices for the on-farm conservation of cacao diversity.

 

-Andréanne Lavoie

I investigate how foraging ecology changes in resident seabirds in the Humboldt Current Upwelling System off Peru, can inform of disturbances due to climatic shifts or intensive fisheries pressures

 

-Francis van Oordt

How do stress and disturbance affect marine community interactions and biodiversity of mangrove islands and coral reef within the Caribbean?

 

-Heather Stewart

Can the endophytes from the cacao fruits be biocontrol agents of the frosty pod rot disease?

 

-Ximena Florez

My project aims to determine the influence experiences in the environment, have on shaping individual behaviour, focusing specifically on exploratory behaviour and responses to novelty in Trinidadian guppies as well as foraging behaviour in Heliconius butterflies.

 

-Wyatt Toure

My research project focus is on the ecological role of plant-microbe interactions in the tropical forest.

 

-Adriel Sierra

I am studying current and past dam development projects in Panama, with an emphasis on the stakeholders involved with the Bayano dam.

 

-Gabriel Yahya

My research combines field, laboratory and meta-analytical techniques to better understand how temperature affects global patterns of fish biodiversity and distribution.

 

-Nicole Knight

I study the environmental drivers of humpback whale distributions as well as the risks associated with ship strike and fishing gear entanglement in the Southern Hemisphere.

 

-Cassia Foley

I am interested in how ant functional traits vary under different environmental conditions and how this translates to the structuring of ant communities.

 

-Javier Ibarra

My research broadly focuses on the causes and consequences of species diversity across primate lineages. I look at behavioural drivers of evolutionary diversity as well as the human influence in primate taxonomy and the consequences that this has in applied areas of biology like conservation.

-Maria Creighton

 

 I study how coral diversity has changed in the Bocas del Toro region of Panama, using repeat-dive surveys covering a time scale of over 20 years. I am broadly interested in understanding how human impact can be reduced to protect biodiversity?

 

-Julia Briand

My research aims to understand what vertebrate assemblages inhabited the shallow marine waters of the paleotropics (Colombia) during the Early Cretaceous (130-115 Ma), the habitats in which they lived, and the climatic regime that possibly affected them and their environments. 

-Dirley Cortes

I use behavioural and immunohistochemical techniques to study the neural mechanisms of social learning in the Trinidadian guppy.

 

-Raina Fan

My research focus is to understand the impact of climate change-related variables such as precipitation, solar radiation and temperature rates over the last 20 years, on tropical dry forests in Panama, specifically exploring potential changes in forest composition, and analyzing the plasticity of local trees' hydraulic and functional traits between sites.     -Nicole Meier

BESS

What is BESS?

 

Environmental change is occurring at an unprecedented rate, raising concerns about the conservation of biodiversity (B), the maintenance of ecosystem services (ES), and the future of sustainability (S) — BESS. These concerns are especially pressing in tropical environments, where most of the world's biodiversity and humans reside and interact.

BESS provides a multidisciplinary and immersive training experience to help prepare the next generation of environmental scientists to work with industry, environmental consulting firms, governments, NGOs, and universities. BESS training provides students with skills in environmental monitoring, biodiversity surveying, ecological impact assessment, mitigation strategies, the design of restoration projects, statistical analysis, adaptive forest and agricultural management, and mathematical modeling for predictive and prescriptive planning.

The BESS program has a strong multidisciplinary component and a diverse group of researchers and collaborators — Quebec universities, Canadian companies working in Panama, and several Panamanian institutions, particularly the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute — who administer and supervise complementary courses, an internship rotation, and thesis research. BESS also provides students with an immersive experience through courses and internships in Panama.

BESS graduates will be equipped with the practical skills, real-world experience, and interdisciplinary knowledge they need to substantially improve environmental knowledge for a broad range of Canadian interests in Latin America, the tropics, and in Canada itself.

***APPLICATIONS TO THE BESS PROGRAM AT MCGILL SHOULD BE MADE THROUGH THE NEO PROGRAM – LINK HERE. APPLICANTS TO THE BESS PROGRAM AT UQAM OR LAVAL SHOULD CONTACT US AT BESS bess [at] mcgill.ca (subject: Bess%20application) (EMAIL)***

 

Funding provided by                   

NSERC/CRSNG
Image by NSERC/CRSNG.
     
McGill University
Image by McGill University.
       
UQAM
Image by UQAM.
          
U. Laval
Image by U. Laval.
         STRI

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