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Wilfrid Laurier University Office of Research Services
December 8, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Lauren MacDonald

PhD Candidate

Biology, University of Waterloo

Hydroecology of lakes in Wapusk National Park

Wapusk National Park in northeastern Manitoba was established in 1996 to protect representative ecozones of the Hudson Bay Lowlands, one of the most extensive subarctic wetlands in the world.  The region is underlain by permafrost, and thermokarst processes have contributed to creating a terrain in which over 10,000 shallow lakes and ponds provide key habitat for large populations of waterfowl and other wildlife.  In response to the need to identify consequences of recent warming on this landscape, my research focuses on developing new understanding of both contemporary and past limnological conditions.  Approaches include characterizing the role of hydrological processes on lake water chemistry, nutrient conditions and carbon balance, and reconstructing past limnological variability from multi-proxy analyses of lake sediment cores.  Findings will shed light on expected limnological trajectories in the context of continued climate change.