Dr. Tamzin Blewett (Principal Investigator)
My research is multidisciplinary (e.g. a skill set comprising core techniques in biology, physiology, toxicology, chemistry, biogeochemistry), with a specific focus in areas aligned with the protection of aquatic ecosystems and the biota therein. Much of my research effort has been focused on supporting the development of regulatory tools that not only seek to identify levels of aquatic contaminants that are likely to cause harm, but which set appropriate regulatory limits for our industrial economy. I am passionate about a sustainable future for Canadian waters.
2019 - Assistant Professor - University of Alberta, Canada
2016-2019 Post-Doctoral Fellow - NSERC Fellowship, University of Alberta, Canada
2015-2016 Post-Doctoral Fellow - Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
2011-2015 PhD - McMaster University, Canada
2009-2011 MSc - McMaster University, Canada
2004-2009 BSc - Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada
Rob Griffith (MSc Candidate)
I graduated from the University of Guelph in 2019, receiving my BSc in Marine and Freshwater Biology. My undergraduate research examined how environmental oxygen concentrations impact crustacean musculature and function, as well as multi level diversity assessment preformed out at Huntsman Marine Science Centre in New Brunswick. My MSc project focuses on assessing and understanding amino acid transport across the gills in multiple crustacean species of the Pacific Ocean. Overall, we are interested in understanding if this ability is native to the invasive green crab (Carcinus maenas) or shared among crustaceans.
Ivy Luu (MSc Candidate)
I graduated from the University of Waterloo in 2019, where I received my BSc in Biochemistry. My undergraduate thesis was on how venlafaxine, increased water temperature, and decreased oxygen affect miRNA and mRNA targets of multiple generations of Danio rerio. For my masters work, I will be investigating the effects of hydraulic fracturing flowback and produced waters on the freshwater water flea (Daphnia magna). We will be taking a multigenerational approach using epigenetic markers to observe how many generations are affected after exposure and if recovery is possible.
My research interests include areas of biology and zoology but currently center around toxicology in aquatic environments and the resulting effects on aquatic organisms. I am currently conducting toxicity tests of flowback and produced water on Daphnia magna to determine the LC50 values of four different wells on one well pad in the Montney and Duvernay formations. Once the LC50 values are determined, I intend to study FPW toxicity through the use of behavioural and physiological endpoints. My research seeks to understand how FPW toxicity varies across different wells on the same well pad in addition to the resulting effects on Daphnia magna
I have always wanted to get involved in research, but my interests were difficult to narrow down. During a field course at Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre I became fascinated with marine, freshwater, and terrestrial invertebrates, and I was inspired to dive deeper into marine biology and aquatic toxicology. This year under Dr. Blewett I am working with Daphnia magna to investigate whether pseudoreplication (multiple animals housed in the same container) affects toxicity test results. Pseudoreplicates will be compared to true replicates (a single animal per container), and the results will provide insight regarding the impact of pseudoreplication on ecotoxicological studies.
My research is looking into the the effects of three common sunscreen components on Daphnia magna. Octocrylene, avobenzone, and oxybenzone are UV blockers common in many sunscreens in various concentrations and combinations and little is known about their impact on the environment. I will be looking at both the acute and chronic effects of these three substances to gain a better understanding of the impact they may have when released into aquatic environments. Such research is pertinent as human recreational activity often causes the release of these substances into water, yet the consequences of such activity is poorly understood.