Seminar series sheds light on ecological stress affecting our waterways

River at dusk

Water equals life. But microplastics, pharmaceuticals, road salt, mercury and more are washed or flushed daily into waterways, harming fish and affecting drinking water. Learn more about these ecological stressors from ecologists across the province at the upcoming pan-Faculty Aquatic Research Group (ARG) Seminar Series 2019-20.

Learn more about what’s causing stress in our rivers and lakes. The ARG Seminar Series brings top researchers to York University to talk about their research in aquatic ecology.

“This year’s ARG Seminar Series is covering some of the most topical issues in aquatic sciences,” says Associate Professor Sapna Sharma of the Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, who leads the organization of the series. “Our lineup is incredible. These women speakers are doing some amazing transformational research on some of the most important issues in aquatic ecology.”

Each seminar will start at 12:30 p.m., followed by a free lunch at 1:30 p.m. The seminars will all take place in 140 Health, Nursing & Environmental Studies Building except the talk on Feb. 24, which will be in 306 Lumbers Building.

Wednesday, Oct. 9: Assistant Professor Chelsea Rochman of the University of Toronto will present the talk “Ecological impacts of microplastics in the environment.”

Wednesday, Nov. 13: Professor Robert Bailey of the Ontario Tech University will discuss “Bioassessment of freshwater ecosystems.”

Wednesday, Feb. 12: Assistant Professor Claire Oswald of Ryerson University will talk about “Impacts of road salt inputs on GTA streams” (tentative title).

Monday, Feb. 24: Assistant Professor Carly Ziter of Concordia University will present “Thinking beyond the park: landscape structure, land-use history and biodiversity shape urban ecosystem services.”

Wednesday, March 11: Professor Karen Kidd, the Stephen A. Jarislowsky Chair in Environment and Health at McMaster University, will look at “Local through global influences of human activities on mercury in aquatic ecosystems.”

All members of the York community are welcome to attend the seminars.

The ARG includes researchers who focus on aquatic science from the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Environmental Studies, and Liberal Arts & Professional Studies. The seminar series is designed to engage this multidisciplinary scientific community at all levels, including graduate and undergraduate students, both at York University and with in wider aquatic science community.