David Beauchesne, PhD Candidate

Université du Québec à Rimouski, Institut des sciences de la mer (ISMER)

My research interests center on theoretical ecology, human impacts and ecosystem structure and function. I have worked on the conservation of multiple species and evaluated the impacts of multiple human activities on the environment. Through these experiences, I have come to realize that an integrative approach is crucial in order to efficiently manage and predict human impacts on ecosystems.

Supervisor(s): Dr. Philippe Archambault and Dr. Dominique Gravel

Start to Finish: 09/2014 to 08/2017

CHONe Project: 2.1.1: Indicators of benthic condition at the Gulf-scale: megabenthic community structure

Project Title: Evaluating the cumulative impacts of natural and anthropogenic stressors on the structure and function of the food web of the Estuary and Gulf of St.Lawrence

Project Description:

The intensification of the human footprint in marine ecosystems imposes the use of a systematic planning approach for the use of marine resources. There is, however, currently little knowledge on how multiple stressors interact to affect the integrity of ecosystem structure and functions. My PhD project focuses on evaluating cumulative anthropogenic impacts on the structure of the communities of the Estuary and Gulf of St. Lawrence in eastern Canada.

The specific goals of my thesis are to:

  1. Evaluate cumulative impacts on the ecosystems of the St. Lawrence,
  2. Characterize the spatial structure of the communities of the St. Lawrence,
  3. Evaluate the vulnerability of biological communities to multiple stressors, and
  4. Evaluate cumulative impacts on the communities of the St. Lawrence from the cartography of stressors (Obj. 1) and communities (Obj. 2), as well as the vulnerability of communities to multiple stressors (Obj 3).

My project ties in with multiple CHONe goals, namely the evaluation of cumulative impacts – how multiple stressors interact to directly or indirectly affect interacting species. My aim is to support a shift towards a more proactive and holistic way of managing marine ecosystems, which also closely correlates with the process of establishing protected areas.