Laurie Isabel, MSc Candidate, Université Laval

Université Laval

Hi everyone! Other than biology, I am a fan of outdoor activities, especially when it involves being in the water or on a boat. I completed my bachelor degree at Laval University in marine and freshwater biology. My main interest in research is conservation and development of tools to protect our oceans.

Supervisor(s): Dr. Philippe Archambault

Start to Finish: 09/2017 to 08/2019

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

Project Title: Development of a benthic index to assess ecosystem health of the Gulf of St Lawrence

Project Description:

Stressors emerging from human activity and affecting marine organisms are numerous and growing in intensity in the Gulf of St Lawrence, generating a considerable number of negative even destructive impacts on communities. It is today essential to create management tools which enable scientists and environment managers to follow-up the health condition of marine ecosystems. This project aims to create a benthic index to establish the ecosystem health of the Gulf of St Lawrence. This index would serve has a tool to make temporal and spatial monitoring of benthic condition. Marine macroinvertebrate offers lots of advantages in the development of this kind of tool. They are closely related to bottom sediment where contaminants usually accumulate and where oxygen stress is more frequent. Also, most benthic organisms are sessile, which means their health condition is a picture of close environment quality. Many benthic indices have already been developed around the world, but none of the one tested yet have proven their efficiency for the Gulf of St Lawrence.

This project links to CHONe second objective through the development of a benthic index at Gulf-scale that will be adapted for Canadian waters.