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Jennifer Gleason

PhD candidate

I am a PhD candidate in the Integrative Biology department at the University of Guelph and I am co-supervised by Dr. Bob Hanner and Dr. Karl Cottenie. My two major research interests are metacommunity ecology and aquatic entomology, with a focus on impacted ecosystems and bio-indicator taxa. I am currently exploring the influence of local and regional agricultural land use on aquatic insect communities in southern Ontario streams. I am interested in using next-generation sequencing (e.g., metabarcoding) and environmental DNA to characterize these communities for both bio-assessments and ecological analyses. Prior to starting my PhD, I completed a BSc in Biology (Zoology major) at the University of Guelph in 2012. I first became involved in research through the undergraduate thesis program, where I completed a project exploring the functional morphology of damselfly nymphs under different predation regimes. After that, I worked as a lab and field technician for three years at the Biodiversity Institute of Ontario, where I was responsible for collecting insects in National Parks across Canada, sorting and identifying specimens, and collaborating with researchers at other insect collections. Interested in developing my skills as a researcher, I decided to pursue graduate school and completed my MSc in wetland ecology at the University of Waterloo (2015-2017) with Dr. Rebecca Rooney. My MSc thesis examined the influence of agricultural land use and pond permanence on aquatic macroinvertebrate communities and diversity patterns in the prairie pothole region of Alberta.

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