Rebecca Garner

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
Microbial eukaryotes represent a morphologically, phylogenetically, and ecologically diverse fraction of lake microbiomes whose contributions to lake food webs and biogeochemistry have yet to be fully elucidated. Moreover, as human pressures on lakes increase and diversify, the responses of microeukaryotic communities to anthropogenic stress are even less understood. This study examines the drivers of lacustrine microeukaryotic community assembly and aims to clarify the influence of lake characteristics and watershed land use on microeukaryotic diversity in a broad spatial context. Through the molecular genetic analysis of surface water samples collected by the Canadian Lake Pulse Network, we survey the microeukaryotic diversity in hundreds of lakes characterized by a wide variety of physicochemical characteristics, morphometries, climatic variables, and human impact intensities across Canada. This research represents a unique, landscape-scale perspective on lacustrine microbial diversity which reinforces the imperative to safeguard vulnerable freshwater ecosystems now and into the futur