Dr. Lisa Neville Wins Best Poster Award

Monday, June 15, 2015

Freshly minted Carleton Earth Sciences graduate Lisa Neville (Ph.D. 2014, Tim Patterson supervisor) was honoured with the Best Poster Award at GeoConvention 2015 in Calgary, Alberta. Her paper entitled "Climate Cycles Drive Aquatic Ecologic Changes in the Fort McMurray Region of Northern Alberta, Canada" summarized a portion of her Ph.D. research. 

In this work, she analyzed an annual resolution record of climate change in a core from a lake downwind of the Oil Sands operations in Northeastern Alberta.  In this region, she found that climate cycles have more of an influence on ecologic conditions then the Oil Sands operation.  She demonstrated, using time series analysis techniques, that shelled amoebae known as arcellaceans can be used as sensitive indicators of lake hydroecologic response to climate change. Specifically, drier or wetter climate conditions relate to different phases of the multi-decadal scale Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) and El NiƱo, which impacted lake ecologies in cyclic patterns.  This research contributes to our understanding of how future natural and human induced climate variability will influence lakes in western Canada, as well as aids in the construction of reclamation strategies for the Oil Sands industry.