Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

PhD student completing internship, ‘very important piece of the puzzle’ in StFX lab

June 7th, 2018
PhD student Inês Leal (right) and Dr. Julius Ellrich

Inês Leal, a 3rd year PhD student from Portugal currently in the program of Oceanography at the Institut des sciences de la mer de Rimouski, is visiting StFX to study how pelagic food supply, barnacle larval condition, and barnacle settlement are related on our shores. 

“My project includes a latitudinal comparison of the ecophysiological mechanisms underlying recruitment of marine benthic invertebrates, which I have carried out in Greenland (polar region), Brazil (subtropical region) and Panama (tropical region) so far. Studying now in StFX makes up for the last and very important piece of the puzzle, a temperate region,” she says.

“I had the opportunity to do this internship in the lab of (StFX biology professor) Dr. Ricardo Scrosati as a follow up of the visit of my PhD co-supervisor Prof. Augusto Flores (CEBIMar/USP) to StFX last November. I am happy to strengthen this collaboration, and look forward to analyzing these results, as there is still a lot to find out on larval ecophysiology. Hopefully with this internship we will be able to fill in some gaps!”

“This is an important project because it will fill a gap on our understanding of how pelagic nearshore processes affect benthic processes on the shore. In fact, it is a hot topic in marine ecology these days,” Dr. Scrosati says.

Her thesis, he says, will eventually make comparisons of her Nova Scotia results with results for other coasts of the world she has recently investigated, such as those from Greenland, Panama, and Brazil, ultimately looking for commonalities.  

She recently started her field work in rocky intertidal habitats near Arisaig, NS, aided by Dr. Julius Ellrich, a post-doctoral fellow in the lab.

Dr. Scrosati says this is part of a larger project led by Rejéan Tremblay, from the University of Quebec, and Augusto Flores, from the University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. His lab has recently joined these efforts and prospects for biogeographically broad findings are exciting.

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