Scientists from the University of Toronto and other institutions in Canada and abroad are using the resources of the Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill to expand our knowledge base in biodiversity, ecology and evolution. While some of their projects seek solutions to specific challenges, the major research thrust is addressing fundamental questions:
- What limits the geographic ranges of species?
- What makes a recently introduced species go invasive?
- How do patterns of mating and reproduction contribute to population persistence?
- When can natural selection act fast enough to buffer the effects of environmental change?
These are interesting questions in their own right, but in this age of environmental uncertainty, the need for answers is urgent.
PhD candidate Kyla Ercit from the Gwynne lab is studying wasp feeding behaviour at Koffler Scientific Reserve at Jokers Hill. A wasp Isodontia mexicana , carries a paralysed female tree cricket, Oecanthus niveus, back to her nest to feed to her young. Photograph by Gil Wizen, August 2011. The Gwynne lab uses insect wasp and bee trap-nests to study insect interactions.
PhD candidate Stephen De Lisle, is investigating in the evolutionary ecology of sexual dimorphism. At KSR I use field experiments to examine how community structure may differentially affect male and female newts.
PhD candidate Susana Wadgymar from the Weis lab uses artificial warming treatments in field settings, I study these associations under the influence of the increased temperatures expected with climate change using populations from distinct latitudes throughout the species’ distribution.
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