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Myriam Lacharité

Patterns of sessile megafauna in the Atlantic Discovery Corridor – Relationship with substrate features

Myriam Lacharité
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I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology in 2009 at McGill University. I have worked as a research assistant in an invasion ecology lab at McGill and at the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. My interests include the ecology of aquatic invertebrates, and mathematical biology, in particular the study of biodiversity.

Anna Metaxas

Oceanography, Dalhousie University

2010 - present

Marine Biodiversity, MB-17: Atlantic Corridor Biodiversity

In my project, I explore the relationship between the distribution, abundance and diversity of a particular group of organisms, the suspension-feeding sessile megafauna (i.e. corals, anemones, sponges), and the geological features of the deep seafloor of the Gulf of Maine. Due to the glacial history of the region, these habitats are highly heterogeneous at various spatial scales (from the presence of moraine debris on the seafloor to variations in shape and bathymetry between regions). This allows me to test the hypothesis that habitat heterogeneity in deep waters enhances biodiversity. 

The specific project/thesis aims are:

  • To develop methods comparing habitat heterogeneity and biological diversity
  • To establish a relevant scale of heterogeneity (fine to coarse) most correlated with patterns of biological diversity 
  • To conduct a summary study comparing the  biological patterns among the various physiographic regions of the Gulf of Maine

This project is directly related to ongoing efforts to establish environmental surrogates for biological diversity in marine systems in order to facilitate the implementation of management strategies.

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