Systematics, Biodiversity, Toxicology, Impact Assessment and Environmental Change

Peter E. Hehanussa © Peter E. Hehanussa

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Micro-organisms are the most important biological life forms on Earth, are key markers of human impacts and environmental change, and are poorly understood. This work includes recent and Holocene diatoms from the Arctic, Ontario, Europe and Asia to predict human impacts and climate change; nutrient pollution, heavy metals, and blue-green algae toxicity; the exploration and documentation of mico-organism biodiversity along a transect from South America to Ellesmere Island, Nunavut; and the importance of ancient and large lakes as refugia for biological conservation. Recent work in population genetics using single-cell DNA extraction and sequencing will assist in understanding the systematics, taxonomy and biodiversity of diatoms. A significant part of this research results in taxonomic treatises, including the identification of new diatom species (five books and 44 new species published to date).

Principal investigator: Paul Hamilton.