• Ecology & Evolution

    Ecology & Evolution

Our research in the area of Ecology and Evolution aims to address several important questions and uses a host of approaches and techniques to achieve this. Most labs use multidisciplinary approaches spanning several areas such as molecular techniques, quantitative methods, GIS, laboratory experimentation on organism development and physiology, population dynamics, genetic analyses as well as satellite imagery.

Emily Choy
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Assistant Professor (starting July 1)

My research program focuses on the effects of anthropogenic stressors on avian wildlife and other predators to monitor broad-scale environmental change.  My lab conducts field research in temperate and Arctic ecosystems to examine the impacts of climate change on avian fitness via (1) the indirect effects of environmental variation on (1) prey type, quality, and quantity; and (2) energetics and behaviour; (3) the direct effects of warming temperatures on physiological traits associated with heat stress; and (4) the cumulative effects of multiple stressors including contaminants.

Ecology & Evolution, Environmental Physiology

  1. O’Connor RS, Le Pogam A, Young K, Love O.P, Cox, C.J., Robitaille F, Elliott, KH, Hargreaves, A.L., Choy ES, Berteaux D, Tam A, Vezina F. 2022. Warming in the land of the midnight sun: breeding birds may suffer greater heat stress at high vs low Arctic sites. Proceedings of the Royal Society B.
  1. Choy ES, Blight L, Elliott JE, Hobson K, Elliott KH. 2022. Changing diet alters mercury trends in Salish Sea gulls over the last century. Environmental Science and Technology. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.1c03760
  1. Choy ES, Elliott KH, Esparza I, Patterson A, Letcher RJ, Fernie K. 2022. Potential disruption of thyroid hormones by perfluoroalkyl acids in an Arctic seabird with associations to fitness during reproduction. Environmental Pollution 305: 119181.
  1. Esparza I, Elliott, KH, Choy ES, Braune B, Letcher R, Patterson A, Fernie, K. 2022. Mercury, legacy and emerging POPs, and endocrine-behavioural linkages: implications of Arctic change in a diving seabird. Environmental Research (A):113190 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envres.2022.113190
  1. Falardeau M, Bennett EM, Else B, Fisk A, Mundy CJ, Choy ES, Ahmed, M.M.M., Harris LN, Moore JS. 2022. Biophysical indicators with Indigenous and Local Knowledge reveal climatic and ecological shifts with implications for Arctic Char fisheries. Global Environmental Change 74: 102469. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2022.102469
  1. Tremblay F, Whelan S, Choy ES, Hatch S, Elliott, KH. 2022. Resting costs too: the relative importance of active and resting energy expenditure in a sub-arctic seabird. Journal of Experimental Biology 225 (4): jeb243548. https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.243548
  1. Choy ES, O’Connor R, Gilchrist, HG, Hargreaves A, Love O, Vezina F, Elliott KH. 2021. Limited heat tolerance in a cold-adapted seabird: implications of a warming Arctic. Journal of Experimental Biology 224 (13): https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.242168
  1. O’Connor RS, Le Pogam A, Young K, Robitaille F, Choy ES, Love OP, Elliott KH, Hargreaves AL, Berteaux D, Tam A, Vezina F. 2021. Limited heat tolerance in an Arctic passerine: thermoregulatory implications for cold-specialized birds in a rapidly warming world. Ecology and Evolution 11: 1609-1619.
  1. Choy ES, Giraldo, C, Rosenberg, B, Roth JD, Ehrman, AD, Majewski A, Swanson H, Power M, Reist, JD, Loseto LL. 2020. Variation in the diet of beluga whales in response to changes in prey availability: insights on changes in the Beaufort Sea ecosystem. Marine Ecology Progress Series: 647:195-210.
  1. Choy ES, Campbell KL, Berenbrink M, Roth JD, Loseto LL. 2019. Body condition impacts blood and muscle oxygen storage capacity of free-living beluga whales (Delphinapterus leucas). Journal of Experimental Biology: 222 (11): jeb191916.
  1. Choy ES, Sheehan B, Haulena M, Rosenberg B, Roth JD, Loseto LL. 2019. A comparison of fatty acid signatures of captive beluga whales and their diets with potential applications to wild populations. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology: 516:132-139.
  1. Loseto LL, Brewster J, Ostertag S, Snow K, MacPhee S, McNicholl D, Choy ES, Giraldo C, Hornby C. 2018. Diet and feeding observations from an unusual beluga harvest in Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada. Arctic Science: 4 (3): 421-431.
  1. Brewster J, Giraldo G, Choy ES, Macphee S, Hoover C, Lynn B, McNicholl DG, Majewski AR, Rosenberg B, Power M, Reist J, Loseto LL. 2018. A comparison of the trophic ecology of Beaufort Sea Gadidae using fatty acids and stable isotopes. Polar Biology: 41 (1): 149-162.
  1. Choy ES, Rosenberg B, Roth JD, Loseto LL. 2017. Inter-annual variation in environmental factors affect the prey and body condition of beluga whales in the eastern Beaufort Sea. Marine Ecology Progress Series 579: 213-225.
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McMaster University - Faculty of Science | Biology