Increasing temperatures have received much of the focus in climate change research, but how much do we know about the affect of extreme weather conditions such as droughts and floods on stream life?  One of the world’s top scientists in this field, Bobbi Peckarsky (University of Wisconsin, is coming to the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton this Wednesday, October 23 to give a talk about the consequences of extreme weather conditions.  This is free public talk is entitled “Potential effects of climate change on stream organisms.”  It will be held at 7:00 p.m. in Loring Bailey Hall, room 146 on the UNB Fredericton campus. Dr. Peckarsky will describe her work on the potential for extreme weather events to negatively affect plants, insects and trout in high elevation streams of western Colorado, USA.

Dr. Peckarsky’s talk is part of UNB’s Canadian Rivers Institute’s 2013 H.B.N. Hynes Lectures on October 23 and 24.  Dr. Peckarsky’s research shows that disruptions to the natural flow of mountain streams due to climate change and inappropriate management strategies could jeopardize the sustainability of these pristine mountain streams.

“We at the Canadian Rivers Institute at UNB are pleased to host Dr. Peckarsky who is bringing light to an issue that few people consider in the debate of climate change,” says CRI Director, Rick Butts.  “She is addressing what happens to streams when there is not enough or too much water and what that means to fish and their food sources.”

Dr. Peckarsky also conducts studies on how stream ecosystems function, how disturbance changes the communities living in streams, how introductions of fish affect other organisms, and the effects of changing environmental conditions on streams. She is also an expert on integrating research, education and outreach with her programs on how aquatic insects can be used to monitor the health of streams.

On Thursday, October 24 at 11:30 a.m., Dr. Peckarsky will give a science lecture at UNB Saint John in Oland Hall, room 31. Her talk “Ecology of Place: exploring the strength of species interactions along a disturbance gradient in high elevation streams” will focus on the long-term studies in one mountain ecosystem and the strength of interactions among food webs being affected by the disturbance regime.

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