Monday, September 14, 2009

Featured Student or Postdoc: Nicola Lower

Nicola Lower is a post-doc at the University of Guelph, where she is carrying out research on the sea lamprey. Nicola is from England but came to Canada in 2007 on a Canadian Commonwealth Fellowship Program. After completing a BSc at the University of Nottingham and an MSc in Natural Resource Management at the University of Leicester, Nicola started work for the UK Government Agency CEFAS (The Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science). Nicola was a researcher and project manager in the Salmon and Freshwater Fisheries Team and was involved in a number of projects investigating the factors affecting freshwater fisheries in England and Wales. During this time she completed a part-time PhD (University of Portsmouth) on the impacts of environmental contaminants on different life cycle stages of the Atlantic salmon.

Nicola’s research on sea lampreys focuses on their use of daytime refuge sites during the upstream spawning migration. This cryptic behaviour is largely uncharacterized. Knowledge of this behaviour could help improve the effectiveness of control techniques, such as portable trapping, throughout the Great Lakes. Nicola is enjoying her time in Canada, particularly fieldwork in some of the streams of Lake Ontario.