Friday, May 14, 2010

Featured Professional: Pat Chow-Fraser

Pat Chow-Fraser is Professor and Chair of Biology at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. Her research and passion is to conserve the pristine wetlands of eastern and northern Georgian Bay, and to prevent them from suffering the same fate as degraded urban marshes of Lakes Erie and Ontario.

Pat and her lab group work hard and publish many papers on the use of models to predict the effects of water level, invasive species, and human disturbance on marsh vegetation and fish habitat in Great Lakes coastal wetlands. In addition, she inspires the next generation of ecologists by teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in Ecology and Biodiversity.

Pat’s career in freshwater ecology started in 1978 following her B.Sc. (Hons Biology) at University of Waterloo, where she remained to pursue a M.Sc. (Biology), focusing on the impact of low-level fertilization on the phytoplankton community of a bay in Lac Matamec, Quebec. This was followed by a Ph.D (Zoology) at University of Toronto, where she studied zooplankton grazing in small Ontario lakes. Other interesting postdoctoral research, ranging from copepod mating to trophic indicators of aquatic health, followed before Pat landed her appointment as Assistant Professor at McMaster in 1991.