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School of Biological Sciences Piovia-Scott Lab


Our lab combines field ecology, laboratory experimentation, and statistical modelling to study the effects of environmental change on ecological communities. We work on a diverse array of organisms, including amphibians, reptiles, terrestrial and aquatic insects, plants, and fungal pathogens. General areas of research interest include: food web ecology, amphibian conservation, linkages between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and disease ecology. Some of our active research projects are described below:

Amphibian conservation

We have a number of projects focused on conserving at-risk amphibian species in western North America, especially in montane wetlands. Current research includes developing protocols for environmental DNA sampling for at-risk amphibians and potentially harmful invasive species, evaluating the effects of meadow restoration and fuels treatments, and re-establishing extirpated populations. (photo: Karen Pope).

Amphibian disease ecology

We are investigating the impact of chytrid fungal pathogens on host amphibians. In particular, we are interested in understanding the effects of climate on disease-related mortality, variation in virulence between strains of chytrid fungi, and variation in susceptibility between host species and life stages. (photo: Adam Clause)

Island food webs

We are engaged in long-term studies of food-web structure and dynamics on Bahamian islands. We recently completed a five-year field experiment exploring how food-web responses to seaweed deposition are influenced by the frequency and magnitude of deposition events and the presence of brown anole lizards. (photo: David Spiller)