Improves Skill Set
We are pleased to announce that our newly hired Aquatic Biologist, Kara Gauvreau, recently completed a Benthic Invertebrate Identification Course presented by Ontario Benthos Biomonitoring Network (OBBN) and the MECP hosted in conjunction with Lakehead University and Conservation Ontario.
What is an Invertebrate?
Animals that don’t have a backbone.
- Over 90% of all species on Earth are invertebrates
- Invertebrate species have been found in the fossil record as far back as 600 million years ago
- Invertebrates are cold-blooded, meaning they can’t regulate their body temperature
- Aquatic invertebrates can range from fully aquatic lifestyles (leeches) or may only live part of their life in the water (dragonfly)
Why Study Aquatic Invertebrates?
- They are an important part of aquatic biomonitoring and baseline studies.
- They have low mobility and are therefore indicative of the conditions of the environment they were found in
- The type and amount of invertebrates found at a particular site help to establish the current or changing conditions of the aquatic environment such as sediment, water chemistry, and levels of nutrients or toxins
The training Kara undertook was a comprehensive 3-day learning experience on how to properly identify common Ontario benthic invertebrates to the family level.
The proper identification of benthic invertebrates is a useful skill-set when completing baseline studies, Environmental Effects Monitoring, and other aquatic works. The ability to identify to family level allows for more detailed data interpretation and comparison with provincial and federal datasets.
Kara looks forward to the up-coming 2020 field season where she will get a chance to put these newly acquired skills to use!