Brian CummingResearcher Profile

Brian Cumming

Job Title: Assistant Professor
Employer: Queen's University
Place of Birth: Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
Public School attended: Fisher Heights Public School, Nepean, ON
High School attended: Merivale Highschool, Nepean, ON
Further Education: Queen's University (B.Sc.H, Ph.D.)
Geographic focus of research: Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, British Columbia, Africa, Sri Lanka, Costa Rica

Brief synopsis of current research:
Research in my laboratory has concentrated on understanding how the chemical, physical and biological components of aquatic ecosystems influence the distribution of biological communities, and how a lake's sedimentary record can be used to study natural and human-induced environmental change on local and regional scales.

Mailing address:
Dept. of Biology, Queen's University, Kingston, ON, K7L 3N6
Paleoecological Environmental Assessment and Research Lab (PEARL)

Recent Publications:

Cumming, B.F., K.E. Davies, J.P. Smol & H.J.B. Birks. 1994. When did acid sensitive Adirondack (New York, USA) lakes begin to acidify and are they still acidifying? Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences 51: 1550-1568.

Smol, J.P., B.F. Cumming, M.S.V. Douglas & R. Pienitz. 1995. Climatic changes in Canada using paleolimnological techniques. Geoscience Canada, 21: 112-117.

Cumming, B.F., S.E. Wilson, R.I. Hall & J.P. Smol. 1995. Diatoms from British Columbia (Canada) Lakes and their Relationship to Salinity, Nutrients and Other Limnological Variables (with 248 figures, 6 tables and 1041 photos on 60 plates). Bibliotheca Diatomologica: 31. Stuttgart, Germany. 207 pp.

Laird, K.R., S.C. Fritz, K.A. Maasch & B.F. Cumming. 1996. Greater drought intensity and frequency before AD 1200 in the Northern Great Plains, USA. Nature 384: 552-554.

Aquatic ecosystems are, and have been, altered in a number of ways from natural events and anthropogenic activities. In order to understand the impacts of natural and anthropogenic changes on aquatic ecosystems, it is essential to have knowledge of historical conditions and natural variability prior to human settlement, as well plausible explanations for these changes. Unfortunately, long-term records from monitoring programs and historical records are severely lacking for most aquatic ecosystems. Consequently proxy records are often the only way to reconstruct historical conditions and to establish how a system has changed through time.