Donna GibersonResearcher Profile

Dr. Donna Giberson

Job Title: Associate Professor - Biology
Employer: University of Prince Edward Island
Place of Birth: New Westminster, BC, Canada
High School attended: Maple Ridge High School, Maple Ridge, BC and Mount Baker High School, Cranbrook, B.C.
Further Education: University of Calgary (B.Sc.), University of Manitoba (M.Sc., Ph.D.).
Geographic focus of research: low arctic (MacKenzie District NWT, Southern Indian Lake, Manitoba), western montane (BC and Alberta mountain streams), prairies (southern Manitoba), central (Dorset area of Ontario), eastern (PEI and central New Brunswick), England (Peak District and Northumberland).

Mixed dish of aquatic invertebrates

Brief synopsis of current research:

My main interest is looking at how aquatic communities (mainly in streams) respond to disturbance. I'm currently looking at responses to natural disturbance (such as logging and beaver activity) and how that can be used to help interpret responses to anthropogenic disturbance (such as logging, acidification, impoundments etc). My other interest is aquatic insect life histories, and I'm also looking at these in response to disturbances.
A glossosoma caddisfly
An ephemerellid mayfly
A stenonema mayfly
A perlodid stonefly

Mailing address:
Department of Biology, University of Prince Edward Island, 550 University Ave, Charlottetown, PEI C1A 4P3

Recent Publications:

Doucett, R.R., D.J. Giberson, and G. Power, in press. The parasitic association of Nanocladius (Diptera: Chironomidae) and Pteronarcys biloba (Plecoptera: Pteronarcyidae): insights from stable-isotope analysis. Journal of the North American Benthological Society, in press.

Garnett, H.L., F. Baerlocher, and D. Giberson, in press. Aquatic hyphomycetes in Catamaran Brook, N.B., Canada: colonization dynamics, seasonal patterns, and logging effects. Mycologia, in press

Giberson, D.J. and M.L. Hardwick. (1999). Pitcher plants in eastern Canadian peatlands: Biology and conservation of their invertebrate inquilines. Chapter in Invertebrates in Freshwater Wetlands of North America: Ecology and Management. Edited by D.P. Batzer, R.B. Rader, and S.A. Wissinger. John Wiley and Sons, Inc.

Dobrin, M. and D.J. Giberson, 1999. Relationship between land use, aquatic habitat quality, and aquatic invertebrate composition at Balsam Hollow Brook, Prince Edward Island national Park. Parks Canada, Unpublished report

Giberson, D.J. and D. Caissie. 1998. Stream habitat hydraulics: interannual variability in three reaches of Catamaran Brook, New Brunswick. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 55: 485-494.

Aquatic sciences in Canada is currently in crisis. Government involvement in aquatic science has declined dramatically, as the federal government has moved from a willingness to conduct "in- house" research on habitats and to monitor the environment. There is an increasing reliance on contracting out such work with very little control over the quality of the final product. There is also increasing "off-loading" onto provinces who are not equipped to take over the role. Therefore, decisions about the aquatic environment are being made without the data on which to base them.

There is a major need for trained people in aquatic sciences to take a leadership role in convincing government to reverse this trend, and also a great need for public partipation in this process.