Aug 4 – Second day of wetland assessments and sadly our last full day at QUBS. 湿地评估(二)和离开前的准备


Today was our second opportunity to collect data for our wetland assessments from our respective wetlands, ours being the Le Roi Swamp (“the King” in French is what we think it is). Our wetland is about 2.29 km ^2, by Telephone Bay and one accessed via the old Bedford Mills Road of Opinion Road. Each team carried their lunches courtesy of Veronika, just as was the case yesterday, and continued working n their their wetland assessment. Our team carried the measuring tape and densitometer to do the transects and quadrats. Wenxi led us through woods to a high point south of Leroi, which afforded a great view of the wetland, and a different vegetation composition. Our team had missed it in our initial reconnaissance because of the distance through the dense bush and lack of time to cut through it. Having done the transect and quadrat, Jiachun and Natasha headed back to our camp, while Yuanchen followed Wenxi along the shoreline the team had failed to cover. It seemed that an experienced pathfinder like Wenxi makes a huge difference. Our team finished our work later on. Unfortunately no fish were caught in the minnow trap that we had set up yesterday. It may be that the wetland is too shallow, or that conditions are such that no fish are present in the water body at all. However, other groups had caught fishes like bluegill sunfish, pumpkinseed sunfish, and others.

Back at QUBS – Opinicon, everyone took their time to rest, sort out the data, pack luggage, clean the rooms and prepare to leave. Everyone were busy in doing processing their field notes, and finally completed the summarization of data. At 7 pm, we all met downstairs to debrief our day, make final remarks of the course, and one by one as each group presented their data sheets so data could be entered and a copy could be scanned for all to access for their reports. Our group had assembled most of our data except for identification of plant specimens from our main quadrats. Our group finally finished our data processing and entering of data into the Excel sheet by 11:30 pm. In the evening, Maria presented a slideshow showing highlights of our time together and the work that we had done. We all laughed happily and will cherish the fantastic experience forever. Professors Wang and Professor Lougheed made a summary of the field course, which marks the end of the course.

Looking back on the lessons of the past two weeks, everyone has learned a lot. In addition to knowledge, experience, practice, we also made some new friends, produced cultural fusion and collision. Most importantly, we had deeper understanding of the environmental problems, especially the water environment. We believe that this knowledge can one day take root.

Farewell, everyone! Hope we will meet next year!





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August 3 – Our first full day of wetland assessments.

Wetland Assessment Day One Members: Celine Jennings, Huang Tianshu, Gao Tian with Weizhao!

Weather: Overcast, occasional thunderstorms. Temperature in mid-20s

This morning groups departed at 9am for our first full day of wetland surveying. As was indicated in the previous blog entry, each student group has been assigned a particular wetland, which we must quantify a variety of attributes including avian diversity,  water chemistry (e.g. pH, oxygen, conductivity, turbidity), emergent plant diversity, vegetation structure, diversity of small fish etc.  Upon arriving at the trailhead, our group along with Dr. Lougheed, who was there to assist with assessment of avian diversity, walked half an hour down the trail to our wetland – a large beaver marsh. Upon arrival, we conducted an avian point count with Dr. Lougheed. A variety of species were heard and/or seen including: Cedar Waxwing (Bombycilla cedrorum), Belted Kingfisher (Megaceryle alcyon), Swamp Sparrow (Melospiza georgiana), and the Common Yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas). Dr. Lougheed then departed from our group to work with another down the trail, and we moved on to setting minnow traps within the deep water sections of our wetland. After this was completed, we collectively filled out our data forms on the diversity of the terrestrial habitat and vegetation composition. Our group wished to get into the water to conduct aquatic vegetation quadrats; however a thunderstorm was beginning to roll in and we deemed it unsafe. We were also concerned about entering the flooded wetland without lifejackets and asked our TA’s if they could bring some out to us in the afternoon via text (strangely there was cell signal here where there was none along other parts of the trail).

In the afternoon, we decided to sample aquatic vegetation quadrats and so Céline and Rosé changed into their bathing suits and put on the lifejackets that one of our TAs Wenxi had brought us. The water in our marsh was quite deep, with cold water and a muddy bottom. The girls swam in and set the quadrats in regions of with representative plant plant compositions to ‘capture’ the spatial diversity of our wetland. We used four 1-metre strips of flagging tape that we had prepared beforehand to mark the perimeter of our quadrats. We then estimated the three dominant species within the quadrats and brought samples back to be later identified.

Once we had finished two quadrats, our TA Wenxi showed up again with the measuring tapes and the densiometer for us to use to complete our transects. Due to human disturbance, some parts of the beaver marsh are fragmented, and so our team was eager to study the diversity of vegetation structure in the area. Apart from the man-made pathway (what used to be a rail bed), both the aquatic and terrestrial vegetation coverage is quite high, and quite diverse as well. After assessing one transect, we ran out of time and decided to head back to the trail entrance to be picked up. On the way out, we spotted a red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) by the incredible beaver dam that bounds the west side of the wetland.

In the evening, the two high school students who accompanied the Chinese undergrad students to QUBS, Crystal and Weizhao, gave us an engaging seminar focusing on beavers (genus Castor), which is a common rodent in Canada. They discussed its habitats, family structure, and interesting behaviors. Weizhao had much to tell after spending all day with us for our wetland assessment, where he expressed amazement at the engineering feats of the beaver in dam and lodge building.  During this field course, our group has encountered one live beaver during our canoeing tutorial on the QUBS docks. But we have see evidence of beavers virtually everywhere that we have been at the station. After the seminar, the class convened to discuss our research progress. The groups had varying amounts of data due to the challenges of sharing equipment in a short period of time. Dr. Lougheed asked each group about their progress today, and then we planned tomorrow’s research. We were then able to ask the professors questions that we came across in the field today. We are hoping that all groups (including our own) are able to finish the wetland assessments successfully tomorrow!

这一天是各组的湿地考察。今早各组早上九点出发,每组都在前一晚被分配到自己需要调查的一片湿地,用以调查包括鸟类多样性、水化学指标、沉水植物多样性、植被结构、小型鱼类组成在内的一系列参数。Lougheed教授陪同我们走过长达半小时的小路,抵达我们的河狸沼泽,来进行鸟类调查。在二十分钟的时间里,我们见到了多种鸟类:雪松太平鸟(Bombycilla cedrorum),翠鸟(Megaceryle alcyon),沼雀(Melospiza georgiana)和普通黄林莺(Geothlypis trichas)。Lougheed教授离开后,我们评测了几组关于地貌和植被的基本数据。我们正准备进入水中进行主要植被调查之时,一阵雷雨袭来,我们决定等到雨停,并请求教师助理带来救生衣,以便下午进行调查。



傍晚,我们的两名尚未进入大学的同伴:Weizhao和Crystal 给我们进行了一段引人入胜的关于河狸的讲演。河狸(genus Castor)几乎是加拿大常见的啮齿类动物,他们介绍了河狸的习性、分布;有趣的是此前我们学习划船时曾见过一只,巧的是我组调研的正是有河狸巢穴的湿地。Weizhao对此一定有很多想说,毕竟在这河狸沼泽,他亲身观看了令人惊叹的河狸工程。

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August 2 – Scoping out wetlands for our assessment projects & a wonderful QUBS seminar.

Group 4.

Our group projects involve quantifying the physical, chemical and biotic attributes of a focal wetland. As we have 7 student groups, ultimately we will have data for 7 distinct wetlands from a woodland swamp (ours) to a lacustrine marsh on Lake Opinion. This morning, our group went on a 2-hour hike around the perimeter of our assigned wetland (Silver Maple Swamp). The swamp area was completely without water last August (2017) when there was a severe drought in this part of the world; but this year it appears to be quite the reverse and flooded with deep water covering the roots of trees that obviously are not adapted to sustained immersion of their roots. We walked the entire edge of our wetland so that we could track it with a GPS. Thanks to Dr. Wang Ning, we succeeded in this endeavour even though there are some places that were hard to traverse. Because we had to estimate the ‘wetland’ area based on this GPS track, we can could not stray from its shore, despite it often being steep and muddy. Walking through most of the paths only required energy, but when we met with a marsh that was connected to our swamp, agility, balance and a little courage seemed to be needed for us as we are neophytes in the field. At such junctures, we were faced with two options; either go back the way we came or cross the swamp, we chose the latter! The water where we crossed was over chest deep, but we managed to get on a floating log and passed this part of the swamp safely. With Lola falling into the water, twice, Dr. Wang played an important role during the whole endeavour. He was the first one who crossed the swamp, independently, and he helped us three afterwards.



In the evening, our class had the great pleasure of listening to a seminar by Dr. Steve Lukits. The room was completely packed with several people standing at the back and even peering in from the hall to catch some of the beautiful imagery Dr. Lukits was about to present us. As one our professors Dr. Lougheed explained, Dr. Lukits has achieved many things in his life. He was the former editor-in-chief of The Kingston Whig-Standard (one of the local newspapers in Kingston), and the head of the English Department at the Royal Military College. But today he was not here to talk about his accomplishments, or as a professor. Rather Dr. Lukits was at QUBS to talk about his relation to nature, this particular landscape, and the inevitable passage of time in his talk entitled Life of Pines, With Otters.

He started the talk by asking the audience about their relationship with trees. There were various community members and students who spoke about trees that had made an impression on them in there childhood and how they felt when these trees either died or were cut down. This set the tone for rest of the presentation. Through a series of breathtaking photos taken by Dr. Lukits himself, we learned about two very important Eastern White Pine’s (Pinus strobus) that had impacted his life. The first he called the Tommy Thomson pine, named one of Canada’s renowned painters who was associated with the Group of Seven (and who had a very famous painting called the Jack Pine). The photographs showed the Tommy Thomson pine on the edge of Round Lake over many years. Dr. Lukits was even able to capture some birds that flew by it, including a great blue heron, turkey vultures, an osprey holding a fish, and a bald eagle perching on its branches. But sadly, we could see in the pictures how the tree was deteriorating through the years, until one day in early March of 2012, the Tommy Thomson pine came down. It broke off from the base and ended up floating in the water beneath the edge where it had grown. We could tell from his voice that he had had a very meaningful connection with this majestic pine.

Next, he spoke about another Eastern White Pine that he dubbed the Sentinel pine that grew along side a large beaver marsh. Dr. Lukits showed several photographs that emphasized how the it stood out above all the other trees on the horizon. Its great height made it tower over the land and the other nearby trees. We saw how the silhouette of the Sentinel pine made all of the different ‘skyscapes’ that arose over the years even more beautiful. Then just this year in April, the Sentinel pine also came down. The tree had been rotting from the inside, which made it prone to wood-eating insects. The force of it falling split another tree right down the middle. The next few photos were of a sunrise over the same area, but it was just not as enigmatic, or interesting, or scenic. As Dr. Lukits put it “… the drama, excitement and glory of the pine was missing”.

Finally, we got a glimpse of some North American river otters (Lontra canadensis) that Dr. Lukits has encountered in his extensive wanderings in the area. There were close up photos of otters in Round Lake. We could see their webbed feet and streamlined bodies, and the marks they left in the snow when they turned very sharply in response to the sound of Dr. Lukits’s footsteps. Seeing such beautiful photos of otters going about their lives in their natural setting was a wonderful treat and an excellent end to our day.

Dr. Lukit’s talk was lovely to listen to and a refreshing perspective on the land we have been so eagerly studying these past two weeks. It was also a nice break to just enjoy the beauty of nature that we have been learning about. It made everyone wish they too could just spend a little more time taking in the breathtaking views of such a magnificent  land.


在演讲的开始,教授与观众交流了一下他们与树之间发生的故事。通过一系列精彩的照片,我们了解了两个非常重要的松树品种。第一个叫汤米·汤普森松树,加拿大一个著名的画家命名了它。照片中,有一棵汤米·汤普森松树在悬崖峭壁边生活了很多年,而他的下方则是一条湖。Dr. Lukits甚至能观察到一些鸟飞过,包括一个大蓝鹭,土耳其秃鹫,鱼鹰拿着鱼和秃鹰都会栖息在树枝。但可惜,这课树的情况也在不断地恶化,通过一系列的照片展现,汤姆·汤普森松树最终在2012年3月初倒下了。它脱离了岩石,最终漂浮在水中。不过一年后,同样的地方又出现了一棵嫩绿的小树苗,这大概就是所谓的生生不息吧。这棵松树与他之间的紧密联系却充斥在漫长的时间长河里。


最后,我们还看了一些可爱水獭的照片。Dr. Lukits的演讲非常有趣,也向我们展示了这片土地更完全的一面。大自然的美,在这样一片遥远的土地,展现得如此淋漓尽致。

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August 1 – Visit to the Canadian Museum on Nature & Byword Market

The highly-anticipated trip to the Research and Collections facility of the Museum of Nature in Gatineau, Quebec took place today, so we started our day bright and early leaving QUBS at 8:00am! We prepared for the two-hour drive to Ottawa and then across the Ottawa River to Gatineau.

今天,我们终于要参观翘首以盼的位于蒙特利尔里的加拿大自然博物馆的研究与收藏藏品设施 ,当然,为了抓紧时间,我们早早就出发了。总的来说,我们大概花了两个小时的车程从 qubs到位于蒙特利尔的博物馆,然后我们再去渥太华去看议会大厦以及游览城市。

When we arrived at the Research and Collections facility, we were welcomed by our hosts Roger Bull, Elizabeth Smith and Chantal Dassault. Roger did an amazing job of introducing us to the history and importance of research and scientific collections to the museum (tracing to origins to the founding of the Geological Survey of Canada in 1842), as well as the public face of the Canadian Museum of Nature, located across the river in in Ottawa. The facility we toured was built twenty years ago and contains roughly fourteen million specimens! Roger, Chantal and Liz had devised a great plan for us that morning, where we had the privilege of touring four different specimen collections.

当我们到达这个研究与收藏设施时,我们受到了来自Roger Bull, Elizabeth Smith 以及 Chantal Dussault 的热烈欢迎,而且在不久之后他们就为我们做了一个有关这个设施的历史以 及重要性的精彩的介绍,当然他们也介绍了在渥太华的自然博物馆。从他们的介绍了我们了解 到当时我们游览的建筑有20年的历史,而更加惊人的是,这个不算特别大的设施里竟然藏有 大约一千四百万的标本!他们也同时为我们准备好了早上的行程,在这个特别优待的行程里, 我们到四个为我们准备好了的标本馆里游览学习。

The first collection that we toured was palaeontology. Our  tour was facilitated by Collections Technician Alan McDonald. This was such an incredible opportunity, as we learned of some 245 dinosaur type specimens that the facility houses (type specimens are original specimens to which the scientific name is attached and from which defining features of the species are derived; there are many different sub-categories of type specimens like holotype, paratype, and allotrope). One of the many things Alan showed us was a Giant Beaver (Castoroides ohieonsis) fossil, which was a large North American beaver that used to range broadly in North America including the Arctic. It went extinct about 10,000 years ago. Another interesting specimen we saw was a mummified Black-footed ferret (Mustela nigripes) that had been found by a pet dog. The species is still extant, but is now endangered due to small and isolated populations.

我们到的第一个馆是古生物馆,在这个馆里,Alan MacDonald为我们做了详尽的导览与介 绍。这是一次非常令人兴奋的经历,因为我们在这里看到了设施里的245种恐龙模式标本里的 一部分标本,也就是说,我们看到的这一部分标本是这一类物种首次被发现时的标本。在茫茫 的标本中,Alan特别向我们展示了巨河狸(Castoroides ohieonsis) 的化石,这是茫茫多标本中 非常特别的一个,因为这种大型北极河狸在一万年前就已经灭绝了。除此之外,我们也看到了 黑足雪貂(Mustela nigripes),非常有趣的是,这个标本已经木乃伊化了,然而令人惋惜的是,如今这 个物种种群数量小同时被分隔,它们正在处在灭绝的边缘。

Our next stop was the herbarium (plant collection), where we were enlightened by Paul Sokoloff (Senior Research Assistant). He explained the processes of specimen collection and preservation – the latter of done correctly allowing specimens to be kept for hundreds of years – mainly through desiccation and storing the specimens in conditions of low-humidity, dark, and cool so as to discourage pests. We learned that the oldest specimens held in the CMN collection dated back to the 1700’s! Paul showed us many amazing plant specimens like willows (e.g. Salix arctica), Arctic poppies ( Papaver radicatum) and carnivorous plants like members of the Lentibulariaceae (bladderworts), which have a sticky outer layer that catches insects as sources of nitrogen. Paul later explained his past studies and voyages across Canada and around the globe, with his current study mainly on the Canadian Arctic. The personnel of the museum have worked incredibly hard on making their collections accessible online, so he referred us to as a wonderful resource for future research!

走出古生物馆,我们来到了植物标本馆,同时见到了植物馆的导览者Paul Sokoloff。他向我们 解释了如何将植物标本保存几百年。这需要将植物标本彻底干燥,之后在将标本储存在低湿 度、黑暗而且凉爽的环境里。同时,我们也了解到在这个房间里的最古老的标本甚至可以追溯 到十八世纪!此外,他也向我们展示了许多特别的植物标本,比如杨柳、北极罂粟 ( Papaver radicatum) 以及一些食肉植物比如说狸藻。之后, Paul 向我们讲述他过去横跨加拿大以及全球的研 究以及旅程,同时也讲到他现在的研究则是主要关注北极圈。这个研究设施花了很大的力气将 藏品电子化并上传到网上供其他人使用,因此他也建议我们可以在未来的研究中使用在 Nature.ca上的资源。

Our third visit was to the Bird and Mammal collection, where our host was Assistant Collections Manager, Greg Rand. The oldest bird specimen in that room dates back to 1824. Greg showed us some amazing avian egg specimens including those from the murre (Uria aalge), which showed incredible variation in colour. He pointed out that some people have asserted that the pointed shape of murre eggs prevents them from rolling off cliff ledges where they nest.. We saw some full mounts of golden eagles () among other species, and we learned that its talons produce a force of up to 800 pounds/square inch! Greg and Dr. Lougheed also added that collections such as these can provide important sources for DNA that may provide evolutionary and ecological insights, and may provide insights on distribution and diversity of such species.

在第三个馆前我们遇见了Greg Rand,他带着我们参观鸟类与哺乳类藏品馆。馆里的藏品历史 悠久,其中最古老的鸟类标本可以追溯到1824年,有将近两百年的历史。他也向我们展示了 一些惊人的鸟蛋标本,比如说海鸥( Uria aalge) 的蛋。他指出这些蛋的圆柱形外形能防止它们从悬崖 上坠落。我们也看到了站立着的金雕标本,也了解到它的爪子力量很大,可以产生高达800磅每平方英 尺。除此之外,我们了解到DNA分析可以帮助我们了解那些蛋以及物种是如何在一段很长的时间里进化 的,以及我们也了解到我们可以通过这个不错的方式来知晓这样的物种的分布以及多样性。

Our final visit was to the Bone collection, where we were hosted by Marie-Helen Hubert, a collection technician. Marie-Helene first explained that this collection has received a lots of specimens from other institutions and organizations that had closed down due to the lack of funding. One striking example that Marie-Helen noted was the cuts to funding of the ABS (Arctic Biology Station) found on St. Lawrence River; they were compelled to ship their entire whale skeleton collection. We learned that skulls contain much information pertinent to species identification, but also that data derived from such bones can provide insights into changing environments (e.g. whale jaw-bones).

最后,我们来到了骨质标本馆,该设施的藏品技师Marie-Helen Hubert带领我们参观了这个标本馆。 Marie-Helene最开始向我们介绍了这个设施接受了许多来自其他因资金短缺而关闭的博物馆的标本。她 给我们举了一个重要的例子,这个设施的资金来自于在圣劳伦斯河上创立的ABS(北极生物站),正是 他们将他们的鲸鱼藏品转运到这个设施里。在这里,我们学习到了头骨中带有许多可以用于识别物种的 信息,或者一些其他的功能像作为很好的生物指示物。例如,我们在这个标本馆里看到的许多的鲸鱼下 颚骨的标本就可以用于这些功能。

After our amazing visit to the Canadian Museum of Nature, we travelled to the centre of Ottawa and were dropped off in front of the Canadian parliament building – with time for lunch, shopping, and sightseeing. We had lunch in a restaurant called “Biermarket.” The Chinese students had an opportunity to try foods mainly found in Canada and they were particularly interested in poutine and CanadaDry ginger ale. After lunch, we visited the parliament building and took lots of memorable pictures! After our return to QUBS, we had supper and then ended the day with a great de-briefing about what we learned from our trip to the CMN – a lovely way to end the day!

我们在渥太华的市中心被放下,并给于了3h的自由时间去吃午饭、购物、观光。在我们下车的地点不远 处有一家叫做BIERMARKET(BIER是德文,大意是啤酒超市)的餐厅,我们在里边吃了午饭,它内部 很多地方都采用了法文。在加拿大,法文一般都意味着好吃的食物,其中我们点的作为前菜的加拿大特 色食物POUTINE非常的好吃。午餐后,在去汇合点的路上我们还参观了议会大厦。

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July 31 – Go fish! A day with our favourite aquatic vertebrates

July 31, 2017

Today was a day dedicated to learning about fish, and the local species. We began with a short presentation by Dr. Barry Madison and Courtney our TA that the ubiquitous term, ‘fish’, cannot strictly be used to refer to scaled animals that live and breathe in water. For example, the African lungfish (genus Protopterus) can breathe air for a substantial period of time. What we can do is classify fish into three major classes: the Agnathans (jawless fish), Chondrichthyans (cartilaginous fish) and Teleosts (bony fish). Teleost fish are incredibly species diverse that range in size at sexual maturity from 2 cm (family Percidae) to 2m (family Acipenseridae). Selection regimes across diverse environment underlies the immense range of forms and behaviours of fish species. As an extreme example, the hadal snailfish (Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis) is found in the Marianas Trench, which reaches a maximum depth of almost 11 kms, and is able to survive in this abyss despite the low light levels, low oxygen concentrations in the water, and low temperature.

今天早上,Dr. Barry Madison 和 Courtney 为我们准备了有关鱼类的讲座。我们了解到,“鱼”并不仅局 限于那些生活在水中长有鳞片的动物。例如,非洲肺鱼(African lungfish)能在空气中呼吸很长的时 间。鱼类可以分成三个纲:无颌总纲(the Agnathans),软骨鱼纲(the Chondrichthyans)和真骨 鱼纲(the Teleosts)。有些鱼类只有 2cm(河鲈科,family Percidae),而有些可以长到 2m 长(鲟 科,family Acipenseridae)。环境迫使许多鱼类物种适应某些特殊的环境。例如,发现于马里亚纳海 沟的拟狮子鱼(Pseudoliparis amblystomopsis),能够在近乎无光、低氧而又寒冷的海底深渊中生 活。

On a regional scale (e.g. Eastern Ontario) and at QUBS, we can find species from the Cypriniformes (minnows, dace, shiners), the Cyprinodontiformes (killifishes and live-bearers) and the Perciformes (sunfish). Today, we did some seining to capture some local fish species and learn some of their key features and ecology. We caught only the centrarchids – Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbosus) and Bluegill fish (Lepomis macrochirus). These species are nest-builders, are sexually dimorphic, have overlapping aquatic habitats and niches, and are known to hybridize on occasiona. However, bluegills prefer to spawn at a temperature of 19°C while pumpkinseed prefer to spawn at cooler temperatures averaging of 13°C. Mature pumpkinseeds are known for the distinctive orange spots on their opercula and lighter orange spots distributed evenly over their bodies. Mature bluegills do not have these distinctive orange-spotted opercula and their deep bodies have striped patterns.

在QUBS 这个地方,我们能发现鲤形目(the Cypriniformes)的鲰鱼(minnows)、鲦鱼(dace)和shiners,鳉形目(the Cyprinodontiformes)的鳉鱼(killifish),鲈形目(the Perciformes)的太阳鱼(sunfish)。今天上午讲座后,我们到周边的一个湖岸进行了围网捕鱼,对鱼类进行鉴定与评估。不过,我们今天只抓到了太阳鱼科的瓜仁太阳鱼(pumpkinseed, Lepomis gibbosus)和蓝鳃太阳鱼(bluegill,Lepomis macrochirus)。这两种太阳鱼都会筑巢,并且具有雌雄二型性,他们生态位有重叠,种间杂交常见。然而,蓝鳃太阳鱼更喜欢在19 度的水温中产卵,而瓜仁太阳鱼更喜欢13 度。另外,成年的瓜仁太阳鱼的鳃盖处有橘黄色斑块,并且全身遍布橘黄色点。成年的蓝鳃太阳鱼没有橘黄色斑块,并且它们的身体两侧有垂直的条纹。

Seining is an active form of non-lethal fishing. As our seine net was quite small, only two individuals were required to deploy it. Initially holding the net parallel to the shore, the individuals hold onto the poles at the ends of the net and gradually move the poles towards each other in gentle up-and-down movements so that the net eventually is turned perpendicular to the shoreline. Critical for successful seining, the poles must not be lifted of the lake bottom to ensure that no fish escape under the lead line at the base of the net. The lead line keeps seine net close to the lake sediment and the float line at the top of the net ensures that net is upright and stretched out in the water to catch the maximum number of fish. Once the fishers face the shore, and come into proximity with one another, they flip the net horizontally so that the fish are trapped in the ‘purse’ of the net. The fish are removed and placed in buckets filled with lake water to hold them so that they may be individually assessed by sex, mass (grams), and length (millimetres). The buckets must continually be replenished with lake water so that there is enough oxygen in the water for fish to breathe and so that waste in the form of ammonia does not accumulate. Water pH and air and water temperature across seining events were also assessed to relate fish conditions to their environment; geographic coordinates and elevation was measured only once.


Go Fish1

Group 6 seining for the first time/ 第六組圍網首次。

Go Fish2

Junchen is old enough to play with the water by himself/ 鄧俊臣是一個喜歡自己玩水的大男 孩。

Go Fish3

Barry Madison teaching Prama how to seine properly/巴里麥迪遜教授指导普拉馬如何正確圍 網。

Go Fish4

A Bluegill (Lepomis macrochirus)/ 蓝鳃太阳鱼.

Later in the afternoon, we studied the external and internal anatomy of fish. Each group was given a fish and we used this to learn how to identify the nares, the eyes, mouth, operculum, spiny dorsal fin, soft dorsal fin, pectoral fins, pelvic fins, anal fin, scales, lateral line, caudal fin, the peduncle (narrow part of the body where the tail attaches), and the vent. The appearance and structure of these features are often unique to particular fish species. For example, bluegill and sunfish have a relatively unnotched and continuous spiny dorsal fin with a soft dorsal fin, while the largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) has a quite notched and disconnected spiny dorsal fin and soft dorsal fin.

之后的下午,我们对两种鱼类进行了体外及体内的解剖研究。老师给我们每两人一条鱼。先从体外开始,我们观察了鱼的各个部分(鼻孔、眼睛、侧线、鳃盖,等),某些鱼类的这些外形特征是分类的重要依据。例如,蓝鳃太阳鱼有相对无缺口和连续的背鳍,而大口鲈鱼(Micropterus salmoides)的背鳍有明显缺口并不连续。

We also dissected our respective fish to determine its sex, collect the guts for future gut content analysis, and quantify its using otoliths (hard, calcium carbonate structures located directly behind the brain of bony fishes). We identified the 2-chamber hearts, the gills, the brain (composed of the olfactory bulb, telencephalon, optic tectum, and cerebellum), the liver (with spots that may indicate parasites), the stomach, intestines with pyloric caeca, the bladder, swim bladder, the spleen, and the gall bladder. The spleen of our pumpkinseed was unexpectedly black possibly indicating some previous bout of stress. We saved the alimentary tract for trophic ecology analysis.


Go Fish5

Barry Madison educating us on the anatomy of fish/巴里麦迪逊教我们解剖鱼.

Courtney helped us to cut into the cranial region of the fish to locate the otoliths. As we mentioned above, otoliths are two calcium carbonate ear bones found in every fish. These are used for equilibrium and balance because they are sensitive to gravity and linear acceleration. Removing otoliths is a highly invasive procedure that thus cannot be done online fish, and thus is typically performed on fish that have been sacrificed. Otoliths have an ‘origin’ and with every season of growth develop annuli (rings). The distances between annuli are not always consistent, or even because they reflect the overall growth of the individual (e.g. fish typically grow more during less stressful seasons like summer). Scales can also be used for determining the age of the fish. However, unlike otoliths, if some scales are removed they grow back with the year of the old scale’s removal represented as the origin. This may lead to spurious assertions of age and thus otoliths are the more robust way to assess fish age. Our fish had five annuli on its otoliths implying five seasons of growth.

解剖过程中,Courtney 帮助我们取得了耳石。耳石成分是碳酸钙,一共有二个,位于鱼类脑后端基部,起 维持平衡的作用。取出耳石会导致鱼类死亡,而耳石上的纹路能反映鱼类年龄(发育)。两条纹路间的距离不总是相等的,鱼类在不同环境压力下,生长速率会改变。鳞片也能够对年龄进行预测。然而,有些鳞片被移除后又会长出新的,用鳞片预测年龄可能不准确。所以,耳石可能是最准确用来预测年龄的工具。我们解剖的这条鱼有5 条纹路,说明它年龄大概是5 岁。

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Otoliths of five-year olf viewed under a microscope/ 在显微镜下观看耳石。

After dinner, we went outside and Dr. Mingzhi Qi introduced us to unmanned aerial vehicles (U.A.V.). These U.A.V. are commonly known as drones and are often used for military purposes. However, in biology, they are very useful because a researcher may not need to survey the land directly when they have U.A.V. may do so more efficiently. The U.A.V. takes aerial photos for researchers from elevations that may get to 1 km above the ground. U.A.V. can be really handy as their cameras may be mounted on gimbals that allow stabilization and have controllers that may be used during emergencies. U.A.V. are so cool; we must purchase our own!

在晚饭后,Dr. Mingzhi 向我们介绍了U.A.V(unmanned aerial vehicles),这是一种无人机,可用于军事活动,但它在生物方面也有很多用处,如土地检测等。无人机可以最高从1000m 的高处拍摄照片。这种无人机很方便,因为它的相机是自稳定的,并且有一个控制装置以便在紧急时刻强制控制飞机。U.A.V 真的很酷;我们都想买一架了!

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Image from an unmanned aerial vehicle (U.A.V)/ 来自无人机的图像


Prama, Junchen, Jiayi, and Tian tian





July 30 – Some classroom work learning about amphibian diversity & wetland assessment & formal learning to canoe

Team Pumpkinseed (Lepomis gibbous) members: Simon Martin, Shirui Li and Yutong Wu.

Today was a day of learning.  In the morning, Dr. Lougheed gave us an enlightening lecture on amphibian diversity and conservation. He indicated that amphibians are an integral part of wetland ecology and function, and also can serve as important bioindicators of ‘ecosystem health’ as they are extremely sensitive to environmental change. This idea flows from various aspects of amphibian biology. For example many amphibians can exchange gases (oxygen and carbon dioxide) via lungs, skin and buccal cavity. This means that they are subject to desiccation should a wetland dry up but also susceptible to pollutants in the environment. Amphibians are often called ‘biphasic’, having both an aquatic and a terrestrial phase of their life cycles. A persistent, demographically stable population of key amphibian species thus can indicate a healthy ecosystem, with low levels of human-caused contaminants, and reasonable areas of both wetland and adjacent habitats. We learned about their synapomorphies (share derived attributes that all species share or one shared) and their evolutionary origins. Dr. Lougheed taught us the defining characteristics of Caecilian (Gymnophiona), Salamander (Caudata) and Frog (Anura). Currently, they are the most endangered group of terrestrial vertebrates in the world. It is predicted that 30 – 40 % may go extinct within our lifetimes.  This is mostly due to detrimental pathogens like Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (chytrid fungus), habitat loss and fragmentation, over harvesting (e.g. the pet trade), and increasing numbers of xenobiotics and other contaminants in the environment habitats. We learned of several species of amphibians present in Canada, within Ontario, and at QUBS.

After a wonderfully Canadian French Toast and/or pancake brunch, the last student group (7) presented their seminar about wetland loss, degradation, valuation and reclamation – speaking to major causes of destruction and fragmentation of aquatic ecosystems worldwide, but also the ecosystem services that wetlands provide directly and indirectly and how we might put a ‘dollar value’ on these.

After this, Dr. Wang gave students a formal introduction to canoeing. Canoeing has been an integral part of Canadian culture and history courtesy of the country’s indigenous peoples. Once used to ship beaver furs throughout Canada, these boats are still used today. The canoe is a small boat, originally constructed of wood or bark, and of aboriginal design. It is propelled and steered by paddles. Canoes do not displace much water and thus can reach into shallow wetlands very easily. Students at QUBS often use these for sampling in aquatic environments or to reach terrestrial sampling locales across the lake. Learning to canoe is difficult; simply getting in and out without tipping the boat over requires balance and proper technique. Dr. Wang and some of the Canadian students gave us important lessons on safety and proper steering techniques. All the willing Chinese students got to paddle around Lake Opinicon. Everyone did very well and returned to shore smiling (and safe!).

After supper Dr. Lougheed lead a class discussion on wetland assessment. This was a summary of the things we have learned so far. This table displays some of the characteristics of importance that emerged from this discussion. We hope to measure these in our final wetland assessment project.

Physical Characteristics Chemical Characteristics (Water) Biological Characteristics Social Characteristics
· Coordinates (GPS)
· Bedrock
· Soil
· Climate
· Size/Shape
· Aspect/Slope
· Water Catchment
· The number and size of inflows and outflows
· Water depth
· Water Depth
· Dissolved Oxygen
· Temperature (Surface and at depth)
· pH
· Turbidity
· Conductivity
· Salinity
· Avian Diversity
· Amphibian Diversity
· Fish Diversity
· Macrophyte Diversity
· Presence of invasive species
· Dominant emergent species
· Presence and size of the Ecotone (transition zone)
· Structural complexity
·  Aboriginal Land Claim
· Proximity to disturbance
· Land Use
· Intensity of Use
· Ownership





物理特性 化学特性 生物特性 社会活动因素
· 坐标(使用GPS)
· 基层岩石
·  土壤
· 气候特征
· 规模/形状
· 坡度和走向
· 流域特征
· 流入支和流出支
· 水深
· 溶解氧含量
· 温度(表面和深层)
· pH值
· 浊度
· 导电性
· 盐度
· 鸟类多样性
· 两栖动物多样性
· 鱼类多样性
· 水生植物多样性
· 入侵物种
· 主要水面水生植物
· 群落交错区规模
· 结构复杂性
· 土著居民土地申诉
· 扰乱活动接近度
·  土地使用方式及程度
·  土地使用强度

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29 July – Seminars, learning the basics of canoeing, an insightful documentary & a nighttime camp fire.

Group 1: Ke Zhu, Ying Xu, Yuanfei Pan

In the morning, the class gathered in the seminar room for our group presentations. This series of seminars started off with the presentation by Group 4; they talked about invasive species in aquatic ecosystems, focusing on impacts and mechanisms of invasion with several interesting case studies that illustrated some key concepts. Group 5 talked about commercial fisheries and global trends therein, and the negative impacts of overfishing (e.g. fishing down the food chain, by catch of organisms like sea turtles, marine birds, non-commercial fish). Finally, Group 6 discussed fish migration and dispersal, using some nice graphics and several interesting YouTube videos to illustrate fish ladders, and the impacts of dams. All presentations provided to be quite informative, and we all learned from each other.



After lunch, with such pleasant weather and clear skies, a group of students decided to go canoeing together. Since most Chinese students haven’t had much experience in canoeing, Simon worked like a very experienced canoeing coach to teach every canoeing skill he knew to them patiently. Thanks to Simon’s help, people on every canoe performed very well, even this was the first time canoeing for some Chinese students.

Lecture: Biology of Freshwater Wetlands

After canoeing and a brief nap, we listened to the lecture on the “Biology of Freshwater Wetlands” given by Dr. Yuxiang Wang started at 2:30 pm. Dr. Wang enthusiastically introduced definitions of wetlands, their key features, and traits of wetland organisms,  plus classifications of wetlands. Overall, the lecture provided us wth the chance to learn about the ecological importance of wetland, and also provided us with a starting point for our wetland assessment projects starting next week.


Chopping firewood

After the lecture, a group of students went with our “wilderness survival expert” Simon and “crazy lumber jack” Wenxi to collect and chop firewood for our bonfire at night. Most of the Chinese students have never seen wood chopping before, so they were fascinated by Simon’s proficiency at chopping and also strong muscles (laughter). Another group of girls went swimming in the Opinicon Lake to enjoy the gifts nature gives us: the sunshine and cool water in summer time.

讲座之后,一部分中国学生跟随着我们的“野外生存专家”Simon以及“狂野伐木工”文熙前去砍柴。大部分中国学生并没有亲眼见过一根根原木是如何变成柴火的,更没有体会过“伐薪烧炭南山中”的劳苦,所以此次所见也显得颇为特别。 Movie Night: Messenger

After supper, we had a movie night – not a commercial move but rather a feature documentary about songbirds called The Messenger. We had been looking forward to this for two days. In this documentary, we were shown how engaging and beautiful songbirds are, how humans have long had a relationship with them, but most importantly for human activities have profoundly and negatively impacted songbird populations. For example, man-made noises can affect the communication between female and male birds, urban skyscrapers can impede bird migration and cause large mortality rates, and climate change may also affect the timing of bird migration (phenology). After watching this documentary, every one of us felt sad, and profoundly sorry for the impacts that we are having on songbirds. Hopefully, in the future we will be able to protect nature.


Camp fire

After watching The Messenger, we set a camp fire at the Opinicon lakeside at about 10:00. It was cool and dark, but the camp fire chased away the coldness and darkness. Wenxi organized us so that we sat around the fire pit in a circle. Everyone looked very happy and excited to be there. Xinyi was the first volunteer and she sang a Chinese folk song to us, she earned her applause! With such a good start, we all started to open our hearts to talk, to make jokes and to share one’s own stories. The highlight of the camp fire was game called “two truths and one lie”, where we needed to tell two facts and one lie about ourselves, and our fellow students needed to identify the lie. The game allowed us to get to know each other better. Overall, it was an amazing night, where we not only got to relax, but also found ways to enhance communication between Canadian and Chinese cultures.


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July 28 – Visiting ‘The Limestone City’ and the Thousand Islands

Group 4: 

We left for Kingston from QUBS in a convoy of four vehicles right after breakfast. Danielle Beaulne, a graduate student with Dr. Lougheed, assisted with driving and we are very grateful for this! It was about an hour long journey, but for most of us it did not feel too long as we either took naps, became engaged in an engrossing conversation about recent news or things that we had learned on the course, or simply absorbed the picturesque views and changing landscapes through our van windows as we drove past it.


First destination: Queen’s University at Kingston (The Limestone City): 第一站:金士顿,女王大学

For many of us, historic Kingston was a new city and Queen’s University was equally novel; we were excited to discover/explore both. Of course, for some of us it was ether home as we grew up here, or was familiar because we go to Queen’s. Queen’s was first founded on 16th October, 1841 and actually predates the founding of Canada itself by 26 years. Queen;s University is organized into about 10 undergraduate, graduate and professional faculties, and schools like engineering, education, environmental studies, etc. Most of the original buildings are still preserved and one can identify clear see the unifying limestone architecture that is typical of this area (and of the underlying bedrock that lies beneath the city itself.


Most of us went on a campus tour to see the lecture halls, cafeteria, residence buildings, and every student’s favourite ‘home away from home’: the libraries. A handful of us decided to see Bellevue House: one of the original  residences of the first prime minister of Canada: John A MacDonald.  We also had an opportunity to explore downtown Kingston and Princess Street which is the core of the business district. Kingston has among the highest densities of restaurants per capita of any city in Canada, driven by both a robust tourist trade and the presence of three postsecondary institutions: Queen’s University, Royal Military College, and St. Lawrence College.

我们中一些人参观了校园。我们参观了(据说是最好的)学生宿舍、理化等院系大楼和图书馆,其中的很多设施令没有见过它们的我们十分惊异。另一些同学去参观了加拿大首任总理John A MacDonald的宅邸Bellevue House,还在金士顿市中心逛了一圈。最后我们来到生物科学复合体参观了教学实验室,然后屈明志老师带我们参观了他的一些研究实验室。

All of this exploration made us very hungry and we headed to Grass Creek Park along the old provincial Highway #2 for a fun picnic lunch. Before consuming our packed lunch (kindly provided by Veronika and the kitchen staff at QUBS). We took some photos, and sat on the grass soaking in our beautiful surroundings. Simon did cartwheels down a slope, which was ‘mind-blowing’ for many of us to watch, at least for those of us who cannot even do a cartwheel on level ground. Some of us saw ring-billed gulls (Larus delawarensis) at close proximity while we were eating and enjoying the brilliant sunshine. After eating, we departed for our next destination: Gananoque.

很快大家都饿了,于是我们向Grass Creek公园进发。这个公园在一个保护区内,是一个野餐的好地方。午饭前,我们坐在草地上观光照相。Simon在斜坡上做了一个侧手翻,这十分令人激动。一些同学在沙滩附近近距离看到了环嘴鸥(Larus delawarensis)。

Second destination: Gananoque for 1000 Islands cruise:

We went to Gananoque to take a one-hour 1000 Islands cruise on the St. Lawrence River and visit the Thousand Islands National Park, one of the smallest national parks in Canada. Dr. Wang went over the questions that each student group was to answer based on their experiences and observations on the cruise. We again saw many ring-billed gulls flocking around in one area probably competing for food left by tourists – it was quite interesting to watch their interactions. A turkey vulture (Cathartes aura), identified by Dr. Lougheed, also swooped right over us. We then boarded the cruise-ship for another adventure. It was the perfect weather for being a boat trip: slightly breezy, warm, and sunny with no rain. The sunlight reflecting off the river made it seem like the surface was covered in sparkling diamonds; just magical! See some of the beautiful cottages (most really full blown houses) on the many islands we spotted made us wish that we could one day own a house just like one of these. We also spotted a colony of double-crested cormorants (Phalacrocorax auritus). Courtney told us a lot about them and the environmental issues surrounding them. For example, the uric acid that they excrete is quite acidic so it kills the trees and plants around the areas where they roost – making such areas devoid of vegetation. They prefer to forage for soft-bodied fish like the yellow perch (Perca flavescens). Huge human-wildlife conflict issues arise because of the reception that cormorants both destroy island vegetation and compete with human fishers for food.

The cruise was wonderful and we learned a lot about the local environments of the St. Lawrence and local natural history (a nice contrast for Chinese students with the Yangtze River). After the cruise, we had some time to walk around the small community of Gananoque, visit the local marine museum, or shop in souvenir shops. For the Canadian students, it was a bit strange walking into shops selling Canadian gifts, but for the Chinese students, it was quite exciting. There were shirts with Canadian jokes, maple syrup, souvenir mugs, carvings of birds, and lots more to choose from.


Then, it was time to head back to QUBS.

On our way to QUBS along Highway 15, we observed farmland covered in corn and pastures with horses or cows grazing. Some fields had recently been hayed and had many hay bails. Some students took the opportunity to rest and there sounds of gentle snoring from the backs of the vans. One of the vehicles went the long route back to QUBS (which is to say they got lost), but eventually all made it back.

It was a great day full of exploration, learning, and adventure!

很快就到了回去的时间了。归途中,我们看到了一些农场,很多同学累得睡着了。其中一辆车在一条错误的路线上开了半小时才发现走错了路,沿途倒也看到不少别样的风景。 真是充满探索和冒险的一天呀~!

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July 27 – Wetland ID, fish biodiversity, and group seminars

Team Members: Celine Jennings, Huang Tianshu, Gao Tian

Weather: Sunny during the day, rainy in the evening. 20-25°C

In the morning, we went out with Dale Kristensen to observe wetland plants and gain some insights into their ecology and relevance to ecosystem function and biodiversity. We first went to the QUBS dock and re-familiarized ourselves with various aquatic plant that we had previously learned about previously. We then went to the Cow Island Marsh (a lacustrine marsh that lies between the mainland and Cow Island), where Dale told us about the important ecological functions of wetlands. Macrophytes, such as cattails and other emergent plants, are the dominant primary producers in healthy shallow water wetlands as they support aquatic and ecotonal biodiversity (an ecotone is a gradient between habitat types) . We saw a northern watersnake (Nerodia sipedon sipedon) basking in the sun on an active beaver lodge. When we returnedfrom the marsh, we came across some mushrooms in the forest. Dale told us what those fungi were and showed us some photos of mushrooms that he had taken. After a short break we went to Indian Lake Road pond. Dale informed us that the wetland is experiencing ecological succession. This type of successional change is brought about by biomass accumulation in aquatic systems due to inputs from the wetland itself but also from the surrounding terrestrial environments. We returned to the lodge at noon and listened to a talk by Dale where he told us that wetlands reduce erosion and flooding, filter toxins, and store large volumes of water.

At 2:00 pm, we attended Prof. Yuxiang Wang’s lecture on Fish Biodiversity and Conservation. Prof. Wang is both instructive and humorous. He revealed that although fish were the first kind of vertebrates to arise on Earth, they are not primitive at all – indeed the word ‘primitive’ has pejorative connotations that often mislead us in interpreting evolutionary patterns. Fish make up more than 50% of the extant vertebrate species identified thus far. They are truly amazing creatures as their gills not only function for air exchange, but also act as a kind of ‘kidney’ to help the fish get rid of system waste such as ammonia. Currently fish diversity is declining because of noxious contaminants produced by humans, habitat loss and fragmentation, and climate change. Wetlands are not perfect habitats for fish because of its low oxygen and great fluctuation, although wetlands alongside lakes can provide important refuge for some species and for juvenile fish.

Since it was such a lovely day, in the afternoon we decided that it would be a tremendous waste not to go canoeing. Ten of us gathered at the dock at 4:30pm. Our Canadian friends, who have been canoeing since childhood, decided to give us a short training session before getting onto the water. Simon and Celine are experts, and are quite patient teachers. I [Tianshu] was on the same watercraft as Lola, Berenda and Rangana. The the moment that I put my life jacket on, I saw a beaver (Castor canadensis) swimming across the lake. It was hard for an amateur like me to keep my balance in the canoe, but luckily we had very nice instructors! We canoed to the center of the lake, and saw two snakes on an island (one was devouring a toad). After enjoying this natural phenomenon, we headed back for dinner.

In the evening after supper, the class assembled in the QUBS seminar room on the lower floor for group seminar presentations. Group 1 discussed the  nanoparticles, their origins and their impacts on the natural environment. Group 2 then discussed the demasculinization and feminization of fish and amphibians because of toxins released into the environment by human activities. Our group was the last to present, and we discussed the topic of sea ice reduction in the Arctic and its consequences for humans and the natural world. Overall, these presentations were excellent (if we do say so ourselves), and we look forward to hearing the rest!

早上我们和Dale Kristerson 教授一起去参加湿地植物野外实习。我们先去了轮船码头, 熟悉了那些我们之前学过的水生植物。随后我们去了奶牛岛湿地, Dale Kristerson 教授告诉了我们湿地的生态功能。大型植物如香蒲和其他植物是健康的浅水湿地的主要生产者,它们维持了水生群落区和交错群落区的生物多样性。我们看到了一条水蛇在海狸居住的巢穴上晒太阳。我们在回来的路上发现了一些蘑菇,Kristerson教授告诉了我们这些真菌的名字,然后向我们展示了一些他拍的蘑菇照片。短暂休息后我们前往印第安湖,Kristerson教授告诉我们这片湿地正在经历生态演替,这种演替是水生生态系统的生物量堆积导致的。入侵种会占领水生生态系统并提升富营养化程度。我们在正午前回来,在屋子里进行了一次研讨会。Kristerson教授告诉我们湿地的存在可以减少水土流失,储存大量淡水。海狸是非常尽职的生态系统工程师。



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July 26 – Aquatic work on Lake Opinicon

Group 4:

We started off the day with a lecture from Dr. Brian Cumming. Dr. Cumming is a limnologist from Queen’s University and Head of the Department of Biology  – limnologists study biological, chemical and physical attributes of inland waters such as lakes and rivers. Dr. Cumming spoke to us about Lake Opinicon and other major lakes around the world.

我们以Brian Cumming博士的讲座开始新的一天。他是一个湖水学家,即一个研究内陆水比如湖水和河水的科学家。他向我们介绍了Opinicon湖和其他的重要的湖的一些特征。

Algae observation
Our algae observations started with Dr. Mingzhi Qu who introduced us to four common categories of algae and talked about their utility as indicators of aquatic environmental quality. We spent time in the lab, taking drops of water from two different jars with algal cultures, putting them under the microscope to have a close look of the microenvironment in the water, and trying to distinguish among the distinct kinds of algae: BG (blue green), GR (green algae), DM (diatoms), and FL (flagellates). These phytoplankton amazed us with their diversity of shapes, aggregations, and functions, diversity that cannot be easily captured by the naked eye. What impressed us the most was, even though we were looking at things from a totally different physical scale than we are used to, the busy spinning and balancing within this microscopic world still somehow rang familiar.


After this, we went for our first boat ride at QUBS, with Dr. Cumming. We stayed near the shore in the littoral zone of the lake where the depth of the water is a shallow – 3-4 metres in depth. Dr. Cumming explained how the lock system of the historical Rideau Canal increased the water level of Lake Opinicon, and how this has impacted the biota and hydrology of the lake. The remainder of the time was spent observing the various macrophytes from the bottom of lake. The genera that we found included Elodea, Vallisneria, Myriophyllum, Ceratophyllum and Potamegeton. We also learned some interesting and memorable ways to identify the aquatic plants. For example, the leaves of Myriophyllum resemble parrot’s feathers, and Ceratophylllum is sometimes called coontails because it looks like a racoon’s (Procyon lotor) tail. We also learned how to sample sediment from the bottom of a lake using an Edman grabber. It was difficult to set up the trap initially, but was very exciting when we brought up the first sample!


Aquatic invertebrates
After a wonderful lunch, we had an opportunity to observe aquatic invertebrates. It is hard to comprehend the myriad living organisms that reside beneath the water. Sediments initially look like an uninteresting pile of mud with naked eye. However, when we looked more closely we found and identified several classes of aquatic inverts, including species within the Arachnida etc. Because it sampling success can vary so markedly among sampling bouts, we put our collection of small animals together and made a small zoo for the next group’s benefit.


An instructive story from Dr. Wang
The next session was to be a boat trip where we were to do some sampling for assessment of water chemistry with Dr. Wang. However, the boat developed an oil issue. Rather than abandon the exercise we simply gathered around the dock for a water chemistry sampling demonstration. Dr. Wang talked about how one sets a Van Dorn water sampler, and how use a dissolved oxygen metre, refractometer, conductivity metre, turbidity metre, and a Secchi disk to quantify water turbidity. One thing we learned from Dr.Wang is the importance of serendipity, seizing opportunities, and using the equipment that is at hand. Dr.Wang told us about 12 scientists who had their equipment and supplies seized in Africa. Rather than abandon the research project, they bought new supplies from the pharmacy and used handmade apparatus to successfully complete their research. From their data they actually published a paper in Nature one of the premier scientific journals in the world! Dr. Wang himself has also faced a similar situation, but managed not only not to give up, but also to publish 8 papers from a single research trip.


At night, we were fortunate to listen to a seminar that was part of the regular Queen’s University Biological Station seminar series. Dr. Lougheed’s M.Sc. student Amanda Cicchino (Queen’s University) gave us a wonderful lecture about the small temperate frog species, the spring peeper (Pseudacris crucifer). Amanda presented the notion of  Y models that allow researchers to quantify trade-offs in behaviour or he apportionment of energy to different functions. Her work on spring peepers spoke to the notion of tradeoffs in calling behaviour and energetic expenditures, site choice, predation risk, and competition.

晚上的活动由一场讲座收尾。来自皇后大学,Steve的博士生介绍了她自己关于spring peeper 春雨蛙的研究,以它为对象研究生物体在繁殖与生存中的权衡,春雨蛙的例子有许多有趣的新发现,且Y模型依旧可以很好的解释它。研讨会上,有许多研究者也共同参与听讲并且提问。

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