Bird populations in North America have been in decline since mid-1900s due to a multitude of stressors including pesticide use, habitat loss, predation by cats, as well as window and vehicle collisions. Tommy Thompson Park is a constructed wilderness park in Toronto (Ontario) that is along the migratory path for many species that are exhibiting the largest declines.
The proposed research will identify the dominant drivers of rising chloride concentrations in streams within the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) jurisdiction. The TRCA monitors stream water quality at 47 stations and data suggest that chloride concentrations are increasing. Previous research has identified urban growth and the subsequent application of road salt in wintertime as a dominant driver of these trends.
Biodiversity within aquatic ecosystems in the Laurentian Great Lakes has been impacted by numerous stressors and the Toronto Waterfront is an example of these impacts, which has experienced rapid urban growth and expansion over the past 200 years. To improve degraded aquatic ecosystems, the restoration of aquatic habitat that supports fish biodiversity has been a staple of redevelopment along the Toronto Waterfront.Understanding how the size, type, and environmental conditions of habitat enhancements contribute to resulting biodiversity outcomes is uncertain.
The purpose of this project is to identify bees and evaluate plant-pollinator networks based on the biomonitoring surveys conducted at the Meadoway in 2020-2021 with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The aim of these surveys is to develop a baseline understanding of bee diversity in The Meadoway and evaluate the effects of plant mix, restoration age, and management regime to improve TRCA best practices for future projects. The intern will conduct timed bee surveys at the Meadoway at sites 1-5 years post restoration and on specific flowers.
The project aims to study the use of advanced machine learning algorithms to enhance the ability of TRCA to detect shoreline erosion. Accurate detection of shoreline erosion will have significant contribution to optimizing TRCA asset management plans. This will enable TRCA to work with local communities to reduce the impacts of climate change on shoreline erosion, which in turn will help safe shoreline properties and community spaces from increased erosion. The accurate perdition of erosion will also enable TRCA to develop effective plans to protect natural habitat.
With increasingly urban populations worldwide and a growing need to ensure ecosystem service provision, managers must plan not only for the urban woodlands we have today, but also for what they might become. This project will develop indicators to detect changes urban woodland succession and its repercussions on future biodiversity.
The purpose of this project is to identify bees and evaluate plant-pollinator networks based on the biomonitoring surveys conducted at the Meadoway in 2020 in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA). The aim of these surveys is to develop a baseline understanding of bee diversity in the Meadoway and evaluate the impacts of restoration, as well, to improve these practices for restoration by TRCA into the future. The intern will conduct timed bee surveys at the Meadoway at sites 1-3 years post restoration and on specific flowers.
The Etobicoke Creek watershed is heavily urbanized with erosion issues due to the high amount of impervious cover and creek channelization. This research will help to better understand the current erosion sensitivities and risks within the watershed for inclusion in a comprehensive watershed plan that will inform municipal land use and infrastructure planning.
Today almost 3 million people live in Toronto (almost 6 million in the Greater Toronto Area). As the city's population continues to grow, people are increasingly seeking connection to the natural landscape within the city limits. This project will illuminate and re-invigorate understanding and appreciation of the natural history of the area and the importance of connected waterways. It will inform future planning related to the connection between natural and engineered water resources in an urban environment.