This month’s poster profile shares the work of Kaegan Finn, a University of Alberta student examining parasites in fish and 15N.
Poster authors: Kaegan Finn, Karling Roberts, and Mark Poesch
Poster title: Cestode Parasites are Depleted in 15N Relative to their Fish Hosts (pdf of the poster here).
Cestode parasites inhabit the bodies of many freshwater fish throughout Alberta. Including these parasites in food webs and associated research is necessary to accurately reflect ecosystem complexity. In his research, Kaegan, examined how the stable isotopes 15N and 13C differ between parasites and their hosts. Kaegan collected 92 host-parasite pairs across 7 species and 3 lakes in northern Alberta. Fish species included Spottail Shiner, Fathead Minnow, and Lake Chub. Results showed that 15N differed significantly between hosts and parasites. 13C did not differ between hosts and parasites but did vary among fish species. Results were similar to previous research and may support the adaptation of a standard discrimination factor for 15N, thus facilitating the inclusion of parasites in future food-web studies.
Kaegan’s poster is a great example of using graphics to complement text on a poster. Well done Kaegan!
Kaegan is an undergraduate student at the University of Alberta studying Environmental and Conservation Sciences. Kaegan currently works as a hydrometric technician for the Southern Rockies Watershed Project in the Crowsnest Pass and Waterton Lakes National Park. Kaegan is planning to pursue an MSc in early 2021 and is looking forward to a career in the world of wildlife and ecology.