Allison Schein

MSc Graduate,  UPEI, Canadian Rivers Institute
Hometown: Vancouver, British Columbia

schein


Contact information

schein.allison@gmail.com

Awards

NSERC Alexander Graham Bell Canada Graduate Scholarship

Research

Supervisors: Dr. Simon Courtenay, UNB and Dr. Michael van den Heuval, UPEI

The estuarine fish community and food web structure in areas of sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) and eelgrass (Zostera marina) within the Stanley River estuary, Prince Edward Island Agriculture is a major industry on PEI, covering approximately 44% of the land area. Large quantities of nitrate from artificial fertilizers are entering surface and groundwaters that feed estuaries and bays, displacing eelgrass (Zostera marina) plant cover with dense blooms of sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) and resulting in anoxic events. Part one of my project aims to better understand how this eutrophication problem affects the nearshore estuarine fish communities. Monthly beach seining from May to August 2008 sampled the fish community at five stations in the Stanley River estuary on PEI, where habitat varied from complete eelgrass coverage to complete sea lettuce cover.

The second part of my project is assessing how increased sea lettuce growth affects the estuarine food web structure, including the diets of two common estuarine fish, the mummichog (Fundulus heteroclitus) and fourspine stickleback (Apeltes quadracus). Primary producer, invertebrate, and fish samples were collected at the five stations in August 2007, as well as monthly from May to August in 2008, in order to assess temporal variability. The food webs were described using carbon and nitrogen stable isotope analysis.

Education

  • BSc(Honours) Biology, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON
    Honour’s Thesis Research: Effects of diesel oil dispersion on rainbow trout.

  • 2009, M.Sc., University of Prince Edward Island, CRI
    Thesis: The estuarine fish community and food web structure in areas of sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca) and eelgrass (Zostera marina) within the Stanley River estuary, Prince Edward Island.

Publications

Schein, A., J.A. Scott, L. Mos, and P.V. Hodson. 2009. Oil dispersion increases the apparent bioavailability and toxicity of diesel to rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 28:595-602.

Presentations

Atlantic Canada Coastal and Estuarine Science Society (ACCESS), Charlottetown, PE, May 13-15, 2009. "Effects of agriculturally-derived nitrate on the estuarine food web structure of Prince Edward Island.”  (Best student oral presentation).

Canadian Rivers Institute Day, Fredericton, NB, July 10, 2009. "Environmental factors affecting the estuarine fish community and food web structure in the Stanley River estuary, Prince Edward Island."

Canadian Conference for Fisheries Research (CCFFR), Ottawa, ON, January 9-11, 2009. “Effects of agriculturally-derived nitrate on the estuarine fish communities of Prince Edward Island.”

Canadian Rivers Institute Day, Fredericton, NB, June 4, 2008. "Effects of agriculturally-derived nitrate on the estuarine food web structure & fish community of Prince Edward Island.” 

Atlantic Canada Coastal and Estuarine Science Society (ACCESS), Dartmouth, NS, May 14-16, 2008. “Effects of agriculturally-derived nitrate on the estuarine food web structure & fish community of Prince Edward Island.”

Poster at Aquatic Toxicity Workshop (ATW), Halifax, NS, September 30 - October 3, 2007. “Chemically dispersed diesel oil is more toxic to rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) than non-dispersed diesel oil.”