Rick Cunjak

Aquatic, Ecology/Evolutionary, Environmental/Conservation

Rick Cunjak

Research Interests:

My current research program is focused on running water environments and the biota living there, with special interest in the ecology and conservation of riverine fishes, especially Atlantic salmon. There are three areas of focus : 1. Winter Biology - my research approach to this topic involves studies of fish movement and habitat-use, energetic costs of overwintering, and the impact of river ice on egg survival and habitat availability; 2. Anthropogenic impacts and river conservation/restoration- quantification of forestry, hydroelectric and agriculture impacts in stream ecosystems (streamflow, sediment loading, nutrient cycling, water temperature); and, 3. Stream ecosystem dynamics - understanding the complexity of energy flow between terrestrial and aquatic habitats, and from primary producers to top predators using stable isotope analysis (C,N,H,S), and the importance of in-stream stressor events (e.g. floods, ice break-up, high temperature) on stream communities and populations (invertebrates, fish). Currently, I supervise 2 graduate students.

Special Responsibilities:

Science Director, Canadian Rivers Institute

Past Director, Catamaran Brook Habitat Research Project

Director, Stable Isotopes in Nature Laboratory, UNB, Fredericton

Selected Publications:

Hayden, B., P. Nithirojpakdee, S. Tongnunui, FWH Beamish and RA Cunjak. 2017. Variation in stable isotope ratios between fin and muscle tissues can alter assessment of resource use in tropical river fishes. J. Fish Biol. 91 (2): 574–586.

Corey, E., T. Linnansaari, RA Cunjak and S. Currie. 2017. Physiological effects of environmentally relevant, multi-day thermal stress on wild juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Conservation Physiology 5(1): 000-000 [doi.org/10.1093/conphys/cox014].

Samways, KM and RA Cunjak. 2015. Increases in benthic community production and metabolism in response to marine-derived nutrients from spawning Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Freshw. Biol. 60(8): 1647-1658.

Kurylyk, BL, KTB MacQuarrie, T Linnansaari, RA Cunjak and RA Curry. 2014. Preserving, augmenting and creating cold-water thermal refugia in rivers: Concepts derived from the Miramichi River,New Brunswick (Canada). Ecohydrology 8: 1095-1108. DOI: 10.1002/eco.1566.

Roussel JM., Perrier C., Erkinaro J., Niemelä E., Cunjak R.A., Huteau D., and Riera P. 2014. Stable isotope analyses on archived fish scales reveal the long-term effect of nitrogen loads on carbon cycling in rivers. Global Change Biology 20: 523-530.

Linnansaari, T. and RA Cunjak. 2013. Effects of ice on behaviour of juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar). Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 70(10): 1488-1497.

Cunjak, RA, T. Linnansaari, and D. Caissie. 2013. The complex interaction of ecology and hydrology in a small catchment: a salmon’s perspective. Hydrol. Processes 27: 741-749.

Linnansaari, T. and R.A. Cunjak. 2012. Fish: Freshwater Ecosystems (Chapter 6), pp 80-97. In Temperature Adaptation in a Changing Climate: Nature at Risk. K.B. Storey and K. Tanino (eds.). Climate Change Series, No.3, CAB International Publishing, Wallingford, UK, 248p.

Breau, C., RA Cunjak and SJ Peake. 2011. Behaviour at high water temperatures: can physiology explain movement of juvenile Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) to cool water? J. Anim. Ecol. 80: 844–853.


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